A Palestinian Prisoner’s Experience

Foreign Policy Brief #102 | By: Aziza Taslaq | November 30, 2023

Photo taken from: https://english.elpais.com/

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In Jenin, a resilient city in the West Bank, we find Ahmad, a soul molded by the complexities of life and the echoes of a turbulent past. His journey, marked by hardship, unfolds against the backdrop of the Israeli Occupation, a tale intricately woven with personal sacrifice, resilience, and a fervent yearning for justice.

Ahmad, an alumnus of Al-Quds Open University with a degree in Marketing, bears the indelible scars of an encounter with the Israeli Occupation a decade ago. In 2013, he was arrested without a specific charge and plunged into the abyss of administrative arrest. For two long years, he languished behind prison walls, a captive of circumstance. His confinement was a canvas painted with isolation – no glimpse of family, no avenues of communication. Unjustly beaten, Ahmad’s spirit weathered the storm of arbitrary oppression.

Upon his release, the embrace of sunlight felt like liberation. Kneeling on the soil, he prayed, and in his father’s tears and his mother’s gaze, he discovered the true essence of freedom. Yet, the psychological shackles persisted, camouflaged beneath the veneer of a seemingly everyday life.

In the wake of the recent events post-7th October, Ahmad, now a storyteller of his people’s strife, delineates the harsh reality. For him, it’s a tale of Israeli Occupation that eclipses homes, generations, mental well-being, and joy. “We live in the West Bank, and there’s no Hamas here,” Ahmad emphasizes, questioning the inexplicable treatment meted out by the Israeli occupation.

Defying the dehumanizing discourse, Ahmad disputes the terrorist label unjustly applied to his people, asserting, “We transcend mere humanity,” highlighting the inherent resilience and resistance woven into their identity. Ahmad raises a crucial question: is it rational to succumb to psychological projection? They aim to subject us to the difficulties that they themselves endured over the years.

The impact on Ahmad’s life extends beyond the psychological realm; it seeps into the economic fabric. The agony and death in Gaza and the West Bank have reverberated, causing the economic upheaval that cost Ahmad his job. The company, unable to navigate the tumult, left its employees stranded.

Amid this turmoil, Ahmad calls for a truce and a ceasefire. In contemplating solutions, he cautiously considers a two-state interim arrangement, recognizing the impracticality of coexisting identities. “Either we or they,” he ponders, acknowledging the complexity of a region where narratives clash like titans.

Ahmad concludes: “Let’s name things by their real names; it’s an enduring 75-year occupation and persecution, spanning beyond the confines of Palestine and Israel, encompassing even the Hamas-free West Bank. It’s vital to redefine the narrative; what might be labeled as terror is, in essence, our resistance and self-defense when confronted with the ceaseless pain and suffering inflicted upon us. Beyond the geographical battle lies a quest for identity, justice, and recognition in a world that often turns a deaf ear to our plight.”

Ahmad’s narrative reflects his aspirations and struggles in a world that doesn’t know a lot about Palestinian youth and their stories.

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