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Why Palestinians All Over the World are Sharing Heartfelt Stories About their Grandmothers


Portrait of Rashida Tlaib.

American-Palestinian congresswoman Rashida Tlaib‘s recent dispute with US President Donald Trump has sparked a heartwarming response. Standing in solidarity with Tlaib and her grandmother, Palestinian diaspora from all around the world are flooding social media with recollections of fond memories with their own grandmothers along with the hashtag #MyPalestinianSitty.

The hashtag which uses the term sitty (a colloquialism for “grandmother” in Arabic), was quick to go viral and trend on Twitter as supporters rallied with not only sweet pictures but also heartfelt micro-stories paying tribute to their grandmothers. “#MyPalestinianSitty is trending and I am overcome with emotions realizing how we are finally humanizing one of the world’s most dehumanized peoples,” Rep. Ilhan Omar tweeted.

Twitter user Jehad Abusalim posted a picture of his grandmother and wrote, “Meet #MyPalestinianSitty Fatma. She witnessed the 48 war, 56 occupation of Gaza,67 reoccupation of Gaza,78 invasion of Lebanon, 82 invasion of Lebanon, 1st & 2nd Intifadas, 3 major Israeli attacks on Gaza, & 13 years of blockade w/6 hours of electricity a day. She still smiles.” Remembering her grandmother’s cooking, Palestinian writer Hannah Khalil tweeted, “She made me bamia for breakfast because she knew it was my fave she hugged so hard it hurt,” while another Twitter user Hadeel Asi wrote, “#MyPalestinianSitty use to walk along the Apartheid wall, up and down mountains, carrying a plastic tank of olive oil and fatayir to come see her grandchildren.”

Tlaib later posted a #MyPalestinianSitty tweet of her own:

It all started when the Israeli government barred Tlaib and Omar from entering the country over their support of the boycott of Israel, shortly after August 15, when Trump in a tweet said that Israel would be showing “great weakness” by allowing the two Democratic congresswomen to enter.

After Tlaib requested entrance to visit her 90-year-old grandmother in the West Bank, Israel then decided to grant her entry but under a set of “oppressive conditions” according to the congresswoman who said, “Visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions meant to humiliate me would break my grandmother’s heart.”

Read Next: Everything You Need to Know About Rashida Tlaib, the American-Palestinian Congresswoman

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