So I’ve been back in London for five days. The exact same number of days I was away in Palestine for. And anyone would think that, that is enough time to get over a trip. to fully immerse yourself back into “real” life. It’s more than enough time to get over the jetlag, and for your little brothers to finish all the sweets your brought back for them, and for you to stop saying Sabah Al-Noor automatically to people when you wake up each day. But believe me when I say, it’s nowhere near enough time to get over this trip. And anyway, can you even ever say ‘get over’ Palestine? I don’t think you can.
And I’ve been getting messages, DM’s, phone calls, and knocks on my door (yes, even my neighbours follow me on Instagram) asking me ‘How was it?!”. And just like there was no easy answer to the first two times I’ve gone, I’m no closer to an answer the third time. And there’s been comments and enquiries about when I’m going to post pictures from the trip, and why haven’t I already. And sure, I’ve been busy with filming and editing and meetings, Alhamdulilah. But that’s never stopped me before and it’s not an excuse. So what’s stopping me from sharing my experiences?
You know when something is too big for words, it holds too large of a space for you to even consider restricting it to one particular sentence, or image or type of communication. When it holds such an enormous place in your heart, pushing away all the blood and veins and thuds of your heart to take that same spot and same role in sustaining you, in keeping you breathing. and you’re afraid that if even let a small glimpse, a tiny trickle of it out to give to people in response to “How was it?”, you’re afraid that it will all come rushing out as a tidal wave mess of emotion and feeling that no one will understand, but neither do you know of a way to provide structure to this mass within your chest, in a way that will not only provide sense, but also provide justice in portraying this Land, like it rightfully deserves.
And with every visit, you see different facets and layers of Palestine, each showing you a different angle that you never saw before, telling you a different story that you had never realised. and maybe it’s just natural for every new trip, to be your new favourite trip, but this trip was everything. There was so much more than just visiting, there were the orphanage visits, and the personal donations to refugees and the late night Nutella shop adventures, the walks to tahajjud and the kittens who made themselves at home in your lap, the rooftop terrace talks, and the strangers who become friends, and the friends who became family.
I have no words. I have no photographs. I have no videos. I have nothing that can sum up the magnitude of feeling and emotion this trip encapsulates and will continue to hold in that space within my heart.