Sunday, November 24, 2013

BlogCatalog: Where Bloggers Meet, and Palestinian Bloggers do not Exist


"My favourite subject is geography, but I still cannot find my country on the map." 

When we first began using Myspace as adolescents, we were not very happy that Palestine was not listed as one of the country options. How were people supposed to know where we live if there was no option for it? "Why can't you just list your country as 'Israel'?" Because technically we do not even live in the lands that are occupied by Israel. We live in what you may call:

The Occupied Palestinian Territories or

Palestinian Territories or

The West Bank or

The Gaza Strip

Not to get into politics and the sort, but according to the Oslo agreement (which was a very foolish agreement and led us to living in small overpopulated areas), we live in area A. Area A is controlled fully by Palestinians; Area B is for Palestinians but military controlled by 'Israel'; Area C is controlled fully by Israel. So we live in Area A which will have one of the above names. 

Using Myspace we used to choose Israel as the country and then write: 'I'm from PALESTINE not' and so that way we would have : 'I'm from PALESTINE not Israel' which is quite a statement. Sadly, this is what I have to do on BlogCatalog.

As Arabs, many of us thought that Palestine would not be listed as a country on Facebook because of Mark's background. There are still areas and cities that are listed under Israel even though half of the areas are under Syrian control and half are under Israeli control. It's the same for many Palestinian Villages and cities.

As a Palestinian in the year 2013, I have never found a website online that did not have Palestine as a country. I have applied and been accepted to universities in the UK as a Palestinian living in Palestine. Skype has us listed as the Palestinian Territories.

I have not opened Myspace in years, but I will now so as to find out if they have Palestine listed as a country yet. Sadly, Myspace is as it is. When you enter 'Palestine', it gives you places named Palestine in some American states such as Texas. When you enter 'Gaza', you get nothing. When you enter 'West Bank' you get someplace in India. When you enter 'Jerusalem' , you get 'Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel." Who cares? Myspace is dead, and nobody I know uses it anymore.

Being a minority is not fun neither in real life nor in the virtual life. It becomes no more fun when your country is not even listed. If your country is not listed, that either means that your not welcome, or your existence is not acknowledged. Thus this will be my last appearance on BC until I find Palestine on the country option list.