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Interviewer: Could you please share your place of birth with us?

Halimeh: I was born in Thikrin at Bayt Jibrin, which is an area in Thikrin.


Interviewer: Do you recall when you arrived in Jordan?

Halimeh: It's been so long; I believe we came at the outset of the war, the beginning of the Nakba. As the conflict began, we initially moved to JABAL AL-KHALIL, and from there, we eventually made our way to Jordan.


Interviewer: Who accompanied you when you left?

Halimeh: I came here with my family and my husband.


Interviewer: Can you remember your age at the time?

Halimeh: I was quite young; I had only been married to my husband for three years when we arrived in Jordan. I got married at the age of 15.


Interviewer: Could you share the story of your departure, if you recall?

Halimeh: My dear, what occurred was that life was proceeding as usual. People were gathering at the well to fetch water, and I was with my sister and her children, picking apricots. That's when we were attacked by the Zionists. Following that incident, we left and traveled through various Palestinian towns, such as Halhul, until we finally reached Karak, Jordan.


Interviewer: Did the entire town accompany you to Jordan?

Halimeh: Yes, the entire town fled with us to Jordan.


Interviewer: How long did the journey last?


Halimeh: The journey lasted for about a year. We had to stay in certain places for days and some months, always ensuring we kept our distance from the Zionists. We often ventured to nearby farms to find and harvest food, as they provided us with only 1 kilogram of flour per person each week. After that, we made our way to Karak, Jordan, where we harvested crops like lentils. Subsequently, we briefly returned to Ariha in Palestine. Finally, we arrived here in Al Baqa’ah, Irbid, Jordan. It's been 31 years since my husband passed away in Al Baqa’ah.


Interviewer: How did your life change from your homeland to Al Baqa’ah?


Halimeh: It's undoubtedly different. If we had stayed in our homeland, life would have been better. There, we could enjoy figs, tomatoes and cucumis (a type of cucumber), from our own trees and land. Everything we ate came from our own soil, and we were self-sufficient. Here, it's a different story. We have to pay for everything, and the flavors in Palestine, my home country, are far superior. The meat and the produce there are so much more delicious. Here, many people are unwell, while back home, people lived in their own houses and didn't need to pay rent. Those who left their hometown to come here often struggle with rent and joblessness. In the past, life was more prosperous; now, without work, survival becomes challenging. Back home, it was our land, our houses, and our hard work that allowed us to build these homes.


Interviewer: How did you manage to sustain yourself in Jordan? 


Halimeh: Those who have young family members working and earning can make a living, while those without such support rely on Allah.


Interviewer: Were you ever given the opportunity to return to your homeland?


Halimeh: If there was a chance to return, we would seize it; here, we have nothing.


Interviewer: How do you feel about the recent events in Palestine?


Halimeh: There's nothing I can do but pray to Allah. I harbor resentment towards the Zionists and anyone who stands with them.


Interviewer: What are your expectations for the future of Palestine?


Halimeh: Freedom seems distant; the liberation of Palestine remains a dream for the distant future. Where can we go? Return? There's nothing left—no intact homes, not even the younger generation. How can we return? Tell me, where can we return to?


Interviewer: Where is the rest of your family?


Halimeh: I am alone. My husband passed away, and now I live alone. I have family members, each living with their own families and children. I reside here in my house by myself, receiving a monthly government stipend of 50 JD. Praise be to Allah.


Interviewer: Did you have any children?


Halimeh: In the name of Allah, I didn't have any children. My husband passed away 31 years ago, and I've been here alone, eating, sleeping, and living alone.


Two poems I wrote about the issue of Palestine over the autumn of 2023, following the invasion of Gaza. 

The first poem is called Calling and the second is untitled

35mm film photography

Children (Palestinian) photographed as part of an ongoing archive and exploration into the continuity of the Palestinian people, their past, presents and futures. 

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