A Remarkable Journey of Mercy, Peace, and Purpose
by Imad S. Enchassi
I was viscerally aware of my overlapping identities. I am a Palestinian Arab, raised with the narrative that Jews and Israelis are the enemy of my people and not to be engaged with in discourse. I am Muslim and an imam who holds every word of the Qur’an in my brain and spirit. I have verses seared into my consciousness telling me to respect and dialogue with those following the Abrahamic traditions. These are “people of the book,” and we worship the same God. I am an American. This identity is deeply sacred to me because this is the one I chose. I am an immigrant who fell in love with Lady Liberty and ran to her shores, leaving everything and everyone I knew and cherished behind, just so I could have this identity, so I could hold this blue passport in my hand. I am seen as a traitor by some for having this citizenship.
All three identities of my being struggle against one another. I am canvas stretched over frame. But these quarrelling parts cannot be separated. Perhaps on this trip, I thought, they will find peace with one another. There are so many lines drawn by humankind to define each other. Yet I am crossing them all, one cloud mile at a time.