Displaced Stranger

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The significance of the bridge crossing in Barghouti’s I Saw Ramallah to his idea of return is that returning to ones homeland after being exiled is often seen as the ultimate goal. However, as we come to realize here crossing the bridge does not end the feeling of displacement. For the problem continues. Returning to one’s homeland only amplifies that they are still considered “naziheen”, the displaced ones (Barghouti, 3). As Barghouti crosses a wooden bridge over the Jordan River into Ramallah, he realizes he is unable to recognize the city of his youth. Although finally being able to return home he is faced with reality that he has become a “displaced stranger” to his homeland (Barghouti, 3). The last thing that Barghouti remembers of this bridge is that he crossed it 30 years ago from Ramallah to Amman; therefore, the bridge for him symbolizes being put into exile. As he recalls being forced into exile, he realizes how much it affected him to be away from his homeland. While on the other side of the bridge, Barghouti was awarded a BA from the Department of English Language and Literature. But he “failed to find a wall to hang [his] certificate” (Barghouti, 3). That was the moment when Barghouti realize he did not have a home. He reminiscence on how he was notified of the news, from the voices of the Arabs radio station, that Ramallah was “no longer [his] and that [he] would not return to it” (Barghouti, 2). Just like that the citizens of Ramallah were informed that not only did they lose their land but also their homeland and had no authority over it. In spite of this, people outside of the homeland tried every possible way to get a reunion permit. Whether it was the legal way or smuggling themselves back in because the fee... ... middle of paper ... ...ble, the reality is that many changes were forced upon Palestinians in order to make it seem as though they are at peace. Barghouti simply calls it “the Bridge” since he see it as a simple structure that allows him to cross over from the Jordanian land to the Palestinian land. The significance of the bridge crossing in Barghouti’s I Saw Ramallah is that even though Palestinians are physically returning to their homeland they are not there, mentally or emotionally since they no longer feel connected to Palestine. Thus, the idea of return is superficial. Crossing the bridge does not end the feeling of displacement because even in one’s homeland they are still considered the displaced ones. As Borghouti crosses a wooden bridge over the Jordan River into Ramallah, he realizes he remains displaced, but in homeland he is a “displaced stranger” (Barghouti, 3).
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