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States’ is a book written by a Palestinian writer, Edward Said. It addresses the plight which exiles go through.

He is a Palestinian and exiled out of his country together with his family because of the instabilities and war in the region. ‘States’ is a piece of literature that drives the reader in to the very aura of being an exile. In his book, Sid has talked about many things that characterize the day-to-day life of an exile or a refugee.

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To begin with, it is evident from the book that war affects the economic level of a nation. The writer and his fellow Palestinians have to get out of their country to leave in exile. Some live in refugee camps and do odd jobs. Poverty due to a deteriorated economy is clearly evident. The writer explains of how he and his fellow people get overjoyed at the mere sight of a small business vendor. He describes the commodities of the seller, sim sim and small cakes in an appetizing manner. These commodities might not be as palatable as he puts it to a person who has a regular food supply. From this, it can be deduced that food shortage is so prevalent in exiles. He also says that they cannot remember what currency they used to buy the commodities with. This statement shows that money is not a common thing among the refugees and exiles. There is no doubt that refugees live from hand to mouth.

Deterioration of the economy is contributed by destruction and demolition of property during violence. The war in Palestine had led to big losses. A good example is the luxurious Mercedes which the newly wedded couples had used in their wedding. The author states that even though the car was one of the luxurious makes of those times; it lost its value since it remained as the only source of transport. It was turned into the mule of camel of the area,

With the deteriorated economy, the exiles are forced to work outside their country. There, they are underpaid. This forces them to live in poor conditions. Senior people like the former mayor of a town are seen as nothing in exile.

Land grabbing and displacement (and therefore dispersion) are also among the contributing factors to the deteriorating economy. The writher notes that after the oil booming then Arab world, things started to be going to the right direction. This was not until the foreigners decided to encroach their land, catalyze political instability, which lead to dispossession of their rightfully owned resources.

Loss of Dignity and Self Esteem

When one is an exile, the treatment is very different from the way a citizen is treated. Exiles are always treated with suspicion. Some of them can even be treated as terrorists, especially if the reason of exile is war issues. Exiles are not expected to have dignity nor a sence of belonging. The writer says that the Palestinians are not even sure who they are. Some people refer to them as Arabs of Samaria and Judea, yet others refer to them as the non-Jewish Israelites. Some even go a notch higher to refer to them as the absentees who are present.

They are treated with a lot of despise and resentment. A citizen is always ready to remind a refugee or an exile where they belong. They are seen as aliens in the eyes of the locals. Just as the way the Nazis and the anti-Semites, few people want to associate with them.

Exiles are never considered as ever having any real achievement. They are looked as failures who failed to steer their society into success and development. The local people even decide to issue special identification cards to the exiles and refugees. In the cards, they are keen to stipulate one’s position in their society as a refugee or exiled. Even those exiles with high education qualifications and high skills cannot be treated as decently as their local colleagues. They still need to hang on to that special ID in case they forget who they are. These are matters that not only make a person lose a sense of belonging but also have a low self esteem.

Insecurity and Mistreatment

In exile and refugee camps, a foreigner is never assured of total security. A refugee therefore always has to be alert, living in fear and despair. The tents are usually congested and small. Some of the tents can be tattered in such a way that they do not do much of protection at night and during rainy days.

The author is keen to note that as Palestinians, the usually lived as a minority group. During the wars, after their land being forcefully possessed, they were moved out to camps. At the borders, they are denied of entry into another country. To make matters worse, they are even denied reentry into their very own country.

The locals in the host countries exploit the refugees by using them as laborers in their farms. Since the refugees have close to zero choices, they agree to work for meager salaries or sometimes little food. No one is spared in the exploitation as women; children and men are all subjected to hard labor. According to the global human rights, no one is supposed to be subjected to underpay labor since this a neo-colonial form of hard forced labor. Therefore it is considered mistreatment on the part of the exile.

Denial of Opportunities

It is written in the book that any effort among the Palestine communities is met with suspicion. If they are developing, they get notices to stop. Their hosts can tolerate improvement of their status as so long as the improvement is not substantial. This shows that the hosts are uncomfortable of Palestinians’ realization of themselves and their development. There lands were forcefully possessed due to the presence of oil and natural gas. Greedy outsiders invaded the land, dispossessed and dispersed them in such a way that they cannot unite to produce a viable source for revolution.

Emotional Stability

The author puts out that despite them having a sense of belonging, their children know not of such things. According to them, everything around is unstable, impermanent or in wrecks. One will not expect such kids to grow into emotionally stable people. What they are used to is violence, mistreatment and constant displacement. The author also elaborates the state of happiness of the Palestinian society. He says that even though the kids play around in car wrecks unaware of their surrounding, their parents are in deep states of unhappiness. The mood is always somber. This is natural since it is not expected of someone who has gone through so many social injustices to live jovially and view life with a positive attitude.

In conclusion, this piece of literature elaborates clearly of the sad and unfortunate situations exiles and refugees go through.

Code: writers15

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