Tag Archives: War

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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Splinters of words

As I was going through my files, looking at the pictures my family and I took during the war, I found this among them. I remember I wrote it during the war… but I didn’t finish it then, and I didn’t want to finish it now.. i just didn’t want to change it, nor add on it.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.” (Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities)

 

Phosphorus raining down like fires from hell, F16s and apaches’ hovering the skies all day, hundreds of people die every hour, every minute, every second.  It was the worst of times.

     

Family gatherings and reunions, making the best out of the worst situation, sometime playing, other times watching the news eyes wide open, countless prayers and approaches to God. It was the best of times.

Night, no electricity, Darkness all over, candle light, mothers hug their children tightly, and fathers listen to the radio very carefully to know where the bombings are, “maybe it’s near, or I think it’s here.” It was the season of darkness.

 It’s dawn, people get up happy that the sun is going to rise, erasing all the darkness, they pray; call God with His best names for the war to end. The sunshine lights the homes, mothers cook, fathers try to fill their time doing anything, and children talk about the ‘war’. It was the spring of hope.

“Listen! I hear F16. So?. It’s so near. They all are near. Uhh God. God.” Silence. Screams. All lost. it was the winter of despair.

 Father, are we going to die? I don’t know honey.. But what if we did, will we go to heaven?… we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way.