On Parting

I once believed I understood life, and now I’m right back where I started: sober, and miserable.

If parting was inevitable, then why do we meet?

  • When the inevitable decides to manifest there is no delaying, no asking why; the only options are acceptance and submission.
  • People tend to exhibit different attitudes when dealing with death. Some cry, while others get busy trying to avoid the situation all together; they never really do, they just seek comfort in trying. But then there is rationalization, that’s when the science talk kicks in: “Why is he breathing like that? That is what you call gasping, right? Is it the tumor or the heart failure?” Mam believe me, the more you defer facing the idea of death the more it will hurt when it finally descends.

Parting is inevitable, but still we met; let’s make the ride worthwhile.

  • Four days ago. He could barely move, but he came to the hospital, and he stayed by her bed in silence. When it was time to go, he kissed her on the forehead and whispered goodbye. “In God’s hands I leave you,” he said. Tears did not flow, although I wish they did, even when he saw her in her casket; is it because he doesn’t think this parting would be long lasting?
  • I’ve seen a fair share of last farewells in my life, but the hardest, most heart-rending were not those between friends, siblings, or parents and sons, they were those between lovers and their spouses. I believe this stems from our knowledge deep down that, unlike all the other relationships, this is the one person who, despite all the flaws, stayed in our lives by mutual choice.

Now check out this video, it’s got English subtitles. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Gd7wUGpofs

  • Is there anything which one, as an individual, can achieve but no one else could? What would it matter if Einstein didn’t like physics? Someone else would have discovered relativity anyway, probably at a time not so far from that of Einstein’s, possibly earlier. It’s not uncommon that scientists at different continents made similar and simultaneous discoveries, Google “multiple independent discovery” and see. On the individual level, life is a zero-sum game, rendered as such merely by being, from its very beginning, destined to end.
  • Our transit between wombs and graves, this seemingly endless meeting and parting (aka life), only one thing can help it make sense, which is the belief in afterlife. It is this, not the belief in butterfly effect, which would give meaning to a random act of kindness, or to a selfless sacrifice. As one thinks of life and death as different stages of a continuum, perspectives change, and lots of things shrink to their real sizes.
  • I think that, even on our dying beds, we never really accept our mortality 100 percent. If we did, we would be too busy to show up at funerals.


Reflections on 2014

Travel buddies, that’s who we are.

New beginnings, they don’t give much of a meaning. To me, albeit with scattered breaks of delight and moments of awe, life is one uninterrupted continuum of worried striving, endeavors trying to come together to make some sense; the wise will discover this early, early enough to not care too much or too little. As such, I have never been fond of recollections, personal reflection or stringent resolutions. December is just December, and a new year is just that.

However, I am going to give it a try this year. I’ll try to look back and say something. I plead with you to excuse what will probably appear to you as a hectic flow of semi-ideas; it is still an attempt, give it credit would ya?


I’ll begin with the most worrying.

My hair loss accelerated this year. I blame my paternal genes for that, but I also blame Gaza’s poor, salty water, the Einstein in me who wouldn’t stop thinking, and the Shampoo commercials for selling myths.

Hang on, it gets serious, I promise.

I discovered some great music. I can positively say that my music collection is the best you can find in the whole middle east. By the way I recommend you check my Justin Bieber folder. (Kidding!)

In 2014, I made my first money as an adult. It was not planned, and it was not much, but it was a first, and firsts are always worthy of appreciation.

And day by day, I made some friendships solid, friendships I am positive will last beyond borders or grey hairs, inshAllah; and for that, for them, I am grateful.

In 2014, I experienced extreme fear once, when an artillery shell whizzed over my head. It caught me off guard, when I was recovering from a stolen bout of sleep. As it exploded far away, I felt momentary relief. Seconds later, another one followed.

In 2014, I cried not a single time. It’s a burden I carried with me from 2013, and which I will carry on to my next year. Rage, frustration or longing; all are forms of energy. Laws of energy conservation state that it can be neither created nor destroyed. I have no problem with the first part. Going through my third and longest war in just six years, I was lucky enough not to get hurt; However, I suffered, everyone did. No, everyone DOES. It still goes on. And with every passing day, more energy is ramped up inside of me, inside of us. I wonder if it’s not destroyed, where does it go?

In 2014, I dodged few bullets. Few others hit me; some were even aimed at my chest, but hey! What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger – I guess!

I have company now more than ever, but I’ve never felt lonelier. Let’s just leave this orphaned idea here.

All the way through 2014 I stood tall; well, almost. But see, the thing is I don’t have much like for standing. If next year brings me someone who is clever, smart and cute enough to sweep me off my feet, she’ll be most welcome.

As I look back to 2014, I see a year in which we, collectively, stood against the ruthless, immoral Zionist war machine without a blink. I see my graduation, top of my class and with excellence. I see my close friends getting engaged and then married. I see myself happy for my friends who got engaged and married. I see my mother who is proud of me. She doesn’t say it much, but I know it. I see my father who sees in me more than I could ever see in myself.

As I look back to 2014, I see many blessings and hardships, but I now realize that with every hardship came an equal amount of ease, isn’t that the greatest blessing of all? Alhamdulillah.

Gaza needs big solutions, not big headlines

This summer, as Gaza was pummelled by tens of thousands of Israeli shells and bombs for two long months, you could sense an unlikely feeling amid the extreme fear and uncertainty: hope.
For 51 devastating days, Gaza occupied the headlines. People were talking about it and so were politicians. The story was widely getting out that 1.8 million people, who have been under a strict blockade for nearly eight years, were now suffering a third war. Albeit at a high cost, Gaza’s voice was finally being heard. An opening, even an end to the suffocation, it was assumed, was coming.

Today, those hopes have vanished and anxiety and uncertainty dominates. After a ceasefire was reached in
late August, world attention shifted. It was not until October12 that Gaza returned to the front pages with news that $5.4 billion had been pledged at a reconstruction conference in Cairo.

This led to an artificial feeling of satisfaction being promoted through the media… as if the donations were enough to make up for the failure of the international community to stop the war.

