Palestinians in Iceland Appreciate Support Skip to content

Palestinians in Iceland Appreciate Support

“I want to cry and laugh and sing and dance,” commented Lína Falah Ameen Mazar, who is of Palestinian origin, on the Icelandic parliament’s approval to recognize Palestine’s sovereignty and independence on Tuesday. She attended the vote.

rikisfang-ekkert_cover

The cover of Sigríður Víðis Jónsdóttir’s book on the story of Lína and the other refugee women who came to Iceland in 2008. Lína is the one on the right.

Lína’s father comes from Palestine but she was born in Iraq and doesn’t hold nationality or citizenship of either country. She came to Iceland with her children as a refugee in 2008. She described Iceland’s recognition of Palestine’s independence of extreme importance, both for the state itself and for her family, Morgublaðið reports.

“I have always had to say that I am a refugee. Some have suggested I should say that I come from Israel, but I come from Palestine. And now I can finally answer that I have no state, at least in the eyes of Icelandic authorities,” Lína said.

She attended the vote with her friends and family members. There was excitement in the air while the vote took place and when it was clear that the answer to the foreign minister’s resolution was “yes”, they burst out in celebration.

Lína said she wished her father, who lives in Norway, could have experienced one MP after the other vote for his home country’s independence. She has no memories from Palestine but her father has always dreamt of returning home.

“My father is an old man, 80 years old, and he has always been a refugee. He will never forget what happened, the hunger when he fled and the distance he walked. He longs to return to Palestine,” Lína said.

“I miss Iraq but now I find it hard to think back. I just live for today and think about the future,” she added.

Iceland’s recognition of Palestine’s independence is no less important for her children, Lína stated, even though they consider Iceland their home country and don’t understand the matter fully.

“My son is 13 and he asked why we were going to Alþingi and why we were so happy. But I have waited for this moment for many years. I don’t want my children to be called refugees. I want my passport now to say that I come from Palestine,” she explained.

“When I got my Icelandic refugee passport I was asked why I was stateless and replied that Palestine isn’t a state. But now we can hopefully start over,” Lína concluded.

Click here to read more about her story and here to read more about Tuesday’s vote and Iceland’s resolution on Palestine’s sovereignty.

ESA

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