“Whoever writes his story inherits the land of speech.” When a refugee writes, the pain of 2374 days of deportation

The Palestinian writer and activist, Tayseer Nasrallah, says that he found what he needed in Lebanon, due to the closeness of the environments and the presence of the Palestinians there; This enabled him to engage in the struggle that he lost by deporting him to Tunisia despite the hospitality and kindness of its people, “but I did not find an environment incubating the fighter, so the choice was Libya and the guerrilla camps.”

Nablus- “This is the first time that I have been able to board a plane. It is the first time that I will leave Palestine. I wish I could see its mountains and plains and Qaqun Castle. The plane flew high, and our eyes are still covered with a piece of cloth, as well as our hands behind our backs and handcuffs.”

That is the scene of exile, written by Palestinian Tayseer Nasrallah in his book “Memory of Exile… 2374 Days of Deportation,” describing the first moments he lived while he was away from his homeland with other prisoners at the height of the stone uprising in 1989, trying to stand on a cause he lived and still The entire Palestinian people were taken by Israel as punishment above punishment against them.

After a third of a century, Nasrallah, 61, who is a member of the Revolutionary Council of the National Liberation Movement (Fatah), writes a biography that differs from others in that it is temporary, as it dates to a period that the writer wanted because of its importance on the one hand, and to be an invitation to others from leaders and politicians to record their experiences, especially Those related to exile on the other hand.

In a book of 150 pages of medium size, recently published by Tabaq Publishing House in Ramallah in the West Bank; Nasrallah tells in a narrative style the story of his deportation, which spanned six years (1989-1995) during which he lived in exile, moving between Arab and European countries, burdened with worries and suffering, that some of them were in the book and others were intentionally hidden.

Nasrallah wrote his autobiography in simple language, as he is a politician, not a writer (Al-Jazeera)

Between home, prison and exile

In the first third of the book, Nasrallah anticipates his deportation by the process of his arrest with others at the hands of the occupation, and about torture in Israeli prisons, which has reached the point of “castration.” They mean this under “the first night of arrest” and “a night in the boycott tents,” most notably “the failure of the escape attempt.” He says, “I tried to escape and not surrender, because it is better for me a thousand times to remain free than to be imprisoned for one day.”

What is striking in “Memory of Exile” is that Nasrallah’s words are simple, and in the language of the exiled refugee in his camp, he is overwhelmed with longing and longing to return to his country.

In his book, Nasrallah makes us feel the cruelty and bitterness of deportation, especially when he is exiled in Balata refugee camp (east of Nablus), to which his family was forcibly displaced from their village of Qaqun inside occupied Palestine during the catastrophe of 1948, where he was born in the camp and lived like refugees in misery and oppression.

Here, Atef Abu Seif, the Palestinian Minister of Culture who presented the book “Memory of Exile,” says: Nasrallah does not want to forget, and wants to “continue insisting on the memory of exile by holding on to the details of the place and nostalgia for the first homeland.”

Nasrallah’s narration was also distinguished in sequence, starting from the moment of his arrest and its manner, then the conditions and suffering of the prisoners, to his condition forcibly deported from his homeland, and his movement between several countries, some of which welcomed him and others denied him for his political activity, so that the occupation is the same.

Nasrallah says in his speech to Al Jazeera Net that he found what he wanted in Lebanon, due to the convergence of environments and the presence of the Palestinians there, which enabled him to engage in the struggle work that he lost by deporting him to Tunisia despite the spaciousness and kindness of its people, “but I did not find an environment incubating the fighter, so the choice was Libya and the guerrilla camps.” .

banishment bitter

The deportation was not an exploit for the Palestinian, but rather an “execution,” as Nasrallah describes it, who procrastinated in his trial sessions to prolong his imprisonment in his homeland and land. He was arrested and sent back to prison on my land.”

The occupation resorts to deportation with the aim of emptying the land of its leaders if it fails to control the struggle situation, and here Nasrallah says that the occupation tried with them all the penalties of arrest, wounding and house arrest, so the choice was either killing or deportation without return, “and thus banishing him from his memories and his land and killing his revolution.” Like a tree when it is taken off its roots.

Israel used the policy of deportation of the Palestinians as a punitive approach, expelling them individually and in groups, and still, “Marj al-Zohour” (southern Lebanon) witnessed the mass expulsion of more than 400 members and leaders of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) and Islamic Jihad in 1992, and this was preceded by the largest deportation in the Nakba in 1948. And the displacement of about 700,000 Palestinians.

What do you remember!

Nasrallah did not neglect to mention details of his life in exile, large and small. He talked about his organizational work and his meeting with leaders of countries and Palestinian symbols such as Yasser Arafat, Salah Khalaf, Nayef Hawatmeh, and deported prisoners.

In addition to his university studies, his marriage, his joy at the birth of his daughter and his insistence on documenting her name in the Palestinian Civil Status Register, he also did not forget his social relations and the hospitality of those who stayed with them as a guest.

Despite this, we found Nasrallah, who wrote in a simple language inspired by the reality of experience, jumping from one incident to another without detail, especially as he narrates an autobiography, and this is one of the book’s “flaws”, as he says, which he will try to overcome in the second edition.

He justifies this by saying that he relied on his memory only because he did not document in writing the course of his exile, nor did he find anything to quench his thirst from the writings of others like him to rely on.

In view of this, he believes that “Memory of Exile” is a recording of an experience and an important stage entrusted to everyone who lived it to narrate it, which is encouraged by Minister Atef Abu Seif by saying, “Nasrallah’s book is a living testimony, perhaps it will be an invitation to leaders and politicians to record their own experiences, so that aspects of our contemporary history are complete.” “.

Palestine - West Bank - Nablus - April - 2018 - Dr. Adel Al-Osta, Palestinian writer and critic, saw that the Palestinian song is targeted because it is a form of resistance - Photo by Atef Daghlas - Al Jazeera Net6Palestinian critic Adel Al-Osta believes that “Memory of Exile” and if it is written in an “austere” language, it remains important for preserving Palestinian memory (Al-Jazeera)

Who writes better?

Nasrallah’s biography is “partial” and reminds the reader of Palestinian literature of other Palestinian literature, including many works by Mu’in Bseisu and Mahmoud Darwish, who wrote biographies for periods of their lives, according to Palestinian critic Adel Al-Osta.

However, in the opinion of the experts, they wrote in the language of the poet, the poet who owns the language of writing that is full of images, which is what Nasrallah’s political and unprofessional language lacks in literature. As Mahmoud Darwish wrote, “He who writes his story inherits the land of speech and owns the meaning completely.”

Before “Memory of Exile” Nasrallah published “The Hunger Intifada”, in which he addressed the prisoners’ hunger strike in 1987, and says that he is preparing to write about other things, as he has a lot.


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