Soon after, details began to leak. Included in the sum were annual donations already made to the Palestinian Authority’s budget. Subtract those and only half the donated funds would go towards reconstruction.  Original estimates of the damages inflicted by the Israeli campaign were between $6 billion and $8 billion. Palestinian officials had asked for up to $4 billion and the actual commitments made were $2.7 billion.

With this budget – assuming all countries actually pay up – what destruction will be excluded from reconstruction plans? And what about the immediate relief efforts? Are they included in those $2.7 billion? Or are there immediate relief efforts at all?  On UNRWA’s Twitter feed, one finds no significant change in the statistics compared to those immediately following the ceasefire.

Nearly three months on, 32,000 of the 100,000 people left homeless by the war remain scattered around 18 UNRWA schools. The rest live hand-to-mouth existences in the homes of relatives or in rented accommodation.

And the harsh reality goes on: the number of refugees in Gaza relying on food aid has risen to 867,000 and 47 percent of Gazans are unemployed. The youth unemployment rate is nearly 70 percent.

But it is not just the unemployed who are penniless. Some 50,000 public sector employees have not been paid for a year thanks to the tightened Israeli blockade and inter-factional political rivalries. The power deficit, meanwhile, 54 percent before to the military onslaught, is now more than 70 percent. Gaza’s only power station lacks even fuel to run. Shouldn’t this fuel at least be part of immediate relief efforts?

The conference also failed to provide clear mechanisms or even a timeline for the reconstruction process, leaving it at the mercy of those who control the borders.

Soon after the ceasefire, Robert Serry, the UN envoy to the Middle East, devised a complex plan to monitor construction materials entering Gaza that included CCTV cameras, international inspectors and detailed lists of benefactors, all to placate Israel. Israel retains the right to veto any beneficiaries of aid, or major rebuilding projects.  The plan is supposed to alleviate Israeli “security concerns”.

But Serry is ignoring the fact that all the subterranean defences the Palestinian resistance established were in fact dug after the first war on Gaza in 2008, ie during the strictest years of the blockade when construction materials were already completely banned from entry.

He also fails, as a representative of the international community, to fulfil his obligations towards a nation under occupation. His plan not only legitimises the blockade, but makes the UN an accomplice.

It is also projected that the mechanism will slow down reconstruction to a rate at which Oxfam now estimates it will take 50 years to reconstruct Gaza. This is not to mention the corruption that is very likely to flourish around these many complicated steps. Furthermore, before the war, Gaza had a deficit of 75,000 housing units as a result of the blockade. Serry’s plan fails to explain how those units, which people living in the most crowded enclave on earth desperately need, are going to be built.

It’s no wonder people here are already making jokes about Serry’s name, which rhymes with that of Kerry, the US secretary of state whose years-long shuttle diplomacy has yielded a big zero.

The failures to address the Gazan crisis extend even deeper. What about the $600 million needed to solve the power problem? Following the war, Israel once again declined to increase power supplies to Gaza. Having eight hours of electricity a day is the best a Gazan can hope for.

And what about the vanishing water supply? In many areas, water is available only once a week, and in some of those, the salinity approaches that of sea water. And sanitation? The overwhelmed sewage treatment facilities and the outdated pipelines pose a constant public health risk.

Those are all real issues that are not going to vanish on their own. In 2012, UNRWA announced that the Gaza Strip would be uninhabitable as of 2020; the war only brought that date closer, making an already vulnerable community even more vulnerable. Also missing are any guarantees or mechanisms to prevent Israel from launching further aggression on the besieged and impoverished enclave. Talks to solidify the ceasefire were supposed to be held in Cairo a month ago, but they haven’t materialised; every time there seems to be a new excuse to postpone.

The conditions in Gaza are worse than ever. Many assume that the eruption of another bout of violence is just a matter of time.

And finally, the most crucial condition, and the one always overlooked: justice. There are absolutely no talks on any effort to hold accountable the criminals responsible for the murder of 2,205 Palestinians. Until justice is served and Palestinian rights are restored, the coal still smoulders under the ashes.

Date of publication 23 November, 2014 Here

The ban on Gilbert is an insult to humanity

Mads Gilbert at Shifa hospital (AFP)
By banning Mads Gilbert, a Norwegian doctor, from Gaza, Israel is ridiculing itself.

I first met Dr Mads Gilbert in November 2011, almost exactly three years ago. I was a medical student in my 4th year at the time, and I had just begun clinical training. Dr. Mads was on a visit to the Gaza Strip, one of many to Gaza and the West Bank he undertakes regularly to tutor medical students and doctors on how to deal with trauma and cope with the stress of war. I remember his lectern was on the left side of the hall. My seat was on the far right. At the time, I had not heard of the man, and while he was preparing his slideshow, a friend and I tried to guess his age. We were shocked that he was in his seventh decade; whatever toll the years had exacted on his body, he compensated for in enthusiasm and spirit.

He came back to help during the second Israeli assault on Gaza in 2010 and stayed for the duration of the last assault this summer. I met him then in June, two weeks that assault started. It took me a few seconds to recall his face and name, enough for him to preempt me. “I recognize you. You are the guy in the photo,” he told me, referring to a selfie we shared back in 2011, long before selfies became “cool”. I used the opportunity to ask him to tell my friends a story I remembered him telling during that long lecture in Gaza. Mustafa was a Palestinian child who lost his mother and his right arm to an Israeli bomb during the siege of Beirut. Dr. Mads helped the boy for few days, but as soon as he was able to stand, Mustafa started helping his doctor taking care of other victims. A special bond was established. Thirty years later he still remembers the boy, but he has lost touch. He still uses visits to Lebanon to look for Mustafa, he even prints his photo and distributes copies to anyone who might have once known the boy.

When the war on Gaza erupted in July, Dr. Mads was at Shifa hospital; he was a medic, a doctor, an anaesthesiologist, an activist, a promoter of human rights and a human being. When all ventilators were busy, he manually helped a seriously injured child breathe for more than 15 minutes. There was no complaint. When a girl who had just lost several family members collapsed, he stayed by her side until she was back on her feet. And when twin sisters were injured by artillery shrapnel he personally made sure their wounds were neatly stitched and all the metal removed.

