My Birthday Wish and Drawing: Next Year in A Free Palestine
(@ShahdAbusalama) August 23, 2012
This is my favorite birthday wish. My friend Maath from Jerusalem started it and then all my tweeps started quoting it. Words can’t describe how pleasant this thought is and how much I enjoy daydreaming about it. But as much as I like daydreaming about it, as much as it hurts me when I get struck when I wake up and I have to face the reality, the fact that it can’t happen in matter of a year, or another 21 years, or even a century! It made my eyes, that are always longing to see Jerusalem and feel Jaffa beach’s refreshing breeze again, cry, because I never know how far this dream is from coming true.
But as I was trying to wipe my tears away, I decided to keep thinking positively of the blessings I have. I didn’t stop crying, but the tears I had were happier and filled with hope. While sitting alone, with one eye on my incomplete drawing and another on my blog, I could manage to preserve my positivity. I realized that even the horrible situation we endure in Palestine, under the apartheid regime of Israel, deprived of freedom, security and dignity, is somehow a blessing. It’s true. Palestine has always been my inspiration and my motive in my path toward striving for justice. Palestine, my people’s daily life, and my unique life under constant terror and insecurity have contributed a lot to making me the person I am now. My Palestinian identity and the Palestinian cause have been the main theme of my drawings and writing. I’m very blessed that I was born on this holy lands, even though I have hardly lived even a single day in peace. I’m thankful I was born on this land, which has been always the home carried in my heart wherever I went. I’m thankful and proud because I was born with a Palestinian spirit, unbreakable, dignified, and challenging.
I will not stop dreaming. I will not lose faith that freedom and justice are near. And if I don’t live long enough to witness the freedom of Palestine, my children will. My passion for a just peace will keep pushing me forward, if not for me, for the generations after me. Hopefully, a day will come when we look back at this painful present as an ugly past. There must be a light at the end of the tunnel. No one knows how long it will take to reach the very end of Palestine’s tunnel, but we will stay steadfast until we reach the light, the bright future of justice, freedom, and equality.
My drawing of my birthday is complete now… I’m going to give it a title of “Next Time in A Free Palestine”.
Good news I receive as I’m turning 21:
(@muiz) August 23, 2012
A special Happy Birthday to a wonderful and talented young Palestinian; our latest (and possibly youngest) author @ShahdAbusalama !—
Jareer Kassis (@JareerKassis) August 24, 2012
I’ll take this opportunity to first thank Twitter for introducing many amazing and encouraging people to me, including Jareer and Muiz. These two tweets above are my other my favorite birthday greetings. I wanted share these tweets with you as an introduction to the coming news.
My sis @ShahdAbusalama 's wordpress gonna be translated to Italian in a book called ' Palestine from my eyes'.. PROUD OF YOU!—
ILoveJerusalem القدس (@TamamAbusalama) August 22, 2012
Recently, I got an offer from an Italian writer and published named Luigi Lorusso to translate my blog into Italian and publish it as a book with the name of my blog ,“Palestine from My Eyes.” When I received this news, I left my laptop open and started jumping and screaming with joy. My smile was so big, it left my cheeks hurting for hours! I am mostly happy because the stories I write from a human dimension about Palestinian political prisoners and their families, and my personal writings on what it means to be a Palestinian, will be heard by a wider audience. I’m very grateful for this appreciation of my work. I can’t wait to hold the hard copy of the book! It’s a success that I’ll be always proud of and thankful for.
Something I feel very humble and thankful for is my family and my close friends, who overwhelm me with their love and care. I thank you for being such an inspiration in my life. I hope you always remember that I would have never achieved what I have without your support and love. You were always there to raise my confidence in myself when it was shaking. You were always there when I needed a shoulder to cry on. You were always the first to share my happiness and sadness with me. I’ll be in awe of all of you forever.