I close my eyes and gaze at the sun of Palestine
I've always loved the sky of Palestine, more than anything else.
I'm Sherine Abu Aqila, a Palestinian by blood, spirit, and feeling who was born into a Palestinian family. My parents were quite pleased with me. They, like all Arabs, have always wished for a daughter. A college diploma is the most effective way to get back on your feet and prepare to face the world.
It's a very different experience to be a youngster in Palestine. Everything about Palestine enchants you. The sea, olive trees, the scent of thyme, and air that smells like heaven make you a devoted lover.
Despite the difficult struggles I face daily, such as arriving at school alive, the presence of the school itself, on my way to school, the landscapes change constantly, and even as the years passed, I almost lost my way, I was a hardworking student who loved science and study.
I decided to enroll in the Faculty of Architecture at Jordan's University of Science and Technology, but events and situations in Palestine were constantly tense at the time, and as a young woman, I saw my country screaming, innocent blood being shed, and houses being destroyed, so I decided to study written journalism, despite opposition from those around me, as the profession of journalism is an unsafe one. It's a risky job with a hefty price, yet I obtained my bachelor's degree from Jordan's Yarmouk University.
Palestine was always in front of my eyes; I didn't see or hear anything else, and after finishing my journalism studies, I went to my country... to Palestine, and work from inside the Palestinian borders to help the world recognize the truth.
All that concerned me were the honesty and simple people. I never felt alone in my pursuits. Even if the cameras didn't see it, the truth always had defenders. After that, I worked for UNRWA, Palestine Radio, and Monte Carlo. I had the opportunity to work for the Al Jazeera channel in 1997
I learned English, and Hebrew as part of my journalistic career. As I presented various reports regarding the transfer of Palestinian lands to Jews in Jerusalem, cases of torture, murder, and the actions of the Israeli occupiers, I always strove to represent the situation as it is through the lens of my camera and microphone.
It also documented the occupation's special forces attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque, the operations of Israeli groups in occupied Jerusalem, and the high rate of Palestinian home demolitions in Jerusalem.
I used to work every day in the face of death bullets that never scared me, and I never heard the bullet that killed me. Like any girl, I wished to marry and start a family, but how can I have a house when someone is threatening to steal my land and murder my family?
I feel bad for the Palestinians here because they can't do ordinary things like go to the movies, sit in cafes, or pray in the church or the Al-Aqsa Mosque. After all, there are always clashes and search units.
My daily visits to support and stand with the families of the murdered and victims tear my heart; my heart bleeds for their misery, but I believe in the people's opinion and role, and that it is the foundation of stability and the reason for persistence.
My work is a spiritual duty and a national mission; I believed in it, was dedicated to it, and I was confident that I was on par with any resistance fighter. Reaching the Church and praying there, just like Muslim colleagues do, and fight to enter Jerusalem and pray in the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque.
In my journey, I never felt alone; the Palestinian is not alone; the Palestinian is supported by everyone in the world who has a live conscience. I am the daughter of Jerusalem, and I always want to see her happy. The situation is stressful these days, and we are prepared with our bullet-proof clothing, helmets, and cameras, as we are used to.
When I heard that "Israeli occupation forces are invading Jenin and planning to attack a house in the Al-Jabriyat neighborhood," I had to get ready to catch up and cover the incident so that the rest of the world could know the complete truth. Shaza Hanaysha, a professional journalist, was with me...she reminded me a lot of myself when I was her age...her eyes sparkle with hope, her passion is unwavering, and her devotion for her country knows no bounds.
I'm not sure why I can now hear her screaming however can't see her because my eyes are closed... and will remain closed forever
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