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Occupied Stories » Jordan Read & contribute first-person stories from movements around the world Tue, 27 Jan 2015 04:54:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 I am a Refugee Thu, 25 Jul 2013 21:04:17 +0000 I am already misunderstood before you even look at me,

Imagine being forced out of your own country,

I saw death and my relatives go away explicitly,

Imagine how it feels to miss your own homeland,

And have no other way of getting back without the idea of death in your head,

I live in a gated camp with limited accessibility,

To food water gas and even electricity,

Imagine how it feels not to see your old friends and most of your family,

I have no income or it may be limited,

Everything I have is internationally supported,

By organizations that I have never even heard of,

Everything I have is internationally supported,

By corrupt governments, politics, and diplomatic appointments,

I am a burden on the whole world,

I am pity to the eyes of the average human,

A favor that I have never asked for,

Inferior, in my mind, I have no power,

They took it away when they put me these tents,

They took it away when they threw the food in the caravan,

They took it away when they treated me like an animal,

Yelling for my cooperation, seeking information,

They took it away when they woke me up, one day and I realized I am a Refugee I am a burden on the whole world,

I am a refugee

-Belal Bahader-

Written during travels in Jordan and Palestine over the last few months. Photo taken by Belal at Zaatari Refugee Camp. His name is Abderahman.

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The Abandoned Park Wed, 26 Jun 2013 14:44:32 +0000 Amman, Jordan–Little mounds of dirt pushed one against the other. Small circular rocks outline each mound while small green bushes sit atop creating a make-shift hill. Rugged pebbles between each hill create a pathway, but the green underbush hides the pebbles, making it near impossible to see the pathway. The weeds, so tall, tell me no one comes here anymore. Benches outline the park. A large wooden door frame, an entrance. The bustling world of students and professors, of security guards and cars driving by on the street side only a few feet away from where I stand. The old wooden benches with paint peeling off, where names have been drawn, signatures, proclamations of love, all evidence that this park, although deserted now, had once been at the heart of all those lovers wishing to sit and talk, all those students who wished to rest in the comfort of their books, all those friends whose laughter once made car engines seem distant. Today the park is empty. The fence of benches awaiting to be remembered, but ignored by the continuous stream of students. Some are forgiven as they hustle late to a morning class. Others stroll by, oblivious to the world of freedom steps away. Dozens of boys sit right outside the logs that create the entrance. I look up, hopeful. Perhaps they will enter. They remain outside, seated on the blocks of cement left over from times gone by. They are so close, yet they choose to remain outside.

The most prestigious University in Jordan, as some will pledge. A flowering garden of youth, of energy, of will, and yet when one questions the politics, the student clubs, groups and activities, the movements, one is met with silence. A community of over twenty thousand students and I am shot down and told student voices are futile attempts. Is this no longer of importance to these minds, I wonder to myself. Am I in the wrong place, I ask myself as I choose a bench with the names Shareef and Noor sprawled in large letters across the seat? Have the demonstrations, the movements been washed away by the lies of those above?

The park, like the movements that came to Jordan in November, no longer exists in the minds of these students. It seems the boys outside prefer the gravel sidewalk over the greenery of the park. It seems the massive wooden doorway has hidden from them the freedom behind its frame. If they would only take a step, they would see. They are blinded into enjoying the gravel, not knowing that were they to simply turn around, a world of change awaits. As I close my notebook and retrieve my bag from the soil ground, I look up and see the shadow of a man lying beneath one of the hills. My lips flex into a smile. Perhaps, I think, perhaps there is hope.

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