The story begins with a land. The sacred land of al-Quds.
Imagine the home that you have now, perhaps a place that you have known and lived in for your entire life, is suddenly approached by a group of uninvited people.
They came with their vehicles, their battalions, and then weapons.
They came with their leaders. With their tyrannical targets and an agenda set to cripple and conquer.
Subsequently, in the blink of an eye, everything was taken away from you.
They divided you, pushed you to the boundaries, restricted your movements and took away your rights to live. And then you are either left strewn away as a refugee in a foreign country, or treated as refugees in your own country. Your own land.
Imagine that you are witnessing it happening with your own eyes. Imagine your children bearing witness to a never-ending condition of oppression. Imagine that they eventually grow up without a memory of what it feels like to have their own home in their own land. Without knowing what freedom and justice feels like.
If it was you, if it was your home, if it was your life, would you have accepted it like it is as insignificant as the colour of your front door?
The story of al-Quds was re-visited, layer by layer on a chosen month this year, September 17th. In the Roadshow Palestine program, an array of various media and form was utilized to re-tell this special story, a story perhaps the most universally significant to our ummah.
Al-Quds, al-Aqsa, Baitul-maqdis, Jerusalem, and Palestine, each name brings the connotation of a sacred place, a special place on the face of this earth. Sitting among the rows of audiences just listening to the history of Palestine and its battles, I learnt that this special place is a special heritage for all of us muslimin and muslimah. It is where the Quran and Hadith have described as a place of “barakah”, encompassing all the important events in the Islamic history of our people in the distant past. It is where the trials and tribulations of the prophets (a.s) and the people before us have grazed upon, in this special land. It is where several important parts of our Islamic history took place. It is a treasure, for those who believe.
I learnt that at some point wars are not waged without painful sacrifices. I learnt that without faith (iman) and belief, we are mere souls without hope or a distinctive purpose in life. Without faith and belief (in god’s will), the people of Palestine would not have been capable to live on with their pride and purpose still intact, priorities clearly in line, and the willingness to strive for justice and victory.
I have learnt that there is a promised victory. I learnt that there are always things that can be done by each of us to save at least a small scratch of an entity in the land of Palestine.
The events of the night of the program portrayed a different side to the force of an ummah. A few hundred people being able to collect the amount that was collected in one night, on that night, was personally a very heart-moving experience. It may not be much to some but personally for me it was an exhibit of faith and ukhwah, of love and togetherness. It was proof of how a few hundred hearts can be united as one when there is faith and guidance from The Almighty, who has granted us this special day (and night) and has allowed the people of Palestine to drive us towards a direction of a good cause, Subhanallah.
I believed that every soul who participated, or worked hard on scene and behind the scenes has contributed in this truly from their hearts, and that they are touched in one way or another from the story of Palestine, our precious heritage.
May the search for Salahuddin will not be in vain, and may all of our endeavours have the soul of a Salahuddin, reaching towards the bigger goal of the promised victory, especially for Palestine.
Master of Environment
University of Melbourne.