A Home to Return To

I’ve not blogged for a while – partly because I was busy and partly because I just simply didn’t have anything to write about! Truth be told, I’m growing tired of the ongoing squabbles in South African politics. It’s annoying. Even from Dubai – reading South African news each day either makes me rant and rave or cringe with embarrassment!

Then, last Thursday, something made me put it all into perspective.

I have a good friend at work – let’s call her Miriam. Miriam is Palestinian but although she holds the passport, has never been to her country. She was born and brought up in Abu Dhabi. Her family moved to the UAE in the 50’s so for all intents and purposes, one might assume Miriam is Emirati.

We were chatting about nothing in particular on Thursday afternoon. Miriam asked me about the World Cup and about South Africa. The conversation then moved to her “home country.” “I would like to visit one day,” she said. “I’ve heard that Easter is wonderful in Jerusalem. Many Palestinian Christians have told me how they used to celebrate Easter.” Trying not to cause offense, I asked her if anyone in her family had been back “over there.”

“My dad went once in 1962. That’s it. Khallas,” she said, very matter-of-factly. “My aunt went to visit our farm in 1980.” Her eyes lit up. She proceeded to tell me all about her family’s orange farm they owned in the village of Yazour about 4 miles outside Tel Aviv. “My aunty tells me that our farm still exists. A Jewish family runs it.”

Miriam is very proud of her history. From what she tells me, the village of Yazour was established in the Stone Age! “Khallas, Prisha, we cannot go back. But we cannot forget either.”

That’s when I had my light bulb moment. Despite all the shenanigans from our politicians, we still have a country and a home to return to.


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