A few days ago, I guided a tour in the Talbiyeh neighborhood, and we came to the house of Dimitri Hanna (the current address is Disraeli 13). When entering the house through the gate, one is astonished by the symmetrical staircases, both rolling like a vine, as if hugging the one who enters. I felt the stairs’ hug, and I heard a voice: “Don’t be afraid, we, the stairs, speak Arabic. Ahlan Wa Sahlan. Welcome.”
I walked into the house through the southern door, the one overlooking the southern part of the neighborhood, and then the decorated tiles cried at me from the pain of longing. Like the stairs, the tiles whispered to me that they speak Arabic and asked me to send their regards to the Hanna family.
I experience these difficult moments every time I walk inside these Palestinian houses in West Jerusalem hearing each object, even the walls, wondering out loud, addressing me, the Palestinian man, with their questions, as if they all lost their consciousness in 1948 and have not quite regained it.