PAJU - Palestinian & Jewish Unity

Go to content | Go to menu | Help - Accessibility | Site Map | Version française

  1. You are here :  
  2. Home  >
  3. "End the occupation !" PAJU Vigil # 886, February 2, 2018: The Bells of Memory: A Palestinian Boyhood in Jerusalem

"End the occupation !" PAJU Vigil # 886, February 2, 2018: The Bells of Memory: A Palestinian Boyhood in Jerusalem

Publication date : 2018-02-02

This is a love letter to Jerusalem .A hauntingly beautiful account of the bells of memory that still toll for so many Palestinians wherever they may find themselves on this earth.

Jerusalem 1934: His teacher had just prompted the students to recite the first prayer in the Quran, Al-Fatiha (The Opening), which they did in unison. The young Issa Boullata quickly realized the words he was hearing were of a prayer different from the Lord’s Prayer, which he had been taught at home by his (Christian ) parents.


Nevertheless, he learned Al-Fatiha and began reciting it aloud with his fellow classmates. It is an anecdote that characterizes the pluralistic nature of Jerusalem’s society at the time, in addition to the harmonious relations that existed amongst its inhabitants, even in times of adversity.

The Bells of Memory: A Palestinian Boyhood in Jerusalem

This is a love letter to Jerusalem .A hauntingly beautiful account of the bells of memory that still toll for so many Palestinians wherever they may find themselves on this earth.

Jerusalem 1934: His teacher had just prompted the students to recite the first prayer in the Quran, Al-Fatiha (The Opening), which they did in unison. The young Issa Boullata quickly realized the words he was hearing were of a prayer different from the Lord’s Prayer, which he had been taught at home by his (Christian ) parents. Nevertheless, he learned Al-Fatiha and began reciting it aloud with his fellow classmates. It is an anecdote that characterizes the pluralistic nature of Jerusalem’s society at the time, in addition to the harmonious relations that existed amongst its inhabitants, even in times of adversity.

Jerusalem 1948: “I saw the Nakba eat away at my country, destroy the fabric of my society, and disperse my people in different directions as Israel rose to become a new nation, a Jewish state, immediately recognized by the US and other countries, while the truncated remnants of Palestine languished in disarray.

Jerusalem 1968 Sixday-war: "I was struck by the sense of powerlessness and regret that Boullata describes, which seems to echo Edward Said’s 1979 manifesto, The Question of Palestine: “the fact of the matter is that today Palestine does not exist, except as a memory or, more importantly, as an idea, a political and human experience, and an act of sustained popular will.”

Boullata writes that the experiences in his book speak of the city he has loved infinitely and will love to the end of his days. Moreover, based on the premise that he is deeply rooted in Jerusalem, readers are given a rare glimpse into a Palestine that has in a sense long been gone, but has not been forgotten, despite the passage of time and the current intractability that defines Israeli-Palestinian relations to the present day.

Written by Issa Boullata, reviewed by Ayah Victoria McKhail

Adapted from http://reviewcanada.ca/magazine/2014/09/what-remains/

Distributed by PAJU (Palestinian and Jewish Unity)

WWW.PAJUMONTREAL.ORG

  1. Return to top