It is so odd to be addressed in the German media in the same way I have been addressed in many brutal social media attacks in Jordan. Being “Palestinian Jordanian” was used in Amman to tell me that I am not “Jordanian enough” and need to back off of critical political journalism, although I never backed off!
In Germany, apparently, it meant, for some colleagues in the media, that I am not Journalist enough! And shouldn’t work in German media anymore, no matter what “diversity” or, on the other side, “racism” could mean!
At first, I felt sad because of the waves of discrimination that targeted me and my career.
This part will be followed with another to elaborate on my journalism career. But for now, it is monumental to explain small details related to being Palestinian Jordanian.
What does having this background imply?
Most straightforwardly, it means that I grew up in a family with a history and that history didn’t start in Jordan; it began in Palestine, where there is an ongoing conflict with Israel pervaded with many wars!
Being the closest grandchild to both grandmothers’ and living with both of them was enough to know that they wished to be in their lands: Jerusalem and Jaffa. I witnessed them pass away with no hope of their dreams being fulfilled.
Being this woman means that I heard my grandma’s stories about playing on the beach of Jaffa, then being forced to leave and become a refugee (in Jordan), with a right guaranteed from the United Nations to go back, only to end with them dying without being able to return.
I grew up hearing the heartburn when they talked about their stolen dreams to be both artists: my paternal grandma wanted to be a painter. My maternal grandma wanted to be a fashion designer, but both couldn’t after the significant shift in their lives following the Arab wars with the Israelis.
These are the stories I don’t want to forget or pretend have never existed. These are the stories of my history and my identity.
Raised hearing their stories and following the news and the political biases about this specific topic was enough for me to write some opinions pieces back then. But it wasn’t enough to block my objectivity as a journalist to seek different points of view and leave everything behind to come to Germany and work in DW.
Choosing Germany wasn’t accidental; there was an imprint in my head left after a challenging student exchange I made in 2013 in Berlin. It was the opposite side of my story, and I wanted to explore it to understand more and grow more both personally and professionally.
After applying for an internship through the German foreign ministry, I came to Berlin. I applied and made an explicit request to be in Deutsche Welle TV in Berlin after finding their approaches interesting, challenging to my thoughts and inspiring.
I was and still am fluid enough to challenge everything I know or believe, even adding another layer to my own history. Again I am left asking myself — have I been too naive in expecting the same from the German media? Or too immature in my journalistic ideals, expecting I was hired for who I was as a journalist, that inevitably included where I came from?!
*This article is a part of my “Chronicles of a new “Anti-Semitism Scandal” series documenting my experience while being wrongfully accused of anti-Semitism and subsequently under investigation by Deutsche Welle and the German media. I am a professional journalist who believes in my profession’s mission, ethics, and values, and I will not remain silent in search for the truth, facts, and honest dialogue. I will keep writing and documenting until the end of investigations on the 15th of January 2022 or longer if needed.