I remember little of my childhood during the years 1968-1970. What I remember is that this was a miserable time: the constant crying of my mother and her prayers for the survival of my uncle, who was in Jordan. I also remember how our father often reminded us to not bother my mother, to leave her alone.
During that time my mother was crying day and night while listening to a small radio. Each day she would send us children to a field nearby to play among the fruit trees so that we would not see her crying all day. She rarely cooked, and when, it was some vegetables mixed with small stones and crispy bugs. These were the small black crunchy bugs from the UNRWA food which were in the food allocations given by them to all Palestinians since the Nakba in 1948 and since the zionists occupied the West Bank in 1967.
My father, who was poor at that time, took care of us to the best of his ability. For breakfast we mostly had a piece of dry bread with some marmalade made of grapes or with some of the fat from the UNRWA rations, which had a disgusting taste to it.
Actually, all the food from the UNRWA was unhealthy or expired, probably their idea of “humanitarian relief”. The dates were nests of living worms; the flour was full of worms; the oil and fat had a “special” taste and made us vomit and gave us strong headaches; the sugar came as brown stones and was mixed with dirt; the boiled eggs were black and had a rotten stench.
However, all Palestinians waited for the handout of these disgusting, expired and unhealthy rations by the UNRWA, because as a result of the Nakba and the widespread looting by the jews, everybody was destitute. Among the recipients of this “humanitarian aid” was my mother.
In those years, my mother suddenly changed and became interested in listening to the radio more than in us children or in caring about our meals. The radio became her ONLY friend, she put it close to her ears all the time. It was difficult for us to know her what the radio was speaking. At that time there were no TVs or computers. When she sat with the radio to her ears I would often see her tears falling down while she listened to the news. Sometimes I saw her very nervously asking my father for his assistance, saying “the voice (station) of “Al-Asefa” (Thunderbolt) has disappeared!”. My would then turn the radio’s knob left and right, searching for the station. Sometimes he would tell my mother “Here is the station of Radio Monte Carlo, or the station of Arab Broadcast”.
Memories of My Childhood – Black September
I remember these words well, as if I had heard them yesterday. I refused several times to go to the field behind the house with my older sisters. They would mistreat me, scared that I could tell our mother about their silly adolescent games or that they had stolen my mothers lipstick to colour their lips. So I stayed with my mother, sitting in her lap and listening to news and songs together with her. Some words of these songs were “Rijal wallah Rijal wallah mafi khouf” (“Real Men, Real Men, there is no fear!”). The tears of my mothers often fell on me while we listened to the news. At that time I never understood why she was crying. I started understanding the reason for her tears only more recently.
One day my mother woke us up after midnight. She hugged and kissed us. She had a small bundle in her hand and was crying bitterly. She told us “I am going to Amman to visit your uncles there. You must not approach the water well in the field. You must not look at the water because the water will kidnap you!!”. She insisted in hearing from all of us that we would not go near to the well as she was afraid one of us could fall in and die. That old well was near to a cave and between some figs and palm trees, it had no cover. My mother asked my father to bring his mother to stay with us until she returned.
Days went by without my mother. My grandmother did not come to stay with us and now my father replaced my mother listening to the radio. He was very careful to listen to it at very low volume. I remember that the radio said that King Hussein had committed “madbaha” (massacres) against the Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan. I did not understand the meaning of “madbaha” back then. My father then had bought a new big radio, it was brown and had white knobs. He said that the new radio was a gift for my mother when she returned from Amman. When my mother returned home, she was smiling and brought us candies.
My mother told my father that “God protected them and they survived, they escaped death and got out of the cave healthy before the fire ate them”. She said that all those who were in that cave “burnt like insects”. She continued “The sons of dogs (what I now understand as a reference to the PLO leaders) told the Jordanian army about the hiding places of the Palestinian resistance (militia). The Jordanian army spread petroleum in the whole area and then set fire. They burnt everybody alive in the caves, God saved my brothers”.
I heard these words when I was a child and I remember them to this day. I did not understand the meaning of these words at that time, but I understood later after I finished my high school and after I started working as a journalist. Neither my teachers at the UNRWA schools nor my parents ever told me or my sisters anything about our history, Nakba the “catastrophe”, al-Karama battle, or “Aylol al-Aswad”, the Black September massacre. My uncles always and sternly advised me to stay away from journalism and politics, to stay away from the PLO leaders.
The name “Black September” refers to the bloody clashes of September 1970 in which the Jordanian army moved accordingly to the instructions of King Hussein and his “military advisers” to put an end to the Palestinian organizations because he became scared that they could threaten the Jordanian monarchy. They kings army murdered thousands of Palestinians. Between mid of 1968 and the end of 1969 there were hundreds of militants clash between Palestinian factions and the Jordanian military. The Palestinians, disgusted of King Hussein, hung his picture in their toilets to give him the respect they felt he deserved.
