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Waiting at an airport

April 14, 2009

Mahmoud Darwish discovered his status as a permanent outsider to his home at an airport. ‘I’m an Arab,’ he said in Paris in 1968, ‘my nationality undetermined.’

Laila Haddad wasn’t allowed home either: ‘Always waiting. For this is what the Palestinian does: we wait. For an answer to be given, for a question to be asked; for a marriage proposal to be made, for a divorce to be finalized; for a border to open, for a permit to be issued; for a war to end; for a war to begin; for a child to be born; for one to die a martyr; for retirement or a new job; for exile to a better place and for return to the only place that knows us; for our prisoners to come home; for our home to no longer be prisons; for our children to be free; for freedom from a time when we no longer have to wait.’

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