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What does it mean, to be born Palestinian?

Your Freedom is earned, not given.

Enough pictures of a child in Palestine holding a victory sign ✌️ can tell you that from a young age, Palestinian children develop a powerful awareness of their identity.

Six year olds scurry in the streets, throw stones at soldiers and raise flags. “Child’s play” you might think.

But beneath the surface, each child is showing a basic human understanding: The preciousness of freedom. Of a life where you get to choose. And of the absolute necessity to fight for that right.

Second intifada, children throw stones at Israeli soldiers.
Second intifada, child stands in front of an Israeli tank with stone in hand.

Your Culture and History is at stake.

Every child, be they within Palestine or elsewhere, is scarred at birth by the injustices and traumas of eight decades of apartheid occupation.

Every child inherits the heritage, history, and the generational struggle of their parents, grandparents, great grandparents…

Each Palestinian, deep down, feels their identity is in danger of being erased, and in a single moment, may recognise their desire to preserve it.

For me, that moment was the 30th September, year 2000, I was 6 years old, and the second intifada had just started…

Your individuality is eternal, and nothing else.

Late in the evening, I looked as my parents watched the tv in anguish. On the screen, a clip was on repeat. In one moment, the father desperately hiding behind a small concrete barrier, trying to protect his child as the dust of bullets bounce around them. In the next moment, the child lying flat in his fathers lap.

I asked my father what happened to the boy. “He is in heaven now habibi.”

The killing of Muhammad al-Durrah was the first time I, and many others, understood what it meant to be a Palestinian.

That they can take everything. Except who you are.

In memory of Muhammad al-Durrah, and the over 3000 Palestinian children killed since the beginning of the second intifada.

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