Gazurfs

 

My birth certificate says that I’m 22 years old, but I’m not. I’m only 2 months old or 2 months and a half old. I’m not even sure.

My life began the day life stopped.

It all goes back to August 23rd 2011. That day I took my very last exam at college. I remember that day I went home with a dancing heart and a singing mind. I sang all kinds of songs that my mind could think of at that time. I even sang for Lady Gaga! I was happy that much! After that my father decided to take me with him to Dubai.

January 19th 2012 I traveled for the first time in my life outside Gaza. When I came back, I came back open to all of the opportunities I “thought” I will most certainly have. I sent my CV to a number of companies. I waited for a phone call. I waited for an email. I waited and waited for nothing. I thought to myself why not go to the companies myself? I mean that’s what most of the girls do and that’s what they keep telling me to do. And so I went, got at least 8 job offers on the spot. And I lived happily ever after. End of story.

Actually, that’s the Hollywood version of the story with Ryan Reynolds wearing a suit heading to the sunset at the end of it. The real one goes like this: ALL the companies I went to threw their websites at my face, said check our vacancies there and that was it. True story!

My life began the day I came back from Dubai opening my arms to the new life I thought I’ll experience.

After “my home coming” to Gaza the electricity crisis began which lead the fuel to stand up for the electricity and declare an open strike!! and now we don’t have electricity nor fuel. Only then life just stopped.

Now, all days seem like Fridays in Gaza. There are hardly cars in the streets and all people wear their gloomy faces on all the time. Once you walk the streets and look at people’s faces, you don’t see faces! You see adjectives Sad-gloomy-frowny-moving-breathing-adjectives. This one is disappointed, the other is desperate, and another is profoundly miserable. People are becoming more and more.. Gazurfs!!

   


I rest my case

 

The electricity crisis in Gaza is fierce, malignant and it keeps getting worse day by day. Like cancer. It keeps spreading and getting worse. At first this “cancer” was benign just 6 hours a day, we coped. But then it became 8 hours a day, we tried to cope. Then we prepared ourselves for the worst which is 12 hours a day. When that happened, the situation called for one thing. Chemo therapy. Unfortunately chemo did not work, because along with the power cuts came the problem of the lack of gasoline which was starting our generators everyday escaping this problem. And now we reached the fourth stage of cancer – the inoperable stage 16 hours a day. No electricity and No generators.

What should we do to solve this ongoing ever growing disease? It’s a disease that we gotta fight back, anyway. How are we going to do that?

I thought to myself, what should one do these days to be heard?

should one be a “Justin Bieber” so they can trend everyday worldwide on twitter?
“oh he’s 18”
“HAPPY BIRTHDAY BEIEBER”
High five to all beliebers

Or should one be a-famous-for-nothing celebrity like “kim kardashian” so our pictures would be all over facebook?

“what do you think of kim kardashian’s dress? Hot or Not?”

“Fashion inspiration ❤ kim kardashian”

The world is changing. The world is sick. The world has got an incurable cancer.

I rest my case.


“I Saw Ramallah” by Mourid Al Barghouti

It’s pitch black. I am in my room, alone. Touching through my stuff searching for my book-light, trying to remember where i last put it and after hitting and touching everything in my room but it, i finally found it . I lit it then pinned it to the book I was about to read. Now all I can see is the book I’m holding in my hands. Armed with a marker, a pencil and my favorite tea mug, I started reading the Arabic version of “I Saw Ramallah” by Mourid Al Barghouti.

Once I started reading Edward Said’s forward to the book, I was emotionally and mentally engaged. My eyes were racing my silent reading lips, eager to reach the next line and read more about the book. When it was finished I pondered for a second thinking how could I have spent all this time not reading this book?

I started reading the first chapter….

A profound sense of transcendentalism merged me with the lines. I was not in my room, the electricity was not off, but I was alone. It was just me, me and the author Mourdi Al Barghouti. Yes, Mourid Al Barghouti was with me. He did not see me, but I indeed saw him. Now he’s on “the bridge” I can see him, the vision is a bit blurry but I see him. He’s now walking briskly towards “the Palestinian” end of the bridge. His heart is beating, so is mine. He crossed the bridge, so did I. Now we are in a room. I’m looking about me and all I’m seeing is what he’s seeing. His eyes were mine. For a fraction of a second I really did feel that I was there. Everywhere he goes. I was not a mere reader reading a book. I was a character in the book, watching everything silently from far beyond except, I was “omniscient.” I was the only one able to see through the authors mind.

