Alla T. Elshawa: In Gaza
In Gaza, there is so much to tell, it is always spoken from the heart. When walking in one of its streets, you are faced with endless spoken words, maybe mere conversations or even purposeless fights. You can hardly encounter a silent face. Everyone becomes a political figure making him/herself so knowledgeable and erudite that he/she can express, analyze, or even predict what is happening in the coming seconds. In Gaza, you can articulately speak.
In Gaza, people are so much attached to “today”, the past, though, is stored in their long-term memory. Today, for Gazans, is such a flexible tool that can be easily formed on the basis of its experimental dimensions. Today is a new definition for “adaptation”. The successful mission in living “today” can prove their extraordinary power enabling them to adapt their new plight, which could be considered their new success.
In Gaza, you care for your lunch. While having lunch with your family, you start negotiating about tomorrow’s lunch. Your mum gives you options, but you never reach mutual agreement. Surprisingly, what is prepared is not included in the said options, and you eat it without complaint.
In Gaza, you can run your car using cooking oil, instead of the non-existent petrol.
In Gaza, you are lucky to have joyful company in the beautiful darkness. In Gaza, you can have your errands done on time. Lucky you! Undoubtedly, our sincere thanks go to the company in charge of the always-cut electricity.
In Gaza, you appreciate each drop of water. You get up early in the morning, or stay up till late at night , awaiting the release of the first water drop. There is always a way out, so don’t worry.
In Gaza, you can live, you can carry on.
In Gaza, moments of happiness are the best reminders of past agonies. You were supposed to celebrate, but, unconsciously, your memory recalls your most bitter moments. Tears, in Gaza, are always tears of sorrow, tears of grief…..
In Gaza, a cup of coffee is your welcome and your farewell wherever you go. The smell of this coffee is mingled with the deep-roots of your Gazan Identity.
In Gaza, you hate your boss, your major, and the day when you applied for this job. Still, despite cursing your boss all day, you are doing your job perfectly. It is never out of fear, but the kindest looks of your boss dilute your silent fury, preventing any existence of a “No, or Sorry”. Your heart dictates to you your reactions.
In Gaza, you have no credit, but just by a missed call a friend can easily perceive your need.
In Gaza, you can feel.
In Gaza, you can never forget the smell of the war. The gratuitous death of innocent victims, the premature but willed death of Heroes, the endless up-rooting, the blowing up of houses, and the deep alienation. These empower the Gazans' Spirit to keep going. This Spirit has rebelled against its own plight through "the unarmed revolution” of thousands of children and whom have taken up the fight for liberation; a century of continuous struggle for regaining "the stolen land".
In Gaza, your enemy is surmountable, your fight is spontaneous, indigenous, uprising-timely, heart-rendering, self-sacrificing, deeply appealing, and almost poetic.
In Gaza, "To die" has acquired a new idealistic notion. "To die" embodies values of courage, heroism, endurance, redemption, and more self-identification. Gaza is always there: in your speech, in your coffee, in your job, in your recalled memories