A mere six and a half decades later, who knows about Damoun, for example? Who remembers it except for its surviving refugee sons and daughters and their descendants?
Imprisoned in Gaza’s open-air jail or in Lebanon’s camps, they are terrorized daily by Israel’s sonic booms or real air raids to force on them an alternative narrative of history. Yet Damoun was another Palestinian village, of an equal size to that of Arrabeh, my home village.
Like Arrabeh, it was continuously inhabited for some 4,000 years, since the days of the Canaanites who first founded it. And like the rest of Palestine, each had absorbed into itself one conquering invader after another, adapted to a softened version of their dictates, practiced an altered version of their beliefs, and survived on the gifts of its good earth and its hardy crops, its olives, figs and wheat.