He was compassionate and sympathetic. And he hated pain; he always carried syringes filled with Ketamine – a sedative/anaesthetic – for emergencies. During Ramadan he fasted with us. He didn’t have to, but he did so out of respect. When the flow of injuries was light he would use the time to conduct interviews, or tutor medical staff on ways to conserve already short medical supplies. Human rights were his focus. Politics didn’t matter to him; what mattered were people.


The eighth night of the war was busy. We couldn’t take a break until two am. We drank coffee together and shared our views on the situation. In his opinion, Israel was committing three major war crimes in Gaza. The siege, the targeting of civilians, and the disproportionate use of force. These were all war crimes, he said. Israeli impunity had to end and the criminals responsible must be brought to justice.

That was the Mads Gilbert I knew, and that is the Mads Gilbert Israel recently banned for life from entry to Gaza, citing “security concerns”.

By banning this 67-year-old doctor, Israel not only ridicules itself but insults all humanity. Still, it is good to know that all the most sophisticated weaponry in the world is no match for a free spirit.

This article appeared on al-Araby al-Jadeed on the 20th of November 2014 here

In Gaza havens are far, heavens are closer

Palestinian medics carry a casualty as they run past a burning building in Gaza City’s Shijaiyah neighborhood, Sunday, July 20, 2014. (Photo: AP/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Israel bombed the ice vendor. The blazing summer, made worse by the absence of electricity, drove dozens of people to gather around a small store which used to sell ice. According to my friend who lives in Shejaiya, eleven drone missiles targeted the marketplace on July 30, including the ice store. Twenty-four civilians were killed in this particular assault, four of whom died before my eyes at Shifa hospital where I work. Twenty-four hours before this massacre, two artillery shells disabled the sole power plant in Gaza, exacerbating power deficiency from about 50% to more than 90%. This and the unilateral ceasefire Israel announced two hours before the attack gave people a false sense of security, which drove dozens of them to their fate at the ice store.

In Gaza havens are far, heavens are closer. The strike on Shejaiya market came only few hours after 16 people had been killed in an artillery strike on an UNRWA-run school. Those killed were refugees who fled their homes in the northern parts of Gaza in obedience to the threats they received from the “IDF” through phone calls, SMSs, leaflets, and random artillery on their area. The artillery, however, followed them to where they evacuated. The leaflets, it should be noted, specified the areas to which these people were forced to flee as well as the routes they were required to take. This was the sixth attack on an UNRWA school; just a week before, 21 people were killed in a similar strike on a school in Beit Hanoun north of Gaza. Yesterday, UNRWA announced that of 273,000 at the start of the 72-hour ceasefire, 187,000 displaced Palestinian civilians are still taking shelter in 90 UNRWA schools – an average of 2,077 people per school. But that’s just one third of the problem. One week after the Israeli ground invasion, UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos estimated that 44% of the Gaza Strip was a no-go zone. This means that about twice as the number of refugees in UNRWA schools are or were taking refuge elsewhere, in their relatives’ houses, or at their friends’; in my house alone three uncles and their families were taking shelter. On August 6th UNRWA estimated that 30% of Gaza population was displaced. As such, areas already heavily populated have had their population double and were susceptible to daily artillery shelling. On several occasions, for example, shells hit a houses in my street, which is considered to lie in one of the safest areas – if such area existed.

In Gaza there is shortage in almost everything, but death is in abundance. In the past 30 days, I have seen whole families get obliterated, children left with no one to call family when they grow up, and beautiful little girls with scars in their faces, scars that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. I saw, moreover, young men pulled from under the rubble after being trapped there for a week. On my twitter account are uncountable stories, but I shall never forget little boy Kinan who lost all of his family, and who cried himself to sleep in his hospital bed calling for his father to come take him home; or Anas, a 16 year old teenager whose last breath I saw him take, and who, one hour before he was murdered, posted on Facebook demanding that if his house was going to be targeted that it should be done sooner than later, because he was too tired and wanted to sleep.

Palestinian medic tries to comfort a wounded boy at Shifa hospital in Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip,
Palestinian medic tries to comfort a wounded boy at Shifa hospital in Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip, early Friday, July 18, 2014. (Photo: Ezz al-Zanoun)

At Shifa hospital, I have seen all kinds of atrocities, but what pains me more than anything else is that most of the victims have been reduced to mere numbers. A boy whose picture showed him clinging to a paramedic was lucky enough to have a photographer at the scene and at the right time to document this heart-wrenching moment, a moment which went viral. Thousands, however, remain without luck. Even him, the lucky little boy, will soon be forgotten just as how the world has forgotten his ancestors who were expelled from their land more than six decades ago. For nearly seven decades, the Israeli crimes against the Palestinians went unaccounted for, always in the name of peace. Unless justice is sought and realized, peace will be false and wobbly. By “justice”, I mean a comprehensive process which restores the rights of the Palestinians inside and outside historical Palestine. Citizens of the world must be active participants in attaining such justice. This could be achieved, for example, through economic and academic boycott, through supporting arms embargo on Israel, calling for bringing Israel to the ICC, and through exposing and breaking the siege on Gaza. Moreover, the world needs to see what is happening in Gaza as a secondary symptom of the primary disease, that is, settler-colonialism and occupation. Without such conviction, violence will not be abolished and, regardless of what anyone has to say, the Palestinians will continue to resist.

This article appeared on mondoweiss.net on the 21st of August 2014 here

The boy who clung to the paramedic: the story behind the photo

Palestinian medic tries to comfort a wounded boy at Shifa hospital in Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip,
This photo of a boy injured in an Israeli strike clinging to a medic at al-Shifa hospital went viral on the Internet. (Ezz al-Zanoun / APA images)

Thursday night, 17 July, was the heaviest yet since Israel’s bombardment of Gaza began almost two weeks ago.

