Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

The metal vats, usually swelling with olive oil during these seasons, are now filled with a profound sense of lamentation.

Once again, bloodlines are displaced to make way for settlers, leaving those who remain waiting for an opportunity to start anew. When the multitude of names becomes too overwhelming for prayer, they are transformed into numbers, a grim reckoning of the weight of genocide throughout history.

Once more, individuals—a child, a mother, a father, a grandmother, a cousin, a teacher, a fiancé, a student, a doctor, a journalist, a filmmaker—become martyrs, eternally enshrined in immortality.

Once again, the scent of musk emerges from the rubble of Gaza’s body, signaling the promise of Jannah. However, this time, it accompanies shifting winds: Safi al-Din al Hili’s words spill across borders, proclaiming, “White are our deeds, Black are our battles, Green are our fields, Red are our swords.”

Millions, burdened by the imprints of other histories on their bodies, with eyes weighted by witnessing, raise their voices to the sky in these colors.

“Teach us the folk songs of harvesttime,” they implore, “and we will transform our streets into olive groves teeming with memories of you. We have steadfastly refused to forget you.”

Guide us in baking the bread your grandmothers once broke for you under the shade of age-old trees. We will dip it into a river of oil as we speak your names and quench the fires of war with tears akin to watermelons. We will weave keffiyeh like nets to capture the smoke above your head, Palestine. In our solidarity, teach us the dabke dance as we stand by you, waiting for the two decades it takes for a new olive tree to take root and another 20 to bear fruit from the land that has transformed your grief and faith into a bountiful remedy, once again.

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