While I was hearing the news of Israeli settlers evacuating Lod, after Palestinians in occupied Palestine took over the city, my self left my body and hovered far from it. My self started packing my grandpa’s letters and poems, the pictures he took, the journals he wrote… my self explained, “these are the maps to Akbara.”

My self left everything else behind: my clothes, my shoes, my furniture, my jewelry… “I will wear teta’s jewelry,” my self said. “I will wear her thobes even if they do not fit me. The extra fabric will cover the 73 years of nudity.”

“They are exactly where she left them,” my self bet. My self did not even pack food for the trip because teta left the stove on. “The caraway and cinnamon spices of Moughrabia will welcome me home and their fragrance alone will stop the 73 years hunger.”

My self grabbed the plant identification book from the shelf and screamed with ambition, “I will write the first field guide for the flora of the mountain of Safad.” My self left chanting, “it is the return. It is our return.” My self left before I could tell her that the Palestinians in Lod city are on a verge of a genocide.

Gaza is being annihilated. Our people are being lynched by murderous settlers backed by an apartheid state and a fully geared cowardly army. It is not the liberation war yet; it is our ongoing Nakba.  

My self went back to Palestine and left my body stranded. And my body yearns to my self and yearns to a soil that resembles the color of its skin. 

As of today, there are 139 martyrs including 39 children and 22 women in Gaza brutally killed by Israeli air strikes. Another 11 were killed in the West bank during Israeli Raids, and more than 500 injured. Know their names:

Said Odeh, West Bank 

Rashid Abu Arreh, West Bank

Hussein Al Titi, West Bank

Mohammad Abdallah Zeidan Fayyad

Ibrahim Yousef Atallah AlMasri

Mohammad Ali Mohammad Nasir

Ahmad Mohammad Atallah AlMasri

Marwan Yousef Atallah AlMasri

Rahaf Mohammad Atallah AlMasri

Ahmad Mohammad Atallah AlMasri

Yazan Sultan Atalla AlMasri

The Ministry of Health have not released all their names.

Hiba El Miari is a proud Palestinian woman. She is an aspiring botanist and is working as a herbarium curator assistant at Wilfrid Laurier.