“We had to leave the land of our forefathers, and until this day we are seeking unrealized justice,” said Dajani-Budeiri. “We are threatened with eviction from our neighborhood since 1972, when settler organizations, located in the United States, claimed that they purchased the land on which the 28 housing units exist.”
The settler organizations claim ownership from the 19th century, since 1832, she added. “Theirs are falsified documents that could not be proven legally—not from the Ottoman archive nor the land deed registry,” she claimed. “Through forgery, they succeeded in evicting three families.”
Dajani-Budeiri loves her home. “Every bit of soil in my neighborhood and Palestine is dear to our hearts,” she said.
Because, for her, the stones are much more than simple rocks. “The stones remind me of the family, and the memories that we weaved with each other, and with the neighbors,” she said. “The stones and garden embody the time the family spent together in dignity and freedom. The memories, and the symbolism to which the stones speak, are precious to me.”
In fact, when she introduces her household, she names the memories along with the people. “I am living with my memories, my husband, and my little daughter,” she said. “This after my parents died; and of course the house is open to my brothers, our children, and grandchildren.”
When will the threat of eviction end? "I yearn for the light at the end of the tunnel, meaning that there will be a final cancellation of the eviction order, and affirmation of our house ownership based on the Jordanian legal documents,” she said. “Also, I yearn for a resolution of the refugees’ problem and their return to their land.”
She wonders when she will feel safe. “We will feel safe once our legitimate rights are realized,” she said. “We are the legitimate owners, living in our own homes, and we were never thieves.”
Dajani-Budeiri asks the World Council of Churches fellowship and all people of good will for their continued solidarity. “We would like to see the World Council of Churches continue the effort to communicate with the world about our just cause, affirm our right to our homes, and cancel the land confiscation laws in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza,” she said. “I note with alarm settlers’ aggression in Sheik Jarrah and the Karm Al-Mufti area there, as well as in Silwan, Jabal Al-Mukabir—and against my home.”
Dajani-Budeiri also hopes to see a UN Security Council resolution against eviction for her family and others. “Please continue to show solidarity with us at the UN and the Security Council, and never have double standards about human rights,” she urged.