Diaspora, Adrift

Kholood Eid

$100 (70 JOD)


Ghada and Tasneem, originally from Gaza, here on a Florida beach in 2014. Ghada left 22 years earlier.

Being part of the Palestinian diaspora has felt as if part of myself is always adrift.

It was 2014 in Florida. I wandered the shore alone and came across two figures, gazing out to the same sea that held my attention for so long. I approached them and asked if they spoke Arabic. They did. We got to talking and I asked where they were from. “Falasteen,” Ghada, the older woman, responded.

I remember feeling that same excitement that always hits me when I meet fellow Palestinians scattered along the road of life. Maybe it’s a common feeling Palestinians share because when I replied that I too was Palestinian, Ghada [left] and Tasneem’s faces lit up. I asked where in Palestine they’re from. “Gaza,” Ghada answered.

I didn’t know what to say then. I wondered, should I tell her how the rest of us mourned? How so many outside of Gaza felt heartbreak and horror at the summer’s atrocities? I settled on “Allahy e’einhoom [God help them].”

“Allahy e’ein al jamea’a [God help us all.],” she replied.

Ghada had left 22 years prior.

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