Sunday, March 23, 2008

سباح مثليي SWIMMER GAY


هلا وغلا

كنت قد وعدتكم ان اورد في مقالتي بعض مقالات صديقي المقدسي مترجمه الى العربيه ولكن بعد التفكير وجدت من الانسب ان انقل ما كتب هو حرفيا لكي تشعرون ما حاول هو ان يوصله لكم. المقاله منشوره في مجله سويديه للمثليين وتم نشرها في شهر اغسطس 2007. المقاله سلسه وبها الكثير من المشاعر..تتحدث المقاله عن كونه سباحا فلسطينيا مثليا يعيش في بلد تحتله اسرائيل وكيفية اكتشف نفسه وتكونت شخصيتيه في سنوات مراهقته الاخيره.. لن احرق المقال واترك الحكم لكم


To those who don't speak Arabic, this article was written by my Friend from Al-Qudus (Jerusalem)..he is gay swimmer live now in Sweden. this article was published in a Sweden gay magazine in Aug 2007




The sound of my arms stroking the water while my head is under it and then the sound of its splash when I take out my head for a breath are one of my favourite sounds and most familiar. There aren’t many things in our lives that make us feel good, right and special when we do them, my swimming is one of these things that give me such a feeling. Each and everyone of us is in a search for him/herself, and when I swim even when I am out of shape, I know it’s one of the things that make me find myself.

Being a homosexual athlete, especially a swimmer among a team of so claimed ”macho men” swimmers within such a competitive sport isn’t an easy task, so imagine how difficult it is to be a Palestinian swimmer in the Palestinian national swim team that is basically formed by and based on a network of volunteerly Palestinian swimmers, their parents and their fans who know each other and even you find many of them are family related, especially in the club I belonged to since all of us were from the same community and even the club and the swimming pool were in our small town in Jerusalem. So in general except for few exceptions, not only were we connected by being swimmers in the same team, but we were also childhood friends, classmates, neighbours and even in many cases, relatives. So, we were like a big family taking in consideration I belonged to a traditional conservative with a Beduin background community where almost everyone knew the other. Due to that, it was almost impossible for me to come out. I might have been able to come out to some of my swim mates, but I couldn’t afford the risk and the fact that the parents would know which meant the the news would be spread through out the network to my family and our community and that would lead to put me in the risk of being rejected and threatened and for sure having to quit the team.

Being in such circumstances affected me and made me want to live and look straight like the other swimmers and neither considered nor treated different just because of my sexual preference, so I had always argued that homosexuality was just my sexual orientation that was only a part of me and not all of me, but my swimming made me realize that being a homosexual affects and influences the way you deal with life and how you think of of it, especially when I try to compare my experience as a homosexual swimmer with the other swimmers.

My swimming gave me the chance to travel around nationally and internationally for competitions and training camps, so it was my only gate to an outter, bigger, more diverse, more sophisticated and more cosmopolitan world where I was enlightened, learned from my experiences, improved, developed, made my connections, explored myself and my homosexuality and became the person I am today, so I say that withouth my swimming, I wouldn’t be the same HBTQ humane activist I am nowadays.

For the last couple of years, I have been a fugitive moving from a place to another looking for the new home where I’ll feel I belong, accepted and safe. And that was after I was rejected, disconnected and threatened of death by my traditional conservative community once they found out about my homosexuality which brought them ”shame”. Before that happened, I thought I was swimming only because I had nothing much else to do in that world and I’d quit once I found something more interesting to occupy my time, yet I found out that I was mistaken because my journey as a fugitive from a place to another made me realize how much swimming means to me. Wherever I went and was, I made sure I swam. Swimming has become a meditation for me and it has helped me consentrate and think positively.
A swimming pool with lanes is one of the most favourite sights. In my search for home, that view represents sort of a home for me where I feel I am safe and I fit and where I bring back a lot of memories. I can never imagine my life, especially my past without my swimming.

I always say that being a Palestinian ,
unfortunately, makes almost everything in your life political,
especially as a Palestinian from Jerusalem, not only have I felt that
my swimming had a political prespective somehow, but I also felt that
my homosexuality had to face that political challenge as well. I never
liked the political connection neither to my swimming, nor to my
homosexuality. And actually, I even never liked what and how a
political term and burden the word Palestinian has become.
Living as a homosexual in such very difficult traditional conservative
homophobic conditions, made me try to find what I was looking for
among the Jewish Israeli society of Jerusalem where I thought I'd be
more accepted and tolerated as a gay person and be able to live the
life I wished for. Of course, my swimming was my first window which
through I could get to the Jewwish Israeli society of the city and
mingle among them. Being able to live among both of the Palestinian
and the Israeli societies of Jerusalem, gave me the privilage of
having a wider and a more understanding look over the crises and the
conflict from the both societies' point of view. A more tolerante,
accepting, peaceful and more compromising point of view and look I
would say. Yet, that didn't help me to avoide suffering from facing
racism, discrimination, stereotyping and prejeduce against me as a
Palestinian Arab Muslim by the main stream Jewish Israeli society.
That lead me to disappointment and frustration and feeling of not
belonging to none of the both soceities. That's why I believe that due
to the fact that I am a homosexual, I have always been different in my
way of approach to life including our political conflict".

2 comments:

tunisian simbad said...

hi
as usuall, nice description for the trip, i wonder if you work as a tourist guide in ur normal life or not, i hope so cause u deserve to be like that...
i like the post of ur palastenian friend amazing post, he expressed what most of gays feel and suffered in their real life, to be or not to be that's the question: to be a normal person respected by society or reveal our real indentity and face the humilaton and tyranny of people, the way he shows us the conflict that he faces by dividing himself betewen what people wants him to be and what his real desire give us lia taste of the tragedy that most of gays had to face it
keep going,i will be the first to read it and to comment it.
simbad

knight said...

i like your blog :)
good work my friend !
i am khaliji too