Dozens of people arrived to Gaza City’s al-Shifa hospital, where I was on shift that night. Some arrived torn to pieces, some beheaded, some disfigured beyond recognition, although still alive and breathing.

Seemingly indiscriminate artillery fire, a new element in Israel’s assault, had exacted a heavy toll on civilians.

The medical staff were lucky to get a break of less than half an hour. Some spent it watching the flares and bombs Israel was raining on the eastern neighborhoods of Gaza City, while others refueled with coffee or lay down for a few moments.

The relative calm did not last long. At around 3am, about eight or nine casualties arrived at the emergency room all at once. The last to come in were four siblings — two of them little children, both about three years old, with relatively superficial wounds. But it was clear they were pulled from under rubble, their faces and clothes covered in dirt and dust.

Then came the older of the four siblings, a boy in his early teens. His head and face were covered in blood and he was pressing a rag to his head to stanch the flow. But his focus was on something else: “Save my little brother!” he kept screaming.

The last to arrive was his brother, the child in the above photo that circulated around the world.
“I want my father!”

He was carried in by a paramedic and immediately rushed to the intensive care unit, which is right next to the ER. He clung to the paramedic, crying, “I want my father, bring me my father!” until he had to be forced to let go.

As I stood by, alert for orders, a group of four medical personnel immediately started to treat the boy. But he kept kicking and screaming and calling for his father.

His injuries were serious: a wound to the left side of his head which could indicate a skull fracture and a large piece of shrapnel in his neck. Another piece of shrapnel had penetrated his chest and a third had entered his abdomen. There were many smaller wounds all over his body.

Immediate measures had to be taken to save his life; he was sedated so the medics could get to work.

Upon carefully examining the wounds, it appeared that the explosion from the artillery round sent flying small pieces of stone from the walls of his house, and that some of his wounds were caused by these high-velocity projectiles.

Photo by: Belal

He was extremely lucky: his neck injury was just an inch away from a major artery, his chest injury penetrated all the way through but failed to puncture his lung, and his abdomen was struck by shrapnel that just missed his bowel.

He had a stroke of luck denied to many that night.

The medics performed heroic measures in a remarkably short time, and the little boy’s life was saved.

Meanwhile in the emergency room, the elder brother was stitched up and the younger two siblings were washed and thoroughly examined for possible hidden injuries.

Somehow, despite the horror and the pain, they were sleeping. I don’t know how they did it, but I felt envious and grateful for the divine mercy that found its way to them.

Their brother with the most serious wounds will almost certainly survive, but with many scars and a difficult recovery period, both physical and psychological.

Too many casualties came in that night, too many for me to get this boy’s name, to know whether he was reunited with his father, or even what became of the rest of his family.

But there’s one thing that I know for sure, which is that hundreds of children just like him suffered similar or worse injuries, and up to the moment of this writing, nearly eighty children just like him have been killed as Israel’s merciless attack goes on.


This blog was originally posted on Electronic Intifada on 20 July 2014, you can find it here


نحو عقد اجتماعي فلسطيني جديد

العقد الاجتماعي

السلطة والشعب والعلاقة بينهما مسرح نقاش لا ينتهي, وكلما ابتدع الجنس البشري قواعد جديدة لتنظيم هذه العلاقة ظهرت لدينا أشكال جديدة من النظم السياسية وأنماط الحكم. هذه العلاقة يطلق عليها مصطلح “العقد الاجتماعي”, وبما أن وجود السلطة قديم قدم المجتمع الإنساني ذاته فيترتب عليه أن مصطلح العقد الاجتماعي أيضاً ليس مصطلحاً حديثاً, لكن عصر الحداثة وتعقيداته التي أتاحت للسلطة أن تتغول على حياة الناس الخاصة استدعى إحياء هذا المصطلح وأعاده بقوة إلى واجهة علم الاجتماع.

عاد النقاش حول العقد الاجتماعي للظهور بقوة في كتابات جون لوك وجان جاك روسو وذلك في حقبة زمنية كان فيها التطور العلمي يتسارع بشكل مذهل وكذلك تطور المجتمعات الإنسانية والحياة المدنية, مما استدعى وجود شكل من أشكال التعاقد بين طرفي العلاقة الحاكم والمحكوم يقدم كل منهما شيئاً ليحصل على آخر بالمقابل. على سبيل المثال, قدمت المجتمعات الشيوعية الطاعة ومعها شيئاً من حريتها لتحصل على المساواة, وفي المقابل تقدم المجتمعات الغربية الضرائب مقابل حريتها شبه المطلقة والاستقرار. وإسلامياً – حتى وقت قريب- قدم المسلمون البيعة والطاعة والولاء للحاكم الذي يقيم الصلاة ويدافع عن بيضة الإسلام ويطبق الشريعة. الملاحَظ إذن أن لكل مجتمع خصوصيته التي يختلف بناءً عليها نظام حكمه – أو عقده الاجتماعي-, لكن الثابت في جميع الحالات أن معيار تقييم السلطة هو مدى التزامها بهذا العقد, بل إن كتابات جان جاك روسو -ومنها كتاب العقد الاجتماعي- وازدياد وعي المجتمع بحقوقه كانت بحد ذاتها أحد أسباب الثورة الفرنسية التي مهدت الطريق لظهور الدولة الحديثة.


عربياً قامت شرعية أنظمة ما بعد الاستقلال بشكل كبير على أحلام تحرير فلسطين وتحقيق الوحدة العربية, ومقابل ذلك أخذت من أموال الشعوب ومن دمائها ما أرادت. ومع تغيرات العقد الأخير من القرن الماضي أصبحت أحلام التنمية واللحاق بركب العولمة هي المبرر الرئيس لبقاء هذه الأنظمة, وكان الفشل الذريع في هذه المهمة أحد أسباب ثورات الشباب. والآن استقر التعاقد بين هذه الأنظمة والقسم الذي يواليها من المجتمع على بقاء هذه الأنظمة مقابل إبعاد شبح الحرب الأهلية والموت والخراب. أما نحن الفلسطينيين فلسنا كغيرنا في تحديد شكل عقدنا الاجتماعي, وأي خصوصية أكبر من حالة شعبنا الفلسطيني الواقع تحت احتلال استيطاني لا يرحم؟ بناء على هذه الحالة والخصوصية سلّم شعبنا أمره لمن رفع راية التحرير, فكانت منظمة التحرير ممثله الشرعي والوحيد وفق قرارات الشرعية العربية ثم الدولية.

