The resilience of Palestinians will forever be exemplary. Decades of war, destruction, escapes, and deaths have burdened the people of Palestine, but their strong hearts and inspiring perseverance have given them the fortitude to rise above it all.
The hashtag #MyPalestinianSitty is a reminder of that strength and the union of Palestinians in times of hardship. "Sitty" is a colloquial term for "grandmother" in Arabic.
It all started when the Israeli government banned American-Palestinian congresswoman Rashida Tlaib from visiting Israel and Palestinian territories this month alongside Muslim U.S. congresswoman Ilhan Omar. The reason to bar both representatives was claimed to be "their boycott activities against Israel."
Tlaib, who was born to Palestinian immigrant parents and still has family in the Palestinian territories, had planned to extend her congressional visit to see her grandmother in the occupied West Bank village of Beit Ur al-Fauqa. Following the ban, Tlaib posted a heartwarming photo of her grandma and said the decision to ban her from visiting is the real "sign of weakness." The interior ministry amended its decision soon after, saying Israel would allow Tlaib to visit her family in the occupied West Bank "on humanitarian grounds" under a very tight set of conditions. Tlaib was not having it and ultimately canceled her trip.
"Visiting my grandmother under these oppressive conditions meant to humiliate me would break my grandmother's heart," Tlaib said after canceling her visit.
Tlaib refused to let Israel have things go their way, so just like all Palestinians, her pride and dignity came before all else.
"I can't allow the State of Israel to take away that light by humiliating me & use my love for my sitty to bow down to their oppressive & racist policies," Tlaib said in the aftermath of her decision.
Tlaib's grandmother, Muftiyah Tlaib, couldn't have been prouder.
"I am proud of her," the grandmother told The Washington Post.
"Who wouldn't be proud of a granddaughter like that? I love her and am so proud of her."
But, guess who wasn't happy? U.S. President Donald Trump, who on numerous occasions has criticized Tlaib for her pro-Palestine stance.
"Israel was very respectful & nice to Rep. Rashida Tlaib, allowing her permission to visit her 'grandmother.' As soon as she was granted permission, she grandstanded & loudly proclaimed she would not visit Israel. Could this possibly have been a setup? Israel acted appropriately!" Trump tweeted following Tlaib's decision.
But, Trump's words were overpowered by Palestinian grandkids on Twitter.
The #MyPalestinianSitty hashtag came into play after Shatha Odeh defended Tlaib's decision in a tweet in honor of her own grandmother. Soon after, a number of stories made their way on the micro-blogging platform, reminding people of the strength and power of the grandmas of Palestine.
The stories will warm your heart and then leave you heartbroken.