My uncles told during conversation over many years that all the PLO leaders who I had ever met during press conferences were liars, hypocrites and blood suckers, including Yasser Arafat (Abu Ammar), George Habash, Ahmad Jibril, etc. Those “assholes” (as they referred to them) had betrayed the hiding places of the Palestinian militia to the Jordanian army during the bloody clashes of September 1970 in order to protect themselves from the causes of their traitorous activity up to that time. As a consequence of the betrayal of those “leaders”, the Palestinian militias were either burnt like insects or executed.
One of my uncles told me to ask “Abu Ammar” how he got out of Amman in during the “Black September” battle, to ask him about the color of the abbaya (female robe) wore to escape. My uncle also told me to ask Arafat whether he was hidden at the Egyptian Embassy in Amman or if he get out of Jordan hiding clothing himself as a woman with the Arab League mission after he betrayed the Palestinian resistance, or if there was anything else he would tell me.
My mother and my uncles were keen to not go into further details about the Nakba and the Black September, and have stood by this principle until today. During my last visit to Amman many years ago I succeeded in forcing one of my uncles to say something. They repeated their warning to stay away from all those thieves of the Palestinian revolution who call themselves “PLO representatives”. They insisted that the people who I meet and see were the ones who brought Palestine and the Palestinians all the disasters they suffered. They warned me that these people were the ones who got rid of the honorable Palestinians in the PLO, who were all murdered or executed due to their betrayal.
I remember that one of my uncles told me to ask the late Yasser Arafat about a woman named “Rashida Mehran”, another woman called “Umm Nasser” (Najla Adel Yassin) and a man called “Abu al-Zaim” (the father of the leaders). My uncle told me that Arafat was an “abu niswan” (somebody who likes women more than is good for him) and that he had parallel affairs with “Rashida Mehran” and “Umm Nasser” and also with other women. According to my uncles, Arafat lived with Umm Nasser “by the law of the mattress”.
I found out that “Abu Al-Zaim” was an owner of brothels in Beirut and that he had raped dozens of young girls. He was fond of raping young girls, particularly around the age of 16. He supposedly even raped a daughter of a PLO representative to one of the EU countries.
Some days ago I found out the true identity of “Abu al-Zaim” is Brigadier Atallah Atallah. He owned real estate and property in Lebanon, including brothels. “Abu Al-Zaim” was the military security head of Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in Lebanon. He was responsible for the murder of many political opponents of Arab dictatorships, whom he had kidnapped and handed over to their respective governments, which then secretly executed them.
“Abu Al-Zaim” is to this day an agent of the Jordanian intelligence. He had been proposed by the Jordanian regime in the early nineties as an administrator for the West Bank and as an alternative to the organization of Yasser Arafat (the PLO). King Hussein invited the followers of “Abu Al-Zaim” in Palestine to come to Jordan to pledge allegiance to “Abu Al-Zaim” during a major conference which was attended by the King himself. When Arafat agreed to make peace with zionist israel and went to the Madrid and then signed the miserable Oslo agreement, only then did King Hussein abandon the Jordanian intelligence asset “Abu Al-Zaim” and turned again to give his political support to Arafat.
Brigadier Atallah Atallah a.k.a “Abu Al-Zaim” (“father of the leaders”) was born in Beit Surik, a Palestinian village in the Jerusalem Governorate located 12 kilometers Northwest of Jerusalem in the northern West Bank, in 1936. He is known as an officer of the Jordanian army. In the late sixties he joined the Fatah movement and was appointed as a military intelligence official. In the following years “Abu Al-Zaim” became a leader of Fatah and a senior agent of Yasser Arafat. Since the mid-eighties, after Yasser Arafat pushed him away from the center of power in the Fatah movement, he rebelled against Arafat and split from Fatah, and accusing the PLO of the misuse of financial assets and of “robbing the Palestinian money and enriching themselves with it”.
In 1986, Atallah Atallah announced in Amman the foundation of a movement which he called “Supreme Military Council of the Fatah movement”. He also called on Palestinians at the time to initiate of a peaceful dialogue with Israel. After the death of Yasser Arafat in 2004, the relationship between him and “president” Mahmoud Abbas become much closer and he returned to Ramallah in late 2007. Two years ago, Mahmoud Abbas appointed the son of Brigadier Atallah Atallah, Hazem Atallah, to the position of director of the Palestinian police. Atallah the son was trained in the US and in several EU countries. He is well trained by the Americans and the EU to perpetuate the dictatorship over and ruin of the Palestinian people.