Posts tagged jerusalem

Returning home from Palestine this week has been illuminating and challenging to see the interconnectedness between my state and the homeland of Palestinians, a place equal in size and 5,860 miles away. I have noticed striking similarities in the way that farmers here take pride in being from Maryland, raising their children and tending to crops in the same place for generations, similar to the way that Palestinian farmers claim nine centuries of heritage in one place. I feel despairing to imagine if all the farmers in my county were forcibly displaced at the rate Palestinians have been, over 95% of the indigenous population. I have also seen that Maryland has largely erased its genocide against the Native American peoples, the Iroquois-speaking tribes of my county, while Israel denies the on-going ethnic cleansing of Palestine. 

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Last Friday, I woke up and decided to go to Friday prayers it sounds simple enough, but in occupied Jerusalem where nothing is ever that simple or easy. In order to just get off the street I was on I had to go through an Israeli military checkpoint then another and another. If that wasn't enough I spent most of my time at the mosque feeling afraid that at any minute something could go wrong and we would all be in danger.

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The doors of Al Aqsa were opened, but men under the age of 50 were not allowed in, and were forced to pray Friday prayer in the streets outside of the mosque's gates - including members of our delegation. This is just part of a global system that criminalizes young Muslim, Arab, and Palestinian men and paints them as inherently violent.

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