Ghada Karmi on 60 years of dispossession
Amy Goodman discusses the 60 years of Israeli occupation and Palestinian dispossession with Palestinian writer Ghada Karmi. The Dispossession,, Nakba displaced 750,000 Palestinians including Ghada Karmi. Her childhood memories of Palestine and her life as a refugee are chronicled in her book “In Search of Fatima” reviewed here and here.
I was in a house in West Jerusalem. I had been born in that part of Jerusalem. And I was a child. I was eight, and I didn’t understand actually what was happening. Nobody talked to us really or told us what was really happening. But what I do remember is that everybody was very scared.
It was in April 1948. And I knew that we had to leave the dog behind. And for me, that was the most painful thing I could imagine. I knew I couldn’t talk to him. I couldn’t make him understand that we wouldn’t be away for long, because my mother said, “We’re not going to be away for long. Don’t worry. It’s only because it’s very, very bad now, and we’re going to be back, not to worry.” And they believed that, of course.
Many years later, in the 1970s, just for the heck of it, I wrote a letter to the Israeli embassy in London, where of course we were living. I said I lived in Jerusalem, my house was there, I would like to go back to live there. And he wrote back–they wrote back, and they said, “No, that is not possible for you. You can come in as a–on a tourist visa as a visitor.” And that was it….Continued