Category Archives: Gaza Diaries

The Thing About Wars

 

No. I am not ready. I wasn’t ready then and I’m sure as hell that I’m not ready now. I mean who is ever ready for a war again, and again and again and probably again! Death, destruction, horror, arbitrary airstrikes, F16s, helicopters, battleships, drones. You name it… For all we know it could be us next. Having our home brought down on top of our heads, or get “the call” that says “evacuate in 3 minutes! Yes 3 minutes they are merciful that way.

They always said “if you hear it, you’re still alive you’re somewhat safe thank God for it.” But what if what you “heard” was a friend? a relative? a family member? a neighbor? a stranger who is a brother, a father, a mother, a sister?

You have to live with the fact that you are stuck between four walls too afraid to move from one room to another waiting for death to happen. No power to see what is going on outside and no water to use.

I tried 3 homes in this 50-day war. My in-law’s, my family’s and my own. I will never forget that one night when they airstriked a place nearby my parent’s place while I was staying there, my sister (Alaa) was there along with her 3 year old twins Maryam and Sara. I’ll never forget how Sara woke up horrified and ran to my chest and said in her little girl language “locket-th are dog” “Eth-thawaleekh kalb.” She’s 3 and she knows what the word rocket means. She’s 3 and she knows what war means. She’s 3 and she literally knows what fear means. She’s 3 and she sees dead people on the TV. While, She’s 3 and she should know what hide and seek means. She’s 3 and she should know what rainbow means. she’s 3 and she should be watching Sponge Bob. She’s 3 and her biggest fear should be her mother yelling at her for doing something wrong. She’s 3 and she should know what peace means.

My sister left after staying a couple of days only to come back some days later because her neighbor’s house was targeted. Only then did her daughters live what fear meant. My sister lives in a building where her in-laws and their sons and wives live. Their neighbors called my sister’s father-in-law at 9:00am while they were asleep saying that they got “the call.” He woke all 4 families up and within 5 minutes they all evacuated the house taking nothing but their kids. Running for their lives!

After the airstrike, they all went back to see what had happened to their home, they saw the windows removed out from their place, their furniture half damaged from the shells and shrapnels that escaped through the damaged windows and the wall between them and their neighbor completely brought down. Alaa took some clothes for her and her daughters and went back to my family’s home. Her daughters were stunned. God know they were all stunned. Sara and Maryam kept hysterically crying whenever they remembered the sound and the shaking of the earth.

Alaa, Sara and Maryam are not the only ones who’ve seen death with their own eyes and got traumatized. Some children did die. Other children got injured. Some mothers are still under the ruins of their home. The airstrikes and the bombings targeted everything: Homes, cars, schools, streets, playgrounds, churches, mosques, motorcycles, hospitals, the beach, and even a cemeteries. Even the dead had their share in this war.

I just have a question to those who could have\can made a change and help\ed with this but choose to stand passively watching. Why?

But you know what. Apart from all the depression that all Gaza citizens are going through, we all have had enough, now people have nothing to lose. So if war will bring us peace and will bring us our rights, so be it. We will cry, we will curse, we will say enough but we will stay steadfast. We will not give up our rights. I want Sara and Maryam to have a normal childhood. I want all Gaza kids to forget what they went through. We want our right to live. Is that too much to ask for?

    

  

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Mohammed Assaf THE Arab Idol

 

Assaf

 

Mohammed Assaf is not merely the Palestinian\Gazan who won Arab Idol. No my friends, he isn’t just that, he is now a symbol. He’s a symbol for everything that we Palestinians stand for. A symbol of hope, love, survival, steadfastness and a symbol of what an honest competition is or should be like. Through his voice, his strong confident voice he reached the hearts of all Palestinians all over the world, the hearts of all people all over the world even, if it’s safe to say! Through his voice he united us, he united Palestine and Palestinians together. We all voted for him, we all cheered for him and we all “ a’aleena al kufyya.”

Yesterday, June 22nd 2013 – yes I have marked the date on my calendar and so should you- yesterday was the happiest day Palestine ever witnessed in 66 years. Ever. As soon as Annabella Hilal the presenter of Arab Idol announced “Mohammed Assaf” the winner people cheered their lungs out, god knows I did! The streets were jammed with cars waving the Palestinian flag, car horns wouldn’t stop making noisy, random happy beeps you wouldn’t actually figure out whether a car was beeping at you to move your car away or if it was just beeping the happy beeps all cars were beeping, fireworks were all over the sky that I think we may have harmed the Ozone layer! Children were happy as they could even be, I saw children dancing in the streets, cheering Mohammed Assaf’s last name and even some were poking their heads out of the cars’ windows carrying pictures of Assaf. I mean it was 12:00am and the sky and the spirit and the ecstatic vibe which filled Gaza made it feel like it was noon. Gaza was genuinely happy, we really needed this. Gaza was the definition and incarnation of the word “Happiness.” We could have never been more proud. Ever since he auditioned for the show and we have been living the Palestinian dream, and yesterday it came true.

