My grandmother should have a twitter account. She’ll pray for everyone that follows her and retweets her tweets and curse the ones who don’t. You see. My grandmother has a vision. She thinks that we will go back to Elblad_ 1948 lands, Qatra, her village_ one day. When my sister got engaged to a guy from another village_ of course he’s a refugee and has never been to his village_ she said “rah yakhdik a’hadeek elblad!” _He’ll take you to that village! With a tone implying that his village is halfway across the world. Now my sister is married to that man and has two children and still lives in Gaza.
I miss the days when I was a kid and I used to sleep over at my grandparents house. She always woke up early to start cleaning and finish all the house chores early. She never likes waking up with a dirty kitchen and if she does, she starts cursing. She always analyzed political events while cleaning the floor or the bathroom. “This will happen ya sitti _ my grandchild_ and that will happen ya sitti. They did this because of that, those dogs. Don’t they fear God!” She curses all political parties when israel provokes them.
My grandmother is a proud woman of her village and traditions. Her eyes would glitter while talking about what they used to do in elblad. She’d explain everything in details. How they used to celebrate weddings. “7 nights and days ya sitti, not like nowadays a stupid party and that’s it.” Her talk would go on, and as you listen your admiration for her grows bigger and bigger. “Ow the gold jewels the bride puts on her head were fascinating” She’d go on.
You would mistake my grandmother for an intellectual. She’s was taught how to read by a family member in a late time of her life. My aunt once wanted to take her to lecture some highly educated women. She regretted not doing so. Her knowledge about everything dazzles you. She knows everything from cooking to chemistry and history.
Her hands add a special taste to her food. I can recognize its smell anytime_ not because she adds too much onion, actually the smell of onion vanishes because she likes to boil her food a lot. I have no clue why, when I was a kid, I used to think of elblad when I smell her food.
My grandmother is a sacred figure to me, for she has been through Nakba as a child, 67 war as a mom, Operation Cast Lead as a grandmother. I have never dared to ask her how she felt or how her experience of leaving her heaven-like land was like. I’m afraid she’ll either burst into tears or start yelling at me or at least curse Arabs. My fear of asking might be a result of me fearing to go through what she went through.