Three days ago, I received a text message from a reporter from Times Magazine saying that he’s on his way to Gaza and that he wants to meet me to talk about some of Gaza’s local issues. I already met him back in March with my friend Lina and we talked about the “March 15th demonstration seeking the end of the division between Fath and Hamas.” So I called him and told him that I wanted this meeting to be in Carino’s caffé, which is a new restaurant here in Gaza, then we agreed on the timing. The next day, I was there on time, and so was he that we both met at the restaurant’s door. As my friend “Abeer” who happened to be meeting him an hour earlier and decided to join him to Carino’s to meet me opened the door, I told him that this is a new restaurant in town. Once he walked in, an amazement look followed by a “Wow” was his reaction. He was overwhelmed with what he saw that the first thing he said after the “wow” was “this is just like in Ramallah!” Once I heard that sentence, which i took as a compliment, I felt really proud and delighted that my reaction was putting on my face the widest smile ever, and the first thing I uttered was “oh, really?.” I don’t know why, but the very second he said “this is just like in Ramallah” I felt like I was in a restaurant in Ramallah. I’ve never been there, but I just had this weird mysterious feeling like i was there at that exact moment. So I felt as if I were in Ramallah, yet if I walked out of the door I will find Myself in Gaza. I was in two places at one time. As I showed him the rest of the restaurant, I asked him again what he thought, he replied with a smile on his face “this is amazing, just like in Ramallah” then I replied “you know, we are doing the best we can.” He giggled and said “yeah.” His first spontaneous reaction, his little 6-word sentence took me to Ramallah; I was there for 2 whole minutes. My eyes saw everything “Ramallah.” Ramallah tables, Ramallah floors, Ramallah waiters, Ramallah wood, Ramallah decor, even the place smelled Ramallah for 2 whole minutes, just untill we sat down on the table, only then I came back to Gaza.
Thank you Mr. Karl for the quick, yet unforgettable trip.
After the meeting was over, Abeer and I played Billiards for the first time in our lives, that was just hilarious! Related words: Just because we live under a blockade that doesn’t necessarily mean that we MUST suffer, stand still and not do anything to help us deal with the situation we are living in. Yes, we are doing the best we can. And Yes, i’m proud of this.
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