Saturday, December 22, 2007


from my notebook part4(life- or death ) what do you think?
While the world focuses on Lebanon, daily tragedies continue in Palestine. I want to tell you some stories the people of Rafah shared with me. A young man asked me to teach him to use a video camera. In our culture it's not easy for men to ask women for help because they think that women are not strong. We began on August 3rd. Mohammed and I hadn't heard the news, because the electricity was cut off for two days after the Israeli army destroyed Rafah's electricity lines. So we were shocked to find a funeral just nearby. A neighbor and his two sons were killed in an Israeli air strike (?).

Mohammed said, we can start videoing here. I found myself saying no. We can start with life. Then I thought to go to the sea, just to see something different, not this sadness.When we got there, it felt like another place. We saw kids swimming and splashing in the water. Nine martyrs in the city and they were trying to have fun.A little girl told us, we came here to be safe and our parents accept that. I'm eight years old. I'm living my childhood even though the tanks and the F16s try to kill it. I was shocked by her answer. I remembered when I was eight. Her experience is not close to my childhood, though we grew up in the same neighborhood. A teacher there told us that after Israel's disengagement from Gaza we felt good for a while, but now it's really hard to take children outdoors. I work with kids also. If we take them outdoors, where can they go? There are no parks or fun places for kids in Gaza. When I saw kids in other countries, I was sad for our children. Why can't they live like children their age? Life under occupation is very different from living in a free country.

Three days later our neighbor told me that the Israeli army left Jorge street. Even though, this street was really far from the border, the Israeli army killed 11 Palestinians there and demolished 54 homes (?). I prepared my cameras and my tape recorder to visit there. I stopped a taxi and found a woman and her kids going there too. The children asked, mum is our house standing? I heard it was damaged? Will we live there again? Mum, Ahmed our neighbor died? He is young!The mother said we are going to see. She asked me if I would write a story, and if really some people in the West take time to read about our situation? I said I write and hope that some people read. We arrived there. The kids ran to see their home. They didn't stop even when their mother asked them to stay away, to be safe

I was really happy when the family found their house undamaged. I remembered my family's house, bulldozed by the Israeli army. Life is hard without a home. The woman said simply, thank God.It's not easy to see people's hearts broken, over a son, a mother, a father, or a home. This time I saw a heart broken over thousands of uprooted trees. Abu Husny lives nearby. He is 80 years old. Looking into his face, I saw his life had been hard. He asked me, do you see what the Israeli army did? They killed me three times, when I left my first house in Bir Shafahin in 1967, when they destroyed my house in 2004, and now by destroying my farm. They erased 26 years of my life, 26 years of work to grow these trees. God helps and will never leave us.People here asked me if you who are reading this can imagine how it would feel without electricity, no food for a day or a week, or water even animals shouldn't consume because it's unhealthy? Can you enjoy life if you don't have a park or a salary? What if your neighbors were killed, and your home or farm bulldozed? Sometimes it's hard to acknowledge what we see. If it exceeds our capacity as humans, we close our eyes, even if we know it's the truth. Please don't close your eyes to Palestine.

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