المشكلة أن خطاب هذه المنظمة وأولوياتها تغيرت مع الزمن, وبشكل يبدو للناظر إلى التاريخ بأثر رجعي أنه كان مخططاً بذكاء ووقعنا فيه بسذاجة – أو قل غباء. وها نحنُ الآن – وبشكل يعاكس حركة التاريخ وحركة الشعوب الثائرة والمتحررة- وصلنا إلى مرحلة صارت فيها الأولوية لبناء دولة – أي دولة وعلى أي خريطة – بعد أن كان التحرير هو الأولوية. إشكالية هذا الترتيب أنك عندما تبني تحت سيطرة الاحتلال فأنت فقط تعطيه المزيد مما يمكن أن يساومك عليه, أي أنك يصبح لديك المزيد مما تخسره فقط! السلطة الفلسطينية ظهرت كنتاج لهذه الحالة من التحول في الأولويات, وبعد 20 سنة على إنشائها وجدنا أنفسنا في نقطة من التاريخ لم نكن نتوقع يوماً أن نصل إليها, من ضياع شبه كامل للقدس والأقصى, ومن حصار كامل لكل من يرفع شعار المقاومة, ومن قيادة فلسطينية عارية من أوراق القوة, واستيطان لم يترك من أرض الضفة شيئاً نخشى فقدانه, وفوق ذلك كله انقسام سياسي وحكومتين لا تكاد إحداهما تملك من أمرها شيئاً.

واليوم مع ذهاب الحكومتين وتشكيل حكومة الوفاق ينشغل المثقفون وعموم الناس على السواء بتقييم المرحلة السابقة ونقدها, وهم في ذلك مشارب تختلف مع اختلاف الانتماء السياسي والثقافة ومع اختلاف الأولويات الوطنية, أو قل مع اختلاف العقد الاجتماعي الذي يعتقد كل منهم أنه أبرمه مع الحكومة التي ينتقدها. ومع هذا الاختلاف في الأولويات تختلف بشكل جذري نتيجة التقييم.

على سبيل المثال, أزمات من قبيل أزمة الرواتب, أزمة الكهرباء, الحصار الخانق… وغيرها, يمكن أن تُعد فشلاً ذريعاً وفق أحد المنطقين, ونتاج الصمود على المطالب الوطنية وفق المنطق الآخر. وبنفس المنطق الأول أيضاً يمكن تبرير مطلب إلغاء وزارة الأسرى بدعوى تأمين رواتب الموظفين وعدم إزعاج ضمير الرباعية الدولية, ويمكن أن تصبح المفاوضات السبيل الوحيد لتحقيق المطالب الوطنية – لا أدري أي مطالب على وجه التحديد هل هي مطالبنا عام 1965 أم مطالب اليوم -, ويمكن أن تمتد هذه المفاوضات إلى ما لا نهاية.

إن تأمين العيش الكريم لشعبنا لا يمكن أن يكون في يوم من الأيام شيئاً غير ذي أولوية, فالعيش الكريم أحد مقومات صموده في هذه الأرض وعدم هجرته منها, لكن هذا يجب أن يكون نتيجة لا هدفاً قائماً بذاته.. نتيجة لصمود المقاوم في خندقه والسياسي في موقعه واللاجئ في مخيمه, ويجب أن تكون هذه قناعة راسخة عند الجميع بما فيهم “الموظف” و”الشعب الغلبان” و”المستقلون”, بدون ذلك ستستمر دوامة التدني في الأماني والتنازل في السياسة إلى أن تجد أنفسنا يوماً في مكان لا نجد فيه ما نقدمه للآخر الجشع مقابل هذا الراتب وذلك التصريح.. نحنُ باختصار بحاجة إلى عقد اجتماعي فلسطيني جديد.. أو قل نحن بحاجة إلى عقدنا الأصلي والتشبث به من جديد.

الأقصى في خطر – ما الجديد؟

ملاحظات هامة قبل قراءة هذه السّطور:

1-  عندما نقول المسجد الأقصى فإننا نعني كل ما هو المساحة المحاطة بالسور الممثل بالخط الأسود, وهي مساحة تبلغ 144 دونماً (الدونم= 1000 متر مربع), وتشمل بداخلها المسجد القبلي ومسجد قبة الصخرة الذهبية الشهيرة بالإضافة إلى عشرات المعالم المقدسة الأخرى.

Image2- كاتب هذه السطور يحاول أن يشرح مسألة كبيرة: ما الجديد في القول القديم المتجدد: “الأقصى في خطر”, وهو موضوع لا تكفي له تدوينة أو اثنتان, ويجدر بالقارئ المهتم التوسع في المسألة ما استطاع إلى ذلك سبيلاً مستعيناً بالروابط المرفقة.


الأقصى في خطر – حقائق هامة:

أولاً: استهداف الصهاينة اليهود للأقصى أمر يجري منذ ما يزيد عن قرن, وعلى مدى هذه المدة حمل المسلمون الفلسطينيون وسكان القدس منهم بالذات هم الدفاع عن المسجد المقدّس لوحدهم معظم الأوقات, ودفعوا ويدفعون فاتورة باهظة نتيجة هذا الدور البالغ الأهمية.

ثانياً: الاهتمام والمتابعة المتقطعة للناس ووسائل الإعلام بالمعركة الصامتة التي تجري على المسجد الأقصى لا ينفيان حقيقة استمرار هذه المعركة دون انقطاع.

