Without Papers

I was planning on ranting today about the vacant word “democracy” has come to mean in the parts of the world who claim to own it. I was horrified when I woke up this morning and read that the U.S. and the European Union have decided that if Hamas runs for election and wins sets in the Palestinian Legislative Council that they will cease sending money to Palestine. But what’s the point? Every day I think the U.S. has sunk to the lowest possible level. Each day they prove me wrong.

But now I have a more urgent bone to pick. I visited my friend’s sister in King Hussein Cancer Hospital today. She is dying of lymphoma. She’s in a coma. She’s hooked up to so many tubes and machines that are keeping her alive. I held her hand to day and stroked her arm, but there was no response. It conjured up memories of my own mother’s death from breast cancer thirteen years ago. I wasn’t able to be there with my mother when she died. I was in Ohio and she was in California and not being with her haunts me all the time. All of these emotions re-surfaced for me today. Especially when I learned that her daughter is in Syria and the Jordanian Ministry of the Interior is dragging its heels with its permission to allow her to be with her mother as she dies. I was so outraged by the way that borders and boundaries function and impede on the human-ness of people. Of relationships. The daughter is Palestinian Jordanian, but she lives in Syria without papers. Without a passport. They want her to wait two weeks here before they will even decide and she doesn’t have two weeks. And I thought: this is why Palestinians are not allowed to work in the government offices here. This is why there are no women working in the Ministry of the Interior. If there were maybe there would be some compassion for this situation. Some ability to relate to human beings and not put the layers of hierarchy and “security” needs before human needs. It breaks my heart that another daughter might be separated from her mother as she dies. I pray that this can be prevented.



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