Daughter of the Land

Daughter of the Land

“The sight of it, from afar or inside the labyrinth of its walls, softens me. Every inch of it holds the confidence of ancient civilizations, their deaths and their birthmarks pressed deep into the city’s viscera and onto the rubble of its edges. The deified and the condemned have set their footprints in its sand. It has been conquered, razed, and rebuilt so many times that its stones seem to possess life, bestowed by the audit trail of prayer and blood. Yet somehow, it exhales humility. It sparks an inherent sense of familiarity in me– that doubtless, irrefutable Palestinian certainty that I belong to this land. It possesses me, no matter who conquers it, because its soil is the keeper of my roots, of the bones of my ancestors. […] I am a daughter of the land, and Jerusalem reassures me of this inalienable title, far more than the yellowed property deeds, the Ottoman land registries, the iron keys to our stolen homes, or UN resolutions and decrees of superpowers could ever do.”
-Mornings in Jenin, p.140

Our Sweet Responsiblity


If you find yourself constantly running on adrenaline, these are the typical thoughts that go on through your mind:

 running on time

Monday. The dreaded day.

Tuesday. The never-ending day.

Wednesday. This week will never end.

Thursday. Are we there yet?

Friday. Can’t wait to sleep in tomorrow!

Saturday. Darn, I overslept. Now I’m too sluggish to do anything worthy.

Sunday. So stressed, so much stuff to get done for the week!


Such is a teacher’s life: a ceaseless chorus of waiting for Fridays, so we can be productive in a relaxed manner on weekends, yet somehow still finding ourselves wiped out on Monday mornings and not refreshed at all. We dream of the day that we can spend in luxury, doing what we want without the hanging weight of responsibility on our shoulders.

And then it dawned on me.

Teacher or not, every moment of our waking lives should be submerged in responsibility… if we have the right mindset, submerged in sweet blissful unburdensome burdens.


Well: here’s my motto:

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)


Rather than dread Mondays, we are responsible for turning them into exciting promising moments of new potential.

Rather than sigh through Tuesdays, we are responsible for holding on tight and testing Monday’s broken roller coasters to see if they have been fixed.

Rather than moaning and groaning on Wednesdays, we are responsible to be determined to turn the middle of our week into the climax of achievement.

Rather than rushing through Thursdays such as to be unable to remember what happened, we are responsible to savour its every flavour and reflect on what worked and didn’t work… and be optimistic about it.

Rather than spend Friday daydreaming and anticipating the weekend that we may not even live to live through, we are responsible to start rewarding ourselves for the hard work we’ve been doing and intend to keep up.

Rather than waste half of it in sleep, we are responsible to use Saturdays to revive our inner creativity and pause the button of life’s rushing-ness… and just breathe, and wonder, and surrender.

Rather than panic and stress this Sunday, we are responsible to take self-care in order that we may fully care about our surroundings enough to make a positive difference.


Be responsible to be grateful.

And God knows Best.



(Mar.31, 2014; written 9:20-9:50 PM on the metro)