In this animated short, Leila Warah tells the story of her family, who was forced out of their village, Deir Aban, during the Nakba. Leila’s story of exile and denial from her homeland is shared by millions of Palestinian refugees.When I was a kid, I’d curl up on my dad’s lap and ask him to tell me stories of his life back home in Palestine –
tales of the life stolen from us in 1948.
A beautiful life, before my grandparents were expelled from our village in the suburbs of Jerusalem.
He told me stories of him and his 13 siblings sharing a single room in a refugee camp in Bethlehem, less than an hour away from their real home.
I’m talking to an Israeli lawyer, close to tears.
I explain to him that this is my home, it’s where my family lives, it’s where my dad grew up.
So why don’t I have the right to stay?
The lawyer won’t say it out loud, but we both know-
Israel is scared of the Palestinian blood that pumps through me.
It’s why armed Israeli officers interrogate and detain me for hours at the border to Palestine, forcing me to explain over and over again why I should be allowed to visit my family.
It all boils down to me being a demographic threat-
Another Palestinian weed in Israel’s settler colony,
They created the refugee camp my family has called home for 75 years.
Hoping that we’d forget our village, Deir Aban.
But 75 years and three generations later,
We have not forgotten. And we are still here.
Dahlia Attoui is the Social Media Manager for Mondoweiss.
Leila Warah is a freelance multimedia journalist based in Palestine.