ثالثاً: أهم مميزات هذا الاستهداف هو الإصرار والمضي في خطوات مستمرة وثابتة, تسفر عن وجهها بلا خجل وتتسارع كلما ازداد ضعف المسلمين وقلّ انتباههم لما يجري, وتتخفى عندما يحس الصهاينة بأن قلوب المسلمين وعيونهم باتت تلتفت إلى ما يقومون به.

الأقصى في خطر – ماذا استجد؟


1- الأقصى الآن يُقتحم يومياً بعشرات وأحياناً مئات المستوطنين والمتطرفين اليهود, ناهيك عن عشرات الجنود المسلحين الذين يقومون بحمايتهم. أعداد المقتحمين تزداد بشكل تدريجي لكن متسارع, وهو ما يلاحظه المتابع بسهولة.


2- كما أن المسجد الأقصى أصبح الآن مزاراً للسياح الأجانب من دول أقصى الشرق إلى أقصى الغرب, ويمكن لأي كان أن يقوم بجولة سياحية داخل الأقصى تكفله حماية الجنود الصهاينة في كل الأوقات.. تخيل الكعبة المشرفة تصبح معلماً سياحياً وستفهم ما أعني.

Image3- ولكي تسير عمليات الاقتحام بهدوء يعمل الجنود على إفراغ ساحات المسجد من المسلمين, وبما أن معظم هذه الاقتحامات وعمليات أداء الصلوات تجري في الفترة الصباحية فإن واقعاً جديداً يُفرض الآن أصبح فيه المسجد الأقصى لليهود صباحاً وللمسلمين بعد ذلك.


4- تطورت القيود على صلاة الجمعة في الأقصى: الآن يُمنع من هم تحت سن الخمسين من الرجال من صلاة الجمعة في الأقصى حتى وإن كانوا من فلسطينيين أراضي 48. (هذه القيود فرضت عام 2000 على من هم تحت سن 40 من غير سكان أراضي 48, وفي عام 2008 وتزامناً مع الحرب على غزة اتسعت لتشمل عرب 48, والآن أصبحت لمن هم تحت سن 50.)

(الصورة من يوم الجمعة 27/9/2013 – قبل شهر من الآن!!!)Imageإذن: الأقصى الآن مقسم عملياً – في الزمان والمكان- بين المسلمين واليهود, هذا بخصوص ما يجري ميدانياً في الحرم المقدس, أما حوله فتستمر عمليات هدم بيوت المقدسيين وبناء بيوت للمستوطنين, بل وتتسارع في استغلال واضح للصمت الإسلامي تجاه ما يجري.


يجري الآن استثمار المكاسب على الأرض لترسيخها قانونياً, حيث يسعى النواب الصهاينة لاستصدار قانون يجعل الأقصى ملكية يهودية, وقد كُشفت تفاصيل هذا القانون قبل أيام:

– قام بإعداده نشطاء من حزب الليكود يتزعمهم نائب رئيس الكنيست “موشيه فيجلين”، و يطلقون على انفسهم اسم “منهيجوت يهوديت” أي (قيادة يهودية)

– هذا المقترح جاهز الآن على طاولة وزير الأديان تحت اسم ” مشروع قانون ونُظم للمحافظة على جبل الهيكل- كمكان مقدس”

– سيعرض القانون على لجنة الداخلية التابعة للكنيست في اجتماع خاص يعقد في مبنى الكنيست خلال أيام من تاريخ كتابة هذه السطور.

ماذا يفرض هذا القانون؟

* القانون ينزع السيادة الاسلامية عن المسجد الاقصى حيث ينزع كامل صلاحيات دائرة الأوقاف الاسلامية في كامل مساحة المسجد الاقصى، ويمنحها لمفوض خاص من قبل الاحتلال الاسرائيلي.

* هذا المفوض سيحدد النظم والقوانين واللوائح التي يراها مناسبة بحسب الشريعة والمواسم اليهودية، فيصبح المسجد الاقصى بموجبها تابعا لوزارة الأديان الاسرائيلية ضمن المواقع المقدسة اليهودية وتحت صلاحيات هذه الوزارة وضمن حدود قوانين الأماكن المقدسة اليهودية.

* تعمل السلطة الجديدة على تقاسم المسجد الاقصى بين المسلمين واليهود, بحيث تحدد مساحات لكل منهما.

* القانون الجديد يعتبر كامل مساحة المسجد الاقصى مقدساً يهودياً ومعبدا ويسميه “جبل الهيكل” أو “جبل المعبد”, لكنه يقول أنه وبسبب “الظرف الحالي” يقبل بأن يتقاسم المسجد الاقصى مع المسلمين, مع التزامه بأن يعمل في النهاية على جعل المسجد الاقصى هيكلا ومعبداً ثالثا خالصا لليهود .


تفاصيل التقسيم:

مكانياً- (المرحلة الحالية – قبل السيطرة الكاملة كما هو مخطط)

– يعتبر الجامع القبلي المسقوف هو فقط المسجد الاقصى (وفيه فقط تؤدى الصلوات الاسلامية) ، مع اقتطاع الجزء الموجود في أقصى الجهة الجنوبية – خلف المحراب منه.

– يعتبر أن كامل مساحة صحن قبة الصخرة والجهة الشرقية منه هو مقدس يهودي خالص (المساحة باللون الأصفر في الخارطة).

– ويجعل أيضا من مساحة تشكل نحو خمس مساحة المسجد الأقصى ( المساحة المحددة بالخط الأخضر في الخارطة) هي مساحة للصلوات اليهودية التي تتم بالأدوات المقدسة, ويحدد أوقات للصلوات اليهودية فيها.

–  ويعتبر كل مساحة المسجد الاقصى مساحة مشروعة لليهود لأداء الصلوات الصامتة إن تمت دون رفع الصوت وحمل الكتاب او الأدوات المقدسة.