Now we are in Ramallah. A mixture of emotions. I have never been to Ramallah so I was looking so much forward to reaching the part where he goes there so I could form a picture of it in my mind. I did form a picture. But not the one I thought I would have. He talked of settlements and soldiers and endless checkpoints and Israeli flags everywhere. He was disappointed. And I was even more.

Once he reached his village “Deir Ghassaneh” in Ramallah and then his home there “Dar Ra’ad”  I formed a replicate of everything in my mind. I was able to see Dar Ra’ad, I saw the rooms, the furniture, the trees (especially the fig tree) I even met the people. His family, his friends, his relatives, his neighbors. It was beautiful.

I cried so much, I smiled/laughed so often and I was embittered so many a times. I am not a refugee, but for a fraction of a second I was one. Or even, I wished I were one.

I read a good number of books which some I described to my friends as “a page turner.” I guess I never knew the real meaning of  it till I read “I Saw Ramallah.” 

After reading this book, I can say that this book changed me. I’m not the same person I was. I don’t know how to explain it. But I have changed.

I slept thinking of the book, that I actually dreamt that I went to Ramallah and then to Jerusalem. In my dream I was in a bus with approximately 50 people, all heading to Ramallah and Jerusalem. They were all strangers to me. And they even seemed strangers to each other! but that did not stop them from talking to each other exchanging laughter. All I saw was old buildings and cars and lots and lots of people. Suddenly, I saw the Dome of the Rock from far away but the bus did not go its way. My eyes were fixed on the Dome of the Rock the second it appeared. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to enter. A voice shouted “people we are not allowed to enter Jerusalem.”

 Ironic right? To not be able to enter your own Capital city even in your dreams! My dreams are rebelling against me. But why? Our dreams always makes our dreams come true. They take us where we really want to go but can’t and have us meet and converse with people we die to “see”. Our dreams sometimes inspire us to write, to solve problems or even to stand up to someone or something. But again, why? Is it because I’m a Palestinian so I am bound to “Not Be Allowed” to enter Jerusalem even in my dreams? My dreams are rebelling against me and I shall rebel against them. I will keep on dreaming. And one day, just one magical day… it should happen but in this “one day” it won’t be a single bus carrying 50 people…

 


6 Hours of Light

This is not some regular black wallpaper and I am not eulogizing the death of someone or even something with this. Believe it or not, this is a picture of the streets outside of my window right now. 

  Gazans

   Gaza Strip

  Eeeh, us Gazans! You will always hear us nag about two things: The siege and the electricity and the drones, and the occupation.. ok maybe more than two things after all!


We are only allowed or gifted with 6 hours of electricity a day! “well, I guess that’s something to brag about” so 6 hours of light and the rest a total black out. No electricity hence no internet and even no network coverage for cellphone calls.

But you know what, I am not going to nag about the electricity crisis in this post. And I’m not even going to mention the “e” word. Instead I’m going to talk about something else because the last thing I’d want to read in a blog is someone pitying him/herself and their situation. And I believe a lot of Gazans will read this blog so I just don’t want to remind them. Enough is enough.

So as a more fun alternative, I’m going to talk about upcoming movies on TV. I guess we all agree that movies are always fun to talk about and criticize. Oh no wait a minute…. I can’t really talk about that because TV = “the thing that we do not speak its name” what a bummer!

Ok ok ok no problem. Something more exciting, let me see – Uh hah, 4 days ago I returned from Dubai and I got my brother an XBox game from there. Hold on a second, he didn’t even play it twice nor have I seen it in the first place because of the— damn! I’m losing my charm here!

BOOKS! Books are interesting and they say book are man’s best friend.. Ehem but they need light.. Wrong subject again

Alright, alright I got it this time, another subject change.. bear with me people

Laptops, once the battery is fully charged you won’t even need the (you know what) and it can hold up to 3 hours or more! Or you know what, I made up my mind I will talk about social media, Facebook and twitter.. they are undoubtedly the most talked about subjects  in the universe.