So congratulations a thousand times more to Mohammed Assaf  the face of Palestine.

 

assaf

 

FW  asaf  ppl

peeps  20130623_000428  strts  assaf  20130622_224256

 


A catchy title that makes you wanna read this

Last time I blogged I was embarrassingly unemployed and somewhat happy about it. Now, I’m a teacher who hates teaching yet enjoys it.  And if my boss is reading this I AM KIDDING I LOVE TEACHING, YOU CHOSE THE RIGHT PERSON FOR THE JOB, DEFINTELY. Once I started teaching I lost contact with earth, I rarely called my friends, I rarely watched movies or series, I rarely watched the news, I rarely  logged on Facebook or Twitter, I occasionally had a decent conversation with my family, I never blogged and I  never read a book (I’m not complaining boss, not complaining.) So this blog is basically written to my friends and relatives who think that I flat lined or in other words- died, people I’m a live AND I LOVE MY JOB. Sunday the 19th marks my safe return to earth, Eid holiday has arrived and I arrived, maaaan I arrived. I watched 4 movies in the past three days, I watched the news and it was all about the psychopath lord Basharomort, I called all of my friends, I started reading a book and snoozed after the first page, woke up again read a line then slept and started dreaming that I was reading the book! now I think I’m having hallucinations about it, which leads me to one question: should I start worrying about myself? anyway, do you see the word “instructor” down there? that’s me, hello. I mean they did misspell my last name it’s “Murtaja” without an “o,” but instructor, me.

Enough about ME, let’s talk about Gaza. Gaza, oh Gaza. Well, there is not much to say actually. I mean same old same old. No electricity, no fuel, drones are still around, the F16s still hover and they throw fly kisses every now and then, a lot of graduates are still unemployed “and I guess after this blog I will be too” and get this, they say there might be a WAR coming. Damn it, Gaza is such a cliché!   


Gossip Drone

Spotted: supposedly “Grey’s Anatomy” on TV

    

Waky waky people of Gaza.. Drones here, your one and only source into the absolute and utter collective irritation!

Now I know this might come as a surprise but I want to actually “apologies” for a change! Leaving you for an hour this morning did not just feel right and I still feel guilty. I really want to make it up to you. I must clear my conscience, you understand right? So as they say “the sooner the better” how about tonight? Just us. It will be romantic. You know no electricity, no lights just us and candles. I promise I will do my best to drone your heads off and of course take some pictures in the process. BTW If you were lucky enough and there was electricity in your area you might want to cancel your TV plans.

Looking forward to your well-written angry tweets!
You know you don’t love me XOXO

Gossip Drone.

     

    

The idea of this blog is obviously from “Gossip Girl”


The Story of A Fisherman

Today is Friday, and Friday in Gaza means one thing and that is: HITTING THE SEA!

There, i noticed a man fishing on the shore. This is his story..

    

    

    


Halo!

A mighty, majestical, chills provoking, wide halo is around Gaza’s moon right now.

Family reactions:

Mom: feels like a heaven’s door is open.

Dad: he was saying prayers “Dua”

Sister: I envy those scientists who study the moon.. telescopes and all lucky basterds!

Me: I gotta take a good picture of this! This is soooo blogged

My little brother: I’m calling my brother in Dubai.

Brother from Dubai: say whaaaat! How come we can’t see this?

Other brother: he’s the one who told me! i was watching “The Change-up”.

My old Niece: where?

Uncle: they say there’s a planet approaching the moon or something..

Niece:  I prayed! Maaan this is the end of the world. (I think you should know that she’s a drama queen)

Her little brother: Dad are we in 2012? (he’s a drama queen too)

Her older brother: I shouldn’t have watched 2012! That damn movie has been hunting my dreams ever since I watched it.. and now.. man this is a sign (they all are a bunch of drama queens)

Her little sister: a sleep

Her little, little sister: I’m cold, are you done taking pictures yet?

My old niece after seeing it now with us on the roof: why are you  all so obsessed with this movie? *now talking to me alone* between you and I, I didn’t like it at all! i mean look at this! spooky

Me: guys you’re picking the wrong movie, this is “Armageddon” i mean a nother planet approaching the moon! hello! Bruce Willis, Armageddon. End of discussion

The older brother: you have no idea what you’re saying this is 2012!

All: hell yeah, 2012!

My niece Yasmeen: God loves us, and we live in a beautiful city 

Her sister Asmaa from Egypt: Lucky!