…and the depression that ensues.
For the past few weeks I’ve been writing the round ups for Palestinian Blogs on Global Voices. It’s not an easy job so I don’t know how Shaden (before me) managed to do it all this time. When you do these round ups it involves a lot of reading but when it comes to the actual writing itÃ¢??s quite difficult and for one main reason: it’s Palestine.
First there are not too many Palestinian bloggers living in Palestine that will give readers a glimpse in to the everyday lives of Palestinians. This is for obvious reasons.
Secondly whether it’s bloggers in or out of Palestine when it comes to blogging about Palestine my best estimate says that 90% of the news involves tragedy. It comes down to who died that week, who was shot and whose house was demolished for an Israeli settlement to be built on, et cetera.
Third, Palestine is not sovereign in the sense that it doesn’t have the normalcy of other nations. In the same region it is much easier to do round ups of Jordanian, Syrian, Egyptian and Lebanese blogs. They all have that sense of independence and people living there go about their daily lives. So bloggers in these nations (like the rest of the world) just blog about…stuff.
So when I do these round ups I really get depressed. We turn on the news, read the papers, or online sites, and Palestinian news has become passive. We can almost disregard anything happening there because it’s always the same. It always revolves around tragedy. Nothing shocks us anymore. If 10 people were killed it’s no big deal. If 3 of them were children it’s no big deal. We’ve become socially constructed or at least media jaded to the extent that we’re no longer surprised. It’s not that we don’t care; it’s just that if you hit a person everyday for a long enough period of time, they become acquiescent to the pain. Especially if it’s incremental. This means in order to jolt the system you need to introduce a new form of pain, an unfiltered form of pain, or open the flood gates.
Which is why when I do these round ups and spend an hour or two scanning through these blogs itÃ¢??s like a jolt to my system. I’m reminded of everything and anything that has to do with Palestine all at once. It is the opening of the flood gates and the pain flows into my head unfiltered and aggregated. I get to see the context, the main themes that run through all these blogs and all the news.
The point of the round ups is (or should be) to show a side of Palestine that most don’t get to see. In other words I try and get a healthy moderate dose of the “everything” that makes people say “Hey, there just as normal as us. They do the same things that we do.” But that’s just not going to happen. I try to do that every week but I fail. I am defeated by the certain realities every time. What happened this week is just a great example of that. How do you segway from the tragedy that happened at the beach to talking about music and arts?
Which is why what really gets to me is that lack of normalcy; or rather my longing for it. The round ups become a weekly reminder of why I pray to God to see a sovereign nation called Palestine that is disconnected from Israeli occupation. A nation where people don’t have to talk about illegal settlements, demolished houses, checkpoints. A nation where Palestinians can have a normal life, or at least as normal as it can possibly get in this region of ours.
This post is not about whose to blame for the lack of normalcy. There are many players involved and at the end of the day everyone gets their fair share. This me venting my frustrations about the current realities and my yearning for a whole other reality.
Will it ever happen? I hope for it but upon writing these round ups I realise this is not something I think I’ll see in my lifetime.