– كما ذكرنا فالمسجد الأقصى الآن مستباح في كل وقت ولكن بالأخص كل صباح وبشكل مستمر. القانون المقترح يشير الى إمكانية زيادة الأوقات والمساحات التي يمكن بها تأدية الصلوات اليهودية:

 خاصة في ايام الجمعة والسبت,

والأعياد والمواسم اليهودية,

 مع إمكانية اقتحام ودخول الاقصى لليهود من جميع الأبواب وجميع الاوقات، بل يجعل من صلاحية المفوض أن يحدد أوقات ومساحات في المسجد الاقصى لدخول اليهود فقط ,

ويمنع بشكل نهائي إعتكاف المسلمين بعد صلاة العشاء في المسجد الأقصى، حيث اعتمدت كلمة منع ” المبيت” بدلا من منع الاعتكاف!!

الأقصى في خطر – ما واجبنا؟

 إزاء هذه الهجمة اليهودية الشرسة على مقدسات المسلمين يتساءل الكثير من الغيورين على دينهم وعقيدتهم من المسلمين عن واجبهم تجاه ما يجري في القدس؟

1- علماء الأمة الإسلامية: وعليهم مسؤولية إحياء قضية القدس والأقصى في نفوس المسلمين بعد أن خفت بعض وهجها وتفاعل المسلمين معها بعد الأحداث الدامية في الذي يشهده العالم العربي.

2- الشعوب العربية والإسلامية: وعليها مسؤولية استحضار النية الدائمة لنصرة القدس والأقصى , ومساعدة أهل القدس على الثبات والصبر في مواجهة محاولات الاحتلال الدائمة لترحيلهم من القدس , من خلال الاغراءات المادية لشراء بيوتهم تارة – ولم ينجح بذلك إلا بشكل شاذ ومحدود جدا – أو باستخدام القوة والمضايقة والتنكيل. ويستطيع المسلم دعم هؤلاء بالمال وما يعينهم على الثبات والصمود في وجه الاحتلال. وأيضاً دعم التعليم العربي الإسلامي في القدس والأقصى, حيث لا يتلقى الدعم من أي جهة عربية أو إسلامية , مما اضطر أكثر من 30 مؤسسة تعليمية أن ترتبط ببلدية القدس العبرية لتقوم بتمويلها , مما يعتبر خطرا حقيقيا على هوية الطالب ومناهج التعليم الإسلامية .

3- الحكام: وعليهم يجعلوا من قضية القدس والأقصى فوق كل الخلافات والتجاذبات والمصالح المادية والسياسية, وأن يعيدوا لهذه القضية زخمها العقائدي الإسلامي.


الأقصى في خطر – 10 مراحل مفصلية: (لاحظ تصعيد الهجمات وازدياد المطامع بالتدريج مع الوقت)

9 فبراير 1924: احتل البريطانيون القدس و وقع المسجد الأقصى المبارك تحت السيطرة البريطانية, وشكل هذا الاحتلال دفعة كبيرة لجهود الحركة الصهيونية الرامية للسيطرة على الحرم المقدس, حيث أصبح لها الآن درع قوي يحمي مخططاتها.

16 أغسطس 1929: انتفاضة البراق.

كان المسلمون في عهد العثمانيين سمحوا لليهود بالصلاة قبالة حائط البراق, وفي هذه السنة حاول اليهود -متسلحين بازدياد أعدادهم والدعم البريطاني لهم – أن يسيطروا على حائط البراق وينتزعوه من السلطة الإسلامية (المستندة إلى حقوق تاريخية ودينية وقانونية أقرتها حتى سلطات الاحتلال البريطاني),  فإذا بفلسطين تشتعل, ودافع الفلسطينيون عن حائط البراق وتصدوا لليهود الذين حاولوا السيطرة عليه في انتفاضة سقط فيها مئات الشهداء والجرحى.

16 يوليو 1948: الطائرات الصهيونية تقصف المسجد الأقصى بـ 55 قنبلة, إلا أن اليهود فشلوا في احتلال الأقصى وبقي تحت السيطرة الفلسطينية.

7 يونيو 1967: احتلت القوات الصهيونية مدينة القدس, ووقع مبنى المسجد الأقصى و مسجد قبة الصخرة في أيديهم, ورفعوا العلم الصهيوني على قبة الصخرة المشرفة.

في هذا العام أيضاً بدأ الصهاينة حفرياتهم تحت المسجد الأقصى سعياً منهم لإيجاد أي أثر للهيكل الذي يزعمون أنه كان مبنياً في هذا الموقع قبل المسجد الأقصى, وهو ما فشلوا فيه حتى الآن.

21 أغسطس 1969: متطرف صهيوني يشعل حريقاً ضخما في المسجد الأقصى أتى على قسم كبير منه.

30 يوليو( تموز) 1980: قانون القدس – الاحتلال يعلن أن القدس الشرقية والغربية مدينة موحدة تحت سيطرته, وأن هذه المدينة هي (العاصمة الموحدة لاسرائيل)!

1996: انتفاضة النفق.

الحفريات الصهيونية المستمرة, اكتشاف دس بعض المتفجرات في أنفاق تحت المسجد الأقصى, البناء المحموم للمستوطنات الصهيونية حول القدس وعلى مقربة من المسجد الأقصى, بعض من عوامل أدت إلى انتفاضة فلسطينية عارمة سقط فيها حوالي 90 شهيداً. لم يكن هناك أي مساندة عربية أو إسلامية تذكر للمنتفضين, وبقي الأقصى والمرابطون فيه يواجهون المخططات لوحدهم.

2000م : شارون يقتحم المسجد الأقصى تحت حماية مئات الجنود الصهاينة, مما أدى إلى اندلاع انتفاضة الأقصى التي استمرت لسنوات قدم فيها الفلسطينيون آلاف الشهداء وعشرات آلاف المصابين والأسرى.

2008م- إلى الآن: شهدت السنوات الأخيرة تكثيفاً محموماً  في عمليات اقتحام الحرم المقدس من المستوطنين والجنود الصهاينة على حد سواء. مشهد الصهاينة يتجولون داخل الأقصى والذي أشعل انتفاضة كبرى قبل سنوات قليلة أضحى مشهداً معتاداً, يساعد على ذلك حالة الوهن العربية والإسلامية وانشغال المسلمين بقضايا عديدة, بالإضافة إلى التضييق المسعور على الفلسطينيين والمقدسيين الذي يمنع أي محاولات للتحرك والاعتراض.

