First, who are “we” and who are the Palestinians? And why did the girl assume we emerged victorious, at a time when a considerable number of Lebanese and Arabs believe otherwise?

Why did she assume that the conflict with Israel did not end with the plunder of Palestine and the displacement of its citizens, standing again at odds with the Camp David Accords, the Oslo Accord and Morsi’s letter to his faithful friend Shimon Peres?

How should I direct the conversation? Should I disclose that our geographical borders were never in the past as she sees them today, and are unlikely to remain the same when she grows up? Should I mention that our kings and rulers seek power and authority at any cost? That our intellectuals aspire to serve the Sultan and master the art of the sword rather than that of the word?

Israel neither defeated us nor them. We were defeated from within. We trivialized killing and violence and transformed our suffering into a laughing stock.

Should I explain that our universities and fields bear no fruit? That the communists, the nationalists, the Nasserites, the secularists and the liberals fell down and that Hezbollah are Al-Ghaliboun (Arabic for the victorious)? That the West is a pretentious and hypocritical democracy poking its fingers into our decaying body?

Should I reveal that Palestine had been forgotten long before the occupation of the Gaza Strip? That Abou Mazen shook hands with Sharon?

Knowing that the list can go on forever, I kept the answer simple: “Know thy history to know thyself.”

To be continued…

Jawad N. Adra