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#MyPalestinianSitty trends after Tlaib refuses to enter Israel

Ninety-year-old Muftia Tlaib and US congresswoman Rashida Tlaib [Rashida Tlaib - Twitter]
Ninety-year-old Muftia Tlaib with her granddaughter US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib [Rashida Tlaib - Twitter]

Last week US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib rejected an offer from Israel to visit her grandmother in the West Bank village of Beit Ur Al-Fouqa, after she and fellow Congresswoman Ilhan Omar were banned from taking part in a diplomatic visit.

Though Israel said it would allow Tlaib to visit her 90-year-old grandmother Muftia on “humanitarian grounds”, the Michigan Congresswoman said that she “couldn’t allow” Israel to humiliate her and use her love for her grandmother “to bow down to their oppressive and racist policies”.

Now the Twittersphere has rallied behind Tlaib by sharing past and present photos of their own Palestinian grandmothers with the hashtag #MyPalestinianSitty, paying homage to generations of Palestinian women who lived through the trauma of the 1948 Nakba and subsequent exile from their homeland.

READ: ‘May God ruin Trump’, Tlaib’s grandmother says

Many users shared stories of the ordeal their grandmothers experienced during the 1948 Nakba, when some 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly driven from their homes.

Palestinian artist Dima Srouji shared a photo of her “superwoman” grandmother who fled the central Palestinian village of Ramleh.

 

Twitter user Miriam’s grandma fled the village of Saris, west of Jerusalem, when it was raided by the Hagana, a paramilitary organisation which went on to form the core of the Israeli army. The family fled to Qalandiya refugee camp, before taking a boat to Lebanon and then Venezuela.

 

Some reflected on the sacrifices their grandmothers had made to see their children and grandchildren succeed.

 

Sanders: If Israel doesn’t want congresswomen to visit, it should decline US aid

Others chose to remember Palestine before the Nakba.

Hanan Ashrawi, member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO)’s Executive Committee, shared a photo of her grandmother Farha wearing the traditional dress of Ramallah in 1925.

 

Twitter user Liz Zacharia shared a black and white photo of her grandmother on her honeymoon, playing in a stream with her new husband.

 

While Director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), Ben Jamal, shared a photo of his grandma Nazly in their home in Talbieh, West Jerusalem.

 

OPINION: Israel won’t silence Tlaib, Omar by banning them from entry

Younger generations of Palestinians also joined in the conversation, with Tlaib sharing a photo of her other Palestinian grandmother from Beit Hanina, just north of Jerusalem, who was “one fierce woman”.

 

Ammar Campa-Najjar – a candidate for the US’ congressional elections who, like Tlaib, is of Palestinian descent – honoured his grandma who was killed “in her own home” during the 1973 War.

 

Some highlighted the resilience of Palestinians in the face of countless wars, occupation, Intifadas and siege.

 

While others shared their favourite memories of their grandmothers.

 

READ: Palestinian MK slams decision to ban US’ Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar from entering Israel

For many, the fact that #MyPalestinianSitty was trending was testament to the strength of Palestinians.

Nineteen-year-old Palestinian Twitter user Dana said that the hashtag “absolutely filled my heart”.

 

A sentiment echoed by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.

 

Rep. Ayanna Pressley: US should ‘reevaluate’ Israel ties over Tlaib, Omar entry ban

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