Know More About Palestine

Monday July 12, 2010 9:27 AM (EST+7)
For Syria's Palestinian refugees, homeland part of nearly-forgotten past

Read more: refugees, Syria, refugees in Syria, Syrian refugees, displaced, displacement, right of return

RAMALLAH, July 11 (JMCC) - Palestinian refugees in Syria are working to keep alive connections to their homeland, what is now Israel. For some in the youngest generation, reports The National, Palestine is part of a meaningless past. 

With the passage of time, the connection between refugee Palestinians and their forefathers’ lives and land inevitably becomes less direct. Newer generations, born in Syria, have never even seen the Palestinian territories and, instead of having their own memories of the place, borrow them from their fathers or grandfathers.

Some, like nine-year-old Issam Ismael, do not even do that. “I don’t know anything about Palestine, and I don’t know why I’d go back there. I’m from the [Dannoun] camp,” he said, as adult refugees filed past the display of title deeds. He had to be told by older friends what village in Palestine his family originally came from. “My dad doesn’t talk about it at all,” Issam explained apologetically.

In Dannoun, those who were actually born in Palestine are increasingly few in number and those who are old enough to have a real sense of where they came from are fewer still.

Khazna Ali Yusif was 14, and had already been married for a year when, in 1948, she and her husband left their village, believing they would return in a day or two.

Now in her late 70s, she accepts her own return is unlikely, with the prospect of an Israeli/Palestinian peace accord as remote as ever. Even if a peace deal were to be signed tomorrow, the Israelis have insisted there can be no return of Palestinians to land inside Israel.

But Mrs Yusif says she was careful to teach her sons and daughters that their real home was not in Syria, where they were born, but in the Palestinian village near Safad where she lived as a young girl, an area currently in northern Israel.

“We will not forget our land, we must not forget it,” she said. “No one should forget what was theirs by right, no one should forget what was taken from them.”

Read the article at The National...






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