Echoes of Homeland: A Soulful Journey Through a Palestinian Interview

Many people are informed about the current events in Palestine, but there remains a significant portion that lacks awareness. Given the persistent conflict in Palestine and the regular protests in Nottingham, it is crucial to understand the pro-Palestinian perspective and actively seek knowledge about the ongoing situation. 

Delve into this interview with Seif Abushkhaidem, a Nottingham resident and Palestinian citizen, to gain valuable insights into the history of Palestine and a deeper understanding of the ongoing conflict.

Life in Palestine: 

Seif Abushkhaidem, aged 21 started his life in the UK three years ago. Before that, he was living in Hebron, Palestine with his family. Seif and his family migrated to the UK in search of a safer and better life but still has many memories of his life back in Palestine.

“Can you tell me about your background and upbringing in Palestine?”

What stood out to me was the paradox that, despite being born and raised in Palestine, Seif experienced a sense of being a second-class citizen in his homeland. Navigating between cities or engaging in prayers at mosques required passing through security checkpoints, highlighting the challenges he faced even in familiar settings.

Misconceptions about Palestine: 

For many years, Western historical narratives have perpetuated a misunderstanding about Palestinian territory. Seif tells us that his family has lived in Palestine for generations, debunking the notion that the land was vacant when Israelis arrived, as often portrayed in historical accounts.

“Are there any misconceptions about Palestine or its people that you would like to address?”

Seif shares an interesting fact about Palestinian currency during the British Mandate era. Notably, coins from that period bear the word ‘Palestine’ in English, Arabic, and Hebrew, providing tangible evidence of the enduring presence of Palestinians on this land for thousands of years.

Media influence: 

Since the events of October 7th, media attention on the Palestine-Israel conflict has surged. However, a notable imbalance exists in the coverage, with a predominant bias favoring Israel.

“How do you feel the media represents the political situation in Palestine?”

Seif highlights the stark contrast in media attention before October 7th, where there was minimal coverage of the brutality and fatalities among Palestinians at the hands of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). Amidst the ongoing bombardment in Gaza, mainstream media frequently neglects the suffering of Palestinians, often censoring the harsh reality of the situation.

Promote Palestine: 

Being Palestinian, Seif frequently encounters misidentification, often being mistaken for Pakistani when he shares his nationality. He believes in the significance of promoting Palestinian culture through community events as a means of educating those around him who may lack awareness or knowledge about Palestine.

“Are there any aspects about Palestine that you are particularly passionate about preserving or promoting?”

Understanding Palestine: 

Comprehending Palestine is not as challenging as it is often portrayed. The matter is straightforward, and recent footage depicting the situation in Palestine is easily accessible on various social media platforms. Social media serves as the most convenient avenue for gaining insights into Palestine.

“What advice would you give to someone interested in understanding about Palestine?”

Seif highlights the contributions of businesses like PaliRoots which delve into Palestinian history and heritage. Additionally, he mentions freelance Palestinian journalists on Instagram, such as @saleh_aljafarawi, @motaz_azaiza, @wizard_bisan1, and others, who provide a genuine portrayal of the current reality in Palestine.

Featured image courtesy of Umaymah Choudhury. Image has been edited.

Audio courtesy of Umaymah Choudhury.

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