Palestine: A piece about daily life in Gaza ...

Women in Black
An hour ago I was listening to the radio and the moderator was reading Tawfiq Zayyad’s* (Palestinian poet) famous poem "Like Twenty Impossible". I felt like crying!
I felt like crying! We are really impossible. I don't know how we can really still live, laugh, love, and heat, eat, sleep…etc. under the circumstances we live in.
Normal people think and plan their future but we cannot. I wake up in the morning and the first thing in my mind is “Do we have electricity? Is the water still running? Is the fridge still working? Is the TV still working? Can I have a shower before going to work? Can I dry my hair after the shower? Will I be able to buy yogurt and cheese in the supermarket today? Will I find fuel for the car today? Will we have electricity to watch the semifinal match in the Mondial today?” So many questions the minute you open your eyes in the morning. It sounds silly but but since last week we all awaken with the same questions every morning.

Then L wakes up. He will be four years old on the 21st of August. He still says “Good morning” but immediately asks: “Do we have electricity? Can I take a shower, Mommy?” Today he added: “When will we go to the sea, I haven't been there for a long time, Mommy. I want to swim, I miss the sea.” “We won’t go to the sea these days” I answer. “But why, Mommy? I saw yesterday from the car it's still there. Well it's not safe to go to the sea, I will fill in the bath for you and you can swim in it.” “But Mommy, you said that we can't do that because we don't have electricity and it means we don't have water, you told me that I must only have quick showers these days.” I remembered that I told him that he has to take care when he opens the water and explained to him the problem of water and electricity earlier. I could not answer him, I don't want him to know that the seashore might be bombed by the Israelis the way they bombed the electric power station (he doesn't know anything about what happened to the Ghalia family a couple of weeks ago). I just try to run away to work as quickly as I can to escape from his questions.

At work, we are lucky we have electricity because we have an electric generator. I even brought my hair dryer to work so that we can fix our hair. Well we are still human, females, and we still want to look nice in spite of the circumstances. Still, the only subjects are: how many hours of electricity each one had the day before in her area? How many shellings did they count? Did you wake up because of the Apaches over our building? Did you hear the bombing of the Islamic University? …etc.

I read Samia's peace "June 1982, Beirut, June 2006 Gaza". I was in Beirut, too. So many similarities. But I was 16½ years of age. I had no responsibilities, no worries, Dad was the one who worried about me and my sisters. And Mama was in Damascus. I knew that I had to do something so I volunteered in the civil defense and the hospitals for the whole period of the war. Now I'm 41 years old, I have a child and no other members of the family with me, all of them are outside distributed in three countries: Syria, Austria and the United States.

In Beirut I didn't know what fear is. Now! Oh, my God! I know what my parents felt at that time. I'm always afraid, mainly to lose my only child, either by being directly killed by the Israelis or because he becomes ill and I have no medication for him.

It is the most difficult responsibility in our world.

Write, write, write…..!

Everybody is asking me to write about our life in Gaza under the current situation, so this is what I thought I would write today.

I hope I didn't make you desperate, because I'm not. Believe me, today I reserved a table in a fancy restaurant so that I can watch the semifinal between Germany and Italy and I'm for Italy.

Gaza 4-7-2006