So Facebook ————-

 



The Trending Topics of Gaza

Attention citizens of the world, I wish to get your attention.  Message from Anonymous person from Gaza. If you are planning on visiting Gaza there are a few things/facts that you must be aware of, I repeat MUST be aware of. 

First things first, Gaza is not a place to be feared and Gazans are probably the most hospitable people on earth. But, (and there is always a but) you need to know that Gaza is like “twitter” everyday there is something trending. So here are the most trending topics in Gaza that you need to know, Just in case you decided to come down here :

 #ElectricityCrisis
See, If you’re planning on spending a long time working on an assignment or a project on your computer, make sure to “save” every single thing you do every two seconds. You never know, the electricity might fail you and go off at any time. Happens a lot.

#Unemployment
In Gaza, it’s funny to say “I’m unemployed” because the answer that you will most likely get is “aren’t we all honey!”

#GazansHeartPDF
PDFs are a Gazans best friend. If you’re a bookworm, Well don’t be. Go and find another hobby, because there aren’t a lot of books around here. So once you decide to come to Gaza, bring your books with you.

#F16s
You have to keep the windows of your house a little open. Whether it’s winter, summer or even spring, just keep them open at all times. You never know when the F16s would feel like laying some rockets here or there.

#Drones
And the Oscar for the most annoying “unmanned aerial vehicle” whose buzzing keeps you up at night and in the morning distort the signal of your TV goes to -DRONES.

 #Vocabunoia
In gaza you have to prepare yourself for paranoia along with vocabulary change. I’ll give you a couple of examples:
As for the Paranoia:
A door slammed “oh god was that an explosion?”
Thunder “F16, not F16, F16, not F16”
And the Vocabulary Change:
A mother nagging “ok ok I’ll do it  just stop droning all over my head”
A student nailing a presentation “did you see, I practically bombed the class!”

#Classico
In Gaza, the most exciting days of the year are: Eid days, First and last days of Ramadan, all the holidays, any other day that causes a no-school-day and of course Classico day. You know in Gaza football is a big deal, just like anywhere else. 85% of people around here are FC Barcelona fans and the rest are Real Madrid fans. True story!

#Teachers
In Gaza my friend, the yellow-page celebrities who are always traced by paparazzi and autograph fans and the one’s whose news is always the major topic in gossip are teachers. No, I’m not kidding.

#Facebook
Believe it or not, in Gaza FB is the 99%

#GazaBeach
Come and see our beach yourself, it’s even more beautiful than the famous Miami beach It even takes it of the map ! “Ok, I may have got carried away a little with that.”

#BachelorParties
Weddings and engagement parties are increasing these days. You will enjoy the bachelor parties guys hold at the middle of the streets where everyone is invited to come and dance and probably sing! I am not going to describe what these kinds of parties are like for I am not a spoiler, come visit Gaza and see for yourself. 

#GroomlessWeddings
Now as for the weddings themselves, you will see that groomless weddings are a trend in Gaza. The groom would be a Gazan who works abroad escaping unemployment here, and could not come to his own wedding fearing any complication in the borders.

#GazaChildren
In Gaza the children’s wildest dream is to fly a kite, they don’t know any better. 

#GazaSky
I don’t know how to break this to you but, in Gaza the only natural scene that we enjoy is the sky, no mountains, no waterfalls, no colored trees, no hills, no rivers no nothing. Just a beautiful sky and a beautiful sea.

#GazaWar
ever since 2008 and all we talk about it the war. the war has left a mark or i’d rather say a scar on our lives. 

The reason why I wrote this is mainly because I read an article on the travel.nytimes.com yesterday, (no I do not visit that website normally, not even ever) it’s just that the title of the article kind of caught my attention “The 45 places to go in 2012” I thought it was interesting so I scanned it. I saw London, Cuba, Moscow, Antarctica, Jordan and even Space! and to my surprise I didn’t find Gaza! so I wrote this in order to enlighten you all about Gaza and show you how it is worth visiting. You know despite all the trends and all.


“Have a blast”

My Thrilling birthday..

  

So as you can see, it was all going nice and cool until this one girl wrote on my wall..


30 minutes later,




and of course the “thrilling” news just kept on coming..

 

then another friend said to me..

and finally..


the thing is Gazans please be careful what you wish for your friends on their birthday specially this “have a blast”!


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!