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PA official daily: Palestinian family stayed in Israel in 1948 because it was their best chance of finding a job, Lebanon offered no “source of income”

Headline: "The Ramifications of the Nakba in Palestinian Literature – stories of the expulsion and writing told by Yakhluf and Taha"

"The conference hall at the International Book Festival of Amman [Jordan] yesterday evening [Oct. 2, 2016] hosted a conference titled The Ramifications of the Nakba in Palestinian Literature (i.e., the Nakba means “the catastrophe,” Palestinian term for the establishment of the State of Israel), with the participation of the authors and writers Yahya Yakhluf and Muhammad Ali Taha, as part of the events of the State of Palestine, the festival's guest of honor…

Muhammad Ali Taha began his talk with a story about his mother who died three years ago, at the age of nearly 95, and how three months before she passed away she asked him to accompany her to her home, meaning her home in 'Mi'ar,' which she left in 1948, and which has become a Zionist settlement called 'Ya’ad,' only to find that the long-awaited home is now a pile of stones and thorns. She looked at the sight and afterwards asked to return to her bed in the house that she has been renting with her family for the last 40 years. Taha noted that his and his mother's stories reflect the reality of the Palestinians ‘who remained in the homeland,' and that is the reality in which approximately half a million Palestinians are living, as they are refugees in the homeland and did not emigrate like the others in the year of the Nakba, which he considers the year of the birth of his writing, when he was seven and reached the Lebanese border with his family before his father decided to return (i.e., to Israel).

Taha continued the story with a question he asked his father afterwards about the reason for his decision to return without his relatives. The father answered that he remembered that more than 20 Lebanese worked in Mi'ar before the Nakba, and that if there had been an alternate source of income in Lebanon, they would not have come to work in their small village in Palestine, which was occupied in 1948. Taha noted that they lived on a hill in Sakhnin under a tree from July to November without minimal means of living, and his sister died under the tree. Since there was no cemetery there, the father carried her himself and buried her in Sakhnin.”