It's beautiful, I say to Iman who is driving. It is, she said, but it also hurts to see it. This was all West Bank land. open land. our land.
The story of this land, their story, our story, THE story, where does your story begin, and where does mine end?
At the Madrid airport, a young woman with relatives in the West Bank was putting up a fuss when the El Al officials wanted to search her checked bag. A young man explained patiently that it was procedure and I though that was that. Then he called over female agents who led the girl away to be strip searched. She was the only one of the rest of us who had that done.
At the same airport, in the same waiting room, an older woman on her way to visit friends in Tel Aviv, shrugged and said, I don't mind the waiting and luggage checking and the questions one bit, it makes me feel safe.
Outside the Tel Aviv airport, Iman and her son winced to see a woman wearing a short sun dress with a black and white pattern.
That's our national symbol, said Iman, made into fashion.
It's called a Hatah/Koofiyeh, her son adds. He says there's been a campaign, systematic or haphazard, but it seems organized somehow to distort it, undercut it. Why? Because the first freedom fighters would wear it - it's a common Arabic head garment. But that made them easily identifiable so in solidarity, everyone in Palestine began wearing them and it became a symbol of our struggle.
How can you tell a Palestinian building from an Israeli building from far away? The Palestinian buildings have black water towers on top because "sometimes we have water cuts and so we have to collect water and keep it."