Occupied Jerusalem – Ninety Mohammed Azzouni from the displaced town of Kfar Saba in the Triangle area adjacent to the June 4, 1967 border carries the flag of return, after he and his family landed in chapters of displacement and displacement during the Nakba in the town of Jaljulia overlooking his hometown, to which he longs to return.
Azzouni recalls well life in Palestine before the Nakba, as memories document an active life open to the world, prosperous with agriculture, teeming with craft industries, and active in art and culture, it was a commercial, cultural and literary artery, which brought together the civilizations of the East and the Maghreb, and was the link of access and communication and the beating heart of the Arab world.
Azzouni worked in agriculture, cultivating land and trading in agricultural crops, where he was an active and profitable business that generated abundant income, and often stopped in his trade with his mother on the way to the port of Jaffa in the villages and towns that formed the backbone of life in Palestine.
Ninety Mohammed Azzouni from the displaced town of Kfarsaba regularly participates in the return marches and carries the banners of return to convey them to the Palestinian youth (Al Jazeera)
"I remember not forgotten," says Azzouni, who insists on participating in the return marches to the displaced villages and commemorating the Nakba, "This is how we lived in Palestine. Suddenly, the scenes of forced displacement and displacement came under the force of fire and massacres carried out by Zionist gangs against Palestine and its people."
Contrary to the image promoted by the Zionist movement that Palestine was barren and lifeless, says Azzouni to Al Jazeera Net "We have lived a life full of diversity and full of land, agriculture, culture, art, education, trade and political and social activities, and came the Nakba and the massacres carried to assassinate the life of Palestine."
Azzouni recalls the scenes of displacement and displacement, saying, "There was no war in the traditional sense between armies, massacres carried out by Zionist gangs against Palestinians in their villages and cities, massacres to liquidate the Palestinian presence and seize land to establish a national home for the Jews on the ruins of the Palestinian people."
He comforted me with his land, but he did not lose his memory, which is full of the life of Palestine, as he seemed firm and tall in his movement between the displaced villages and seeing the young Palestinian generation who broke the barrier of fear and overcome terror and panic, and was no longer frightened by the scenes of massacres, saying, "The wound of the Nakba is still open. But with this young Palestinian generation, return is inevitable and closer than ever."
An elderly woman leads Palestinian youth in the return marches to the displaced villages (Al-Jazeera)
We have a return
Under the title "We have a return", the 48 Palestinian refugees dream of returning to their displaced and destroyed villages, as there are about half a million refugees inside the homeland, who are prevented by Israel from returning to their 530 towns, which used their lands to Judaize the place and obliterate the Palestinian identity with settlement projects.
Data from the Palestinian Bureau of Statistics showed that the number of Palestinians in all their places reached about 14.3 million by the end of 2022, half of whom live in the diaspora and the other half in historic Palestine, including about two million living inside the 1948 territories (the Green Line).
The scenes of return adorned with Palestinian flags returned to the Nakba commemorations to carry an outpouring of emotions, recounting memories of displaced villages and recalling accounts of life in pre-Nakba Palestine, where about one million Palestinians lived in more than 1300,<> villages and towns.
Ahmed Matar mediates with his sons Shehadeh and Ward dreaming of returning to their village (Al Jazeera)
Renewal of the Covenant
Ahmad Matar from the town of Nahtalaf in the Upper Galilee in northern Palestine, longs for the reunification of his family by his daughter, who was displaced during the Nakba to Lebanon, and works by the will of his mother, who lived the heartbreak of the Nakba and died as a refugee in the homeland, to maintain contact with the displaced towns and commemorate the Nakba until the dream of return is realized.
Until the reunification of his family living in refugee camps in Lebanon, Matar used to accompany his sons Shehadeh and Ward in his movement in the diaspora and participated in the revival of the return marches to the displaced villages and towns, in an effort to bequeath to his children the banner of return and to stand firm on the right to freedom, independence and the return of refugees.
Matar came to the displaced town of Al-Lajjun in um al-Fahm district to commemorate the Nakba, saying that "return is inevitable, neither the adults overdid and gave up, nor the young forgot, as commemorating the Nakba is a renewal of the covenant of refugees to achieve the dream of return."
Refugee from the town of Al-Mujaydil Khitam Jubaili (left) and her companion Khalidiya Abu Jabal from the town of Taraan stressed that return is inevitable (Al-Jazeera)
Memory of a people
To the displaced town of Al-Lajjun, which is the gateway to the valley and the key to the return of refugees, Khitam Jbeili returns with her friend Khalidia Abu Jabal in 1948, and did not hide the feelings of anger, saying that "it is compelling and provocative when your country and Jews are robbed and its features are obliterated, this is the height of oppression. But the hope for a return is still alive in our hearts."
Despite the settlement and Judaization of the place, the obliteration of monuments and monuments and attempts to distort the Palestinian identity, Khitam Jubaili believes that "return has become inevitable and realistic more than ever, as the narrative of the Nakba has been passed down from generations from parents and grandparents, but the dream of return was embodied by Palestinian youth by reviving the return marches in the displaced homeland."
Despite the heartbreak of the Nakba, the two women live intense feelings of the dream of return, and Jubaili said that "the launch of the 26th return marches for displaced villages and towns and the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Nakba are rooted in the memory of a people who refuse to forget, and insist on strengthening the collective memory of the Palestinian people."
Crowds participate in the march back to the town of Al-Lajoun on the 75th anniversary of the Nakba (Al-Jazeera)
Displaced from the devastated town of al-Mujaydil and now living in the town of Taraan, Nazareth district, the refugee Jbeili's feelings were not limited to the accounts she heard and lived with her parents about the pre-Nakba life of the villagers, as they died dreaming of returning to their hometown.
In her interview with Al Jazeera, Jubaili recounted the bitterness of forced displacement and the chapters of the Nakba experienced by the 48 Palestinians and the internally displaced in particular, as Jubaili, who is approaching the sixth decade of life, like hundreds of thousands of displaced people inside the homeland, is deprived of returning to their destroyed towns, which are only a stone's throw away from them.
A few kilometers separate Jubaili, who settled with her families in the town of Taraan, and her hometown in the displaced town of Al-Mujaydel, but in between, she forges a long path of memories spanning 75 years of scenes of Nakba, heartbreak, feelings of grief and displacement within the homeland, while fighting the battle of defiance and strengthening steadfastness and survival until return is achieved.