2013م: توجت جهود قرن من الزمان بالكشف عن قانون مطروح في الكنيست لتقسيم المسجد الأقصى بين المسلمين واليهود, زمانياً ومكانياً, ونقل السلطة على الحرم من الأوقاف الإسلامية إلى مفوضية يهودية.


روابط مفيدة:

تدوينة: اعرف الأقصى وريح حالك

موقع مؤسسة الأقصى للوقف والتراث

تهويد المسجد الأقصى – حقائق تاريخية

أبرز الاعتدائات على المسجد الأقصى – قائمة متجددة

عن الإنسان والنفس والحياة – تدوينة قصيرة

معظم البشر يدخلون هذا العالم, ينخرطون في نمط الحياة الذي تصادف أنهم عاصروه, وقد يموتون في إحدى الحروب وما أكثرها, ثم يغادرون كما دخلوا…. حاصل طرح الحياة قبل دخولهم منها بعدهم = صفر.
وهم في ذلك على أحوال: بعضهم يتوه في الظلمات, والبعض الآخر يسلك طريق الخير, تاركاً ذكرى طيبة لدى محبيه, لكنها ذكرى لا تدوم لأكثر من بضعة عشرات من الأعوام على أكثر تقدير- إلى موعد وفاة أولئك المحبين.
ثم هناك أولئك القلة من الذين يعرفون معنى اللحظة, يدركون سر الخلق, معنى أن يكونوا من جنس البشر, يعيشون وكأنهم شاهدوا بأنفسهم – ولم يخبرهم أحد – عن تلك المحادثة التاريخية بين الخالق جل في علاه وعباده من الملائكة والتي وُضعت فيها واجبات الخلق وتحددت مسؤولياتهم: “إني جاعلٌ في الأرض خليفة”..
هؤلاء منهم ينبع التغيير, ومن أجسادهم تتوقد الثورات, وعلى أكتافهم ترتفع الأمم وتعلو الاكتشافات. وهم قد يخسرون في ذلك أوقاتهم وحريتهم أو حتى حيواتهم, لكن وبلا تردد يقدمونها وأكثر, يقيناً منهم بأن في الجزاء الأخروي ما يعدل ذلك وأكثر. وأولئك القلة هم الذين يصنعون الفرق, وهم الذين يوزنون في المعادلة, وهم الذين يستحقون فعلاً أن يكونوا “ورثة الأنبياء”, وإلا فما العلم الحقيقي إن لم يكن علم الإنسان بما أراد الله له أن يكون؟!

Why won’t Egypt let me go home to Gaza?

“Come again next week,” said the man sitting behind a desk piled with paperwork. This was my fifth time hearing these words, from an official in booth number nine at the Egyptian embassy in Amman.

I asked if there was any hope of an opening for the hundreds of Palestinians from Gaza stranded in Jordan, but he said he could not promise anything. On an earlier visit, the day after the Egyptian army’s 3 July ouster of President Muhammad Morsi, the same employee told me that the delay in issuing visas was due to the “civil disobedience” that accompanied the 30 June mass protests in Egypt. He said that processing would speed up in coming days, but it never did.

For more than a week since the military takeover, the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza has been closed, except for brief periods. Palestinians, even with valid visas for Egypt, have been deported from Cairo airport.

Egypt has also instructed airlines to refuse to allow such Palestinians to board Cairo-bound flights. The instructions were confirmed to me twice from both Egyptian and Palestinian airline offices.

A relative of mine from Turkey was told that Egypt would fine Turkish Airlines €5,000 ($6,500) for every Palestinian brought to Cairo in defiance of the ban. And a friend of his, he told me, arrived in Cairo and was deported back to Cyprus, but was lucky enough to be given a courtesy ticket.


The result of all this is that thousands of Palestinians are stranded abroad, unable to return to Gaza, and many are running out of money. Almost a thousand pilgrims from Gaza are stuck in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Dozens more were stuck in Cairo airport’s deportation room — they were unlucky enough to have arrived before the ban on Palestinian passengers boarding flights for Cairo, but after the Rafah crossing was closed, and so they were locked up. Other Palestinians have been tweeting about their ordeal being held in the deportation room at Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

Security concerns are the stated reason reported by the Egyptian media for these restrictions, but the Palestinians held up all over the world know a different story.

They are students, patients, intellectuals and workers who have no interest in residing in Egypt, and whose only wish is to return home, or visit their loved ones back in Gaza, and to spend Ramadan with them.

My own story illustrates some of the obstacles facing Palestinians trying to get home. As a medical student, I traveled to Amman, Jordan for a one-month long clinical course. I missed my homeward flight to Cairo, which was booked for 7 July, and I have also exceeded my planned expenses.

But the bigger problem remains the absence of a clear vision or even hope in the near future of when or how to get back to Gaza.


Figuring out how to get home is not easy and is influenced by many factors: the Jordanian permit to stay which is about to end; the state of Rafah crossing, which is managed on a daily basis with an unclear policy; the ban on Palestinians in the Egyptian airports; and the stalling and delays that hinder Palestinians from obtaining visas at Egyptian embassies.

After a few days of complete closure, Rafah crossing was opened for limited hours, but with the ban in airports still active, it is mainly those stuck in Egypt who benefit, in addition to a few hundred medical patients and foreign passport holders.

The combination of airport bans and visa delays makes for another problem: visas are valid for only two weeks. Those with valid visas will soon have to apply for new ones. Even if embassies start issuing them again, the paperwork takes two weeks on average to complete, which could lead to a whole new episode of waiting.

As thousands of others face similar dilemmas, thousands of days and dollars are lost while officials take their time trying to solve the problem.

Or maybe they are not trying to solve it. Who knows! After all, the media are too busy with what’s going on in Cairo and other capitals to shed light on this unnecessary suffering.


This article was published in Electronic Intifada on the 15th of July 2013