Conversations on identity seem to take a complicated turn more often than not, and especially in my rowdy hood.
I recently got asked a bunch of questions by someone from a past life currently writing a book that includes a chapter on creativity, cinema, Palestinian and Arab independent production among other topics. After a few emails back and forth, the writer popped the question: “Do you mind if I include you in the chapter on Palestinian (as opposed to Jordanian) cinema?” I replied that that would not be true nor accurate to me personally and professionally and proceeded to dissect my life in an email back:
“I know that you’d like my answer to be the ideal story, but to tell you the truth, it’s not.
On identity – I am Jordanian. I never felt Palestinian nor can I relate to that part of me beyond the wider family meaning. It’s not how I grew up and the lifestyle I led allowed me to look way beyond borders of origin and just be a citizen of the world who happened to be from Jordan and from a family of Palestinian origin from Nablus. I did not grow up in a home that was Palestinian at all and did not receive that kind of awareness from my Jordanian-born father and Lebanese mother as we lived in 7 different countries around the world and I attended 8 schools during 12 years, speaking four languages and learning about the religions of the world through social studies and not ‘religion’ class.
My father was a politician and I hated politics – and still do. It’s not a strategic, conscious choice about being this or that, it’s who I am and what I am as a result of my life. And that may not be good news for your angle on Palestinian identity issue/unity/origins/rights, but it is my reality and works for me, end of story.
On film, you mention that I’m probably attracted to being Jordanian and not Palestinian from my professional perspective due to the pioneering position/entrepreneurial/being first – in truth, I could care less about all that. Read More