It's 5:09 am, I was up on my computer -as usual during Ramadan- listening to some music while surfing the internet looking for scholarships or internships abroad to have a break from life here. Ever since I was a kid, all I wanted was to live abroad or study abroad only for a little while, like a year or two and then I'd go back to Palestine, but recently this has changed.
I had the chance to live in New York for almost 4 months and study one semester at NYU. While I was there I got to go to Washington D.C. twice, go to "The Right of Return Conference" in Boston, and visit my uncle in California; the first three only by buying a bus-ticket and the last by using the plane. It was easy, for me too easy. No checkpoints, no soldiers humiliating us and not us letting them, no planning for a week for simple trip to the city next to ours, no leaving 3 hours earlier so I'd arrive on time because of the checkpoints. Non of that, all I needed to do, is get a bus ticket.
So after living for only 4 months a life free of humiliation in the U.S. it was the hardest thing for me to go back. It took me almost a month to go through a checkpoint to get to Jerusalem, I just couldn't handle it. Life is not supposed to be like this. It's not supposed to be this hard, this disgusting, this humiliating. going to the city next to yours is supposed to need only a bus ticket.
I've always hated the Israeli Occupation, but now I do more than ever. Because now I know how life with dignity and freedom really is, after knowing that going to what used to be my normal day-to-day life is impossible.
So when people ask me, what's the thing you loved the most about living abroad?
I'd answer right away; easy transportation.