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Jerusalem: I’m not taking it personal

on December 5, 2010

As an Arab Muslim trying-to-be-writer, I claim myself to be an objective writer. I found out that all my writings are too personal though. I discovered that nothing actually urged the words out of me but very personal issues that touched me; either pertaining to my personal life, to my religion, to my identity or to my femininity.

In this particular piece, I decided not to be at all personal. I will talk about a general cause to which I will be extremely unbiased. To cut it short, I will talk about Jerusalem.

My choice to Jerusalem actually stems of its being an international issue; making a great conflict. Although personally I am an Arab Muslim who looks into Jerusalem with an eye of sympathy, I won’t take it that way; I will be a mere human.

To be a whole honest and sincere person, I thought of Jerusalem because of two other main purposes. First, I took on my shoulders the task of making an essay to a student who thinks of Palestinians as terrorists and Jihad as a means of employing that terror. Second, I thought it would be very enriching to know more about Jerusalem and why it is a rich location in history.

Unfortunately, the internet led me astray! Through the documents, I was again born knowing not whether Jerusalem is an Arab Muslim or a Jewish city. I did not even know whether the Aqsa mosque existed in its Islamic nature or it was a Jewish temple then, as is claimed.

If you are reading me now, you will be thinking one of three; agreeing with me objectively, thinking that what an idiot writer who was lost in trials of judaizing Al Aqsa, or rejoicing as victorious in leading me astray in my own identity and beliefs.

I tried to correct myself, after spending hours having a stupid smile on my face while I flipped through the internet pages. I tried to figure out how the real issue should be defined. Since searching history varies from a person to another, and since each person is liable to understand what pertains to his religion and his beliefs, let’s take Jerusalem out of the context of inheritance. It does not matter to whom Jerusalem belonged since the beginning of history. It is rather about occupation and inhuman deeds. It is about taking persons out of their homes because several thousand years ago we had a temple or a mosque there! This is stupid!

I met my Palestinian neighbor; I thought it would be more genuine to have a live knowledge from an eye witness. Unlike others, he did not speak of torture or demolishing his house like in many cases we see on TV. He spoke merely about being unable to complete his learning in his country; he travelled to Yugoslavia, went back, did not find work, took his family and travelled to Bahrain. According to some, this is such a luxurious Palestinian man! But this luxurious man had to split his family again; for his daughter wished to complete her university studies in her home country, and so, her mother took her along with the youngest son (oh, I forgot to tell you he has a daughter and three sons) and flied back home.

This family lives, yes, they do.

When I asked him “how are they?” He said “fine, thank Allah, but they aren’t yet accustomed to the bombings sound!” I again showed my stupid smile; is bombings sound a normal thing to live with? I corrected myself, ‘yes, idiot, in an occupied country!’

‘What a poor future-fear-full family’. ‘Oh, Jerusalem!’

I am out of this discussion having three facts in pocket; I’m sometimes an idiot in figuring out truths because simply I am a luxurious person, I am an ignorant person like many Arabs and Muslims and that when it comes to Jerusalem, I am TOO personal.

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3 responses to “Jerusalem: I’m not taking it personal

  1. Stephen Mc Elligott says:

    It is very important for Christians, Muslims and Jewish to live together in peace and harmony. you are right when you say that it belongs to nobody. Pope Paul VI in his encyclical teaches that God trancends human culture.

    Therefore although we have culture, it is ever important that we respect each others beliefs and culture and get on with being a community that can live together.

    God bless,
    Stephen

  2. Mary says:

    I think we are all ignorant about Palestine and Jerusalem. When I began to learn more of the history of the region, I was so deeply hurt to see what Palestinians suffered and that my country, the US, had done so much to support Israel. I do not think Jewish people are evil, but I think Zionists have been on the side of wrong too many times.
    About the holy ground in Jerusalem, I saw an interesting television show. There was a might Jewish Temple in Jersalem, the Second Temple, built by Herod ( Soloman built the first). The Jew believe God physically dwells there, so it is very, very holy. The Romans destroyed it after the Jewish uprising against Rome, around 70 CE. And the Romans expelled all the Jewish residents from the city then. Prophet Mohammed came to this ruined site and on a huge rock embedded there, had a mystical experience and rose to the heavens. He prayed together with Jesus and Moses. Later, the Muslim community built Al Aqsa Mosque to commemorate this holy event. When the Muslim forces captured Jerusalem, they allowed Jewish families to move back into the city for the first time since the Roman expulsion. I have never heard it said, but my guess is that some in Israel would like to remove the mosque to rebuild the temple. My personal feeling from what I know now, is that is place is too sacred for anyone to be asked to give up their claim. They must find a way to share. It is a deep history, I am sure there is a lot more for me to learn.

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