We’ll Return One Day
By Iktimal Sha’aban

"One day we’ll return to Palestine because our house is still awaiting us…It is still awaiting its folks to return to the land and take care of it. "We’ll return because our big house is still there. I can still see it. The olive tree is still planted in the good land and is watered by nostalgia…There is our real house." My father says: "We’ll be free and nobody would ask who we are, nobody would ask us where did you come from and when are you returning?" "We’ll return," my father assures me, " and we’ll forget all the wars and humiliations we passed through in exile. Going back to our land will help us forget the pain of the past and work for the future." My father used to repeat these words to my sister upon her return from a fruitless day of job hunt even though she holds a B.A in Philosophy (with honors) from the Lebanese University.

He said these words to my brother before bidding him the last farewell, promising him to move his body to Palestine where he would rest. He also repeated it to my mother when she got a heart attack after the death of my brother, and after she was admitted to no hospital because we had no money. He always repeats it to me when I feel disappointed at his inability to satisfy my needs.

Like my father and brothers, I used to want t return to Palestine so that my sister gets a job, and for my mother to heal and for us to live a dignified life. But now I want to return because I want to return, because I have the right to return. UN resolution 194 gives me this right…and resolution 242 states our right of self-determination, and we want to return.