2012 / University of Jenin 🇵🇸
A little over a year ago I lost my grandmother Naziha Odeh.
My teta Naziha was born in 1948 in the rural regions of the Westbank, a village called Zababdeh. Teta, just as the Jewish state of Israel, would have turned 70 this year.
As a teenager she married my grandfather Jamal, who a few years after eloping, had to leave her and their daughter, my aunt, behind as he had moved to Germany to find occupation as a guest worker.
The savage that granny had been cut herself, to fake an emergency surgery and make her way to join my granpa in Germany. Together they in Munich had 4 kids, including my mom.
My parents did have a rocky relationship with my Palestinian family as anti-black racism runs very deep in all Arab societies, however I always felt the need to regularly see my literal motherland, speak the language, explore and strengthen my Middle Eastern identity.
It pains me that even beyond her death, after literally a full lifetime, things in Palestine are still as unsolved as back then.
I think back on the times I had living and studying there in my childhood summers & recently in 2015, 2017. The law and literature students, the people who had their own dukan (store), the baklava vendors who are so hardworking, so educated & have no career opportunities in sight within their homeland. I get messages of most of the students I housed with, either having moved somewhere or still struggling.
I think of the kind Jewish and Arab friends I was privileged to make in the beautiful hedonist city of Tel Aviv, who were so welcoming and so full of opportunity and optimism, that Non-Israeli Palestinians couldn’t enjoy.
It’s a contrast, my grandmother and probably myself will never see shattered.
And I do realize that I’ve lived in an enclave that has enjoyed military peace for decades, and ‘merely’ suffers permanent bureaucratic harassment and economic suppression, so I can only imagine what the people in Gaza are and have been going through.
I hope to come back soon the holy lands and at least raise awareness through my journalistic work.
Teta I enjoyed your blunt energy, your resilience, I will miss you every day! Rest In Peace!
Guys thank you for all the congratulations but the MTV Awards (yes she has TWO) obviously belong to none other than Queen @yemialade / I was doing the #BowWowChallenge but some of you didn’t catch it. 😂😂😂😂😂 My Interview with this incredibly gracious woman will follow asap! Stay tuned right here! Big Thanks to @adebantu, @outhererecords & @journalists_net !!!