by Nazli Tarzi
Some call it miniature Damascus; others describe it as Palestine’s cultural Capital, either or; Nablus’s old city predates back to Roman times, some 4,500 years ago, whose existence has been most serviceable regarding the preservation of Palestine’s edifying identity.
Within Contemporary times, new attention has amounted upon the ancient heart of Nablus, which makes it the reputable hot spot for the wrong people for the worst reasons. Sadly, occupying forces have committed great efforts in undertaking mass destruction and demolition of the Old City, without an absolute or justifiable necessity to do so. The contentious Capital since 2000 and it’s later occupation that occurred in 2003 has endured a rise of profuse suffering, under the incessant War aims and frequent War games administered by Israel’s defense units. The enormity nd severity in result of Israeli actions are visibly prevalent inside the Old city walls; which encapsulate IDFs most favorable tactic, better known to some as attack and destroy to implement their singular objective to obliterate the Palestinian people into infinity and beyond.
Such volatile provocation has mutilated the organic beauty that has wilted away and left only overarching shadows illuminating the faces of the hundreds killed, cherished beneath the majestically concave architecture, where the city acquires the nickname miniature Damascus. On arrival to the Old city I was equally as alarmed I was to be happy once seeing how the residual damage hauntingly evokes abominable recollection of Palestine agonizing past. As grievous as it is, recognizing the past plays a huge role amidst the Nabulsi society who’re willing to forgive yet unable to forget. The old city layers have shed away through pain, murder and injustice, only giving way to new city layers, thicker, more indecorous yet strong in their new artistically taken form.
Upon the arrival of Art; Nablus persistently radiates positively as art serves as a tool of resistance against the occupation. The Old cities ancestral character exuberates the past and the continual battle between life and death; exposing Israel’s aspiration to ethnically cleanse Palestine from knowledge of the wider globe. Posters of martyrs and those dead are plastered across arches walls, homes and every possible spot. Their faces are inescapable, with following eyes, predominantly of young children, who’re targeted for a crime perhaps as petty as throwing stones. Tears well into my eyes, swirling, inescapably from side to side, yet tears in Palestine are representative of weakness and on this basis alone I’ll cast out such emotions in imitating the Palestinian resiliency. The presence of Art has therefore developed into the policing force helping protect the Old cities inhabitants away from psychological meltdown or traumatic breakdown.
Tragedy has, unsurprisingly, entwined inside the hearts of countless Palestinians whose search for new hope to escape the climate of promenading heartache, by-produced by the occupation remains unforeseeable. It is near impossible to imagine how one can cope under greatly strenuous circumstances under the acknowledgement that a ‘greater’ force is relentlessly surrounding you to advance in their expanding policy of extermination. I certainly struggle to conceive these realities let alone to be living inside of them. Since the eruption of the first Palestinian intifada, Nablus and other cultural Capitals, have been the first cities met by mass destruction that have dismantled treasured infrastructures, ancient architectures, happiness and human laughter. Restoration appears slim as we see how the occupation has reduced life to a mere cat and mouse game, where peoples only purpose is to survive. Here again we learn about the symptoms of Israelis Apartheid that imposes disastrous limitations upon Palestinian territories, making restoration, renovation and preservation only a distant dream that lives large in the reminiscent past, inside the Palestinian imagination.
Ways, in which lives of ordinary Palestinian are impacted, go beyond municipal and provincial destruction to infrastructure and land however. Further impacts suggest the future to come, remains tragic in form, as the damage has robbed Nablus from the possibility to flourish through tourism attraction. These possibilities, to bluntly state are now paralyzed and little can change this matter of fact. As I walk across the serpentine avenues upon the old city paves, it’s occurs to me that the old cities most frequent visitor has become only the shadow of death, little tourists are aware or find this emancipated cultural hub of any interest, unfortunately. Nablus, once upon a time had been a thriving economical, touristic, industrial, cultural and historical community which are suppressed and left feebly stable. I feel it’d be appropriate to describe the cultural, so intriguing capital, as a virtual muriel whose characters dissipated gradually through the aging of time. Their rejuvenation can never relive the vibrancy these characters had been in the past; nonetheless, what remains most important is to keep their imagination alive in spite of what happens.
In maintaining their presence one would pray that the World will free it’s mind from the foothold of warped media. The fabrication tells the story of ‘The Land of Israel’ and casts out the land that was once called Palestine before the establishment of Israel in 1948. This fable helps keep the international sphere incalculably ignorant, only to prolong the peace and equality, Palestinians deserve. From my personal perspective, the demolition is infinitely clear and validated by my visit to the Old city, where I visited one of the three Soap factories, in comparison to the 80 soap factories alive, prior to the Israeli bombardment.
War crimes conducted by the IDF have not only killed humans systematically but have succeeded in paralyzing economic life to a large extent. The combination of missile and foot soldier bombardment, 24-hour curfews, the murder of significant Palestinian affiliated to resistance movements and the purposeful destruction of manufacturing factories have left the Old city, as the Nabulsi municipality estimates, damages in costs that approximate up to 54 million US dollars, between April 2002 up till march 2003. This does not include damages past these dates nor repercussions ongoing despite the heavy period of attacks. The damages continue to resonate and live on, even if in the subconscious of the Palestinian mind.
By your sincerely a Baghdadi lost in translation