The Right to Exist
Yesterday was Eid. After 30 grueling days of fasting and 10 insane hours of WhatsApp forwards that look like the above, I would like to wish everyone a hearty thanks for their support during this time. Eid Mubarak to all my Muslim hoes, TGIF to all my non-believer foes!
I had a wonderful, safe day with my family and my cousins. It was a treat. And yet, I found it a bit disquieting, for the second year in a row. It is odd and incongruous to celebrate what is, truly, your principal holiday, a day meant for celebration and hugging and food, when so many around the world are hurting. It is impossible to fully enjoy a feast with your extended family when children in Palestine are forcibly removed from their homes, families torn apart by airstrikes, and a long-suffering people are subjected, once again, to the brutalities of their subjugation.
I would like to recommend a piece I read a couple of months back, but which has been lodged in my brain like a particularly effective horror movie: A Day in the Life of Abed Salama, by Nathan Thrall. It is long—punishingly so—but is one of the most lucid examples of Palestinian life in Jerusalem I’ve read. It is about a tragedy, yes—and of the avoidable kind, at that—but it is also about the punishing banalities and paperwork and exhaustive dehumanization that constitute the reality of daily life without autonomy. It is an account of one man’s life—of many—that is immensely more difficult than it should have ever been.
That’s all. I hope you read it, and Eid Mubarak.