The Nakba, the catastrophe of the 1948 defeat and the establishment of the state of Israel is ever present in the consciousness of most Palestinians today. Nearly seventy years down the road many of the young in Gaza and the West Bank just want to leave due to lack of opportunity, while those who have never been, still cling to the dream of returning home. However, an inherited status of refugee and statelessness has the third, fourth and fifth generation of Palestinians resettling around the world.
A group of second and third generation Palestinian refugees of 1948 grew up in Baghdad. In the chaos and grand political schemes after the American invasion, and the subsequent sectarian violence, the Sunni Muslim Palestinian refugees became easy targets. The Palestinians were considered favored by Saddam and the Ba´aht Party and thus spent most of the years between 2005 and 2007 in hiding. The common denominator are stories of inhuman atrocities such as murder, rape and torture. Shiite militias came to their houses and gave them a ten day window to leave Iraq or die. Many fled to Syria and another war before they came to Norway only to be refused asylum.
Stuck in temporary housings with barely enough money to eat for years. With close to no legal or medical rights, the dream of Palestine is present. Iraq, the place of a happy childhood is long gone and the fear of a forced return very real. Living in one of the worlds safest places, with a constant fear of being sent to one of the worlds most dangerous places, and according to themselves almost certain death.
Israel is a country with a People who needed protection after a long metaphorical walk through the desert. Nearly seventy years after Israel was founded, the People who forcibly fled to make space for a new nation, is still searching for their homeland
“Today I am a human.” - Mahmod F wrote the day Norway gave him three years of certainty. Three years of protection as a refugee, which means permanent residency is within grasp. This; the first time since 1948.