I asked the young host at the “Mountain Hut” cafe in Al-Salt: “Who knows geography?”
The young man said: “One moment, I’ll ask our geography expert to describe the view.”
The young expert showed up, he stood with pride and confidence. He welcomed me and said: “Welcome, are you ready?”
I responded, “Ready”. He said: “Ok my lady. We are in Al-Salt, on the 60th Street. Our location carries the name ‘Tuff’, to the right, Ajloun Mountains, next to Deir Alla, after which the Jordan River is on the left.
Jabal Al-Sheikh, then Tubas, Jenin, Nablus, and on the left, Jerusalem.
I said: “They are so close!”
He confirmed: “Oh for sure, very close.. My grandfathers used to travel on donkeys and mules from Deir Alla in the Jordan Valley to Palestine to seek treatment.”
Pointing to a fine line, I asked: “And these are what, occupation settlements?”
He said: “No, this is the Jordan River (the canal) extending from Jabal Al-Sheikh
“All of it is ours”, the young man added, ”the right is ours, these lands are ours, originally all of these are with the Palestinian Authority, and the rest, God willing, will be ours again.”
I remembered, the iconic Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, who said: “What is the homeland.. It is the longing for death in order to restore the right and the land.. The homeland is not land.. but it is the land and the right together.. the right is with us (ours), and the land is with them (under occupation).”
The young man asked: “What can we serve you up with my lady?”
I replied: “Plain coffee, please.”
Here is a cup of coffee and a sunset in a sky, gold and fire flowing between the folds of its clouds to overflow with color before its absence behind the high mountains, bidding farewell to stories of beauty, receiving the evening crescent to suspend the time of peace and quiet and herald a new tomorrow.
It is (Palestine), some of which is within sight and all resides in the center of the heart.