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Al-Mansi Between Reality and Imagination
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Posted by SABRI AL-JUNDI on January 23, 2002
Al-Mansi Between Reality and Imagination:
Al-Mansi was a small village when you count the number of the people who were living there. That village, although small in size, was like a nest which contains the dreams of the birds that built it and raised the young generations there. The village to the inhabitants was the place where everything that happens in world would start from. For example, people would think that the day for the whole globe starts when the sun sends its first rays in the morning to the plains, hills and mountains of Al-Mansi. Likewise, everybody who lived there would think that with the sunset, all the globe would go to sleep. In winter, when people saw the rainbow they would think that the rainbow starts from Al-Mansi and spreads from there to the other parts of the universe. This belief became strong because our rainbow in Al-Mansi was so big with its distinct seven colors. It looked like an arch or a big gate, if you like, under which passengers to all parts of the world would pass. In this sense, Al-Mansi was a passage to the endless world. On the other side, the inhabitants themselves were unwilling to travel away from their village. Immigration was very rare. The inhabitants would not sacrifice the warm love of their nest to any ambition of going beyond the blue horizon of their green mountains or fields.
Al-Mansi was a short story of some natural water springs from which all inhabitants used to fill in their jars for drinking and washing. That natural water had never been treated by any means. It has never been contaminated before the Plague of 1948 hit us. Beside the natural water springs, there is the story of the olive tree which was planted by our parents and grandparents. That olive tree would pump life into the scene. People would think that this blessed tree would live forever. The tree loved the people and expressed this love by giving and giving abundantly every year without waiting for any return. Perhaps that is why people used to say that the olive tree is the least tree which needs care and cultivation from the farmer.
Al-Mansi was, like any other village of our beloved Palestine, like a crowned queen with all the people around her trying to serve her by planting a tree in its crown or cultivating a small piece of land which would add a beautiful touch to the general appearance of the village. Even uncultivated lands, as all over Palestine, for those who did not have a chance to see it, the wild flowers would bloom directly with the spring season and give a magnificent appearance to the area. The most famous roses in the vicinity of Al-Mansi are those of the narcissuses (an-narjis). If we talk about methology here, I would say that Al-Mansi people loved their village and their lands more than Narcissus loved himself according to the Greek Methology. The lesson that Narcissus gave to every Palestinian was this: "As long as you live, you must love Palestine more than you love yourself. Please do not make the same mistake, which I made because that would mean utter selfishness."

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