My Side of the Story – A Young Palestinian Woman Recounts This Year’s Eid Under the Sound of Bombs
I can still remember the day my mom told me that my Grandfather read Quran verses around our house daily. Maybe he had to do this after the 1948 catastrophe, when the Israeli forces forced them to leave the house they were born in and spent their entire childhood, as well as their youth. Sleeping tight in your warm bed, even though you know that at any moment, in your life as a Gazan citizen, your house might be bombed and probably wiped off the face of the earth, simply because you’re Palestinian.
As hard as it seems, fear is an essential part of any human being of this earth, but we have a higher level of fear: fear for the lives of those we love; our family first, friends, neighbors, even the people that we don’t even know. I have just described for you the normal, everyday life we live, what about the days of war? You know that you might end up dead any minute, or wake up under the rack of your house choking with your own blood, you might also wake up alive finding the rest of your family torn into parts with their blood and the rack of your house above your head. As tragic it might seem, I haven’t even told you the worst part, the part where you and your family gather in one room with no electricity, no water, no food or internet, saying prayers for yourselves and other family members to either keep you alive together or just take your lives together!
Imagine losing the one important feeling in your life. The fact that you don’t feel safe in your own house and your own bed, feeling safe is probably the sweetest thing you will ever feel, hearing the reassurances of someone close to you will definitely help you
feel safe, but what if you lose the one person you actually feel safe with? Your mom, maybe your dad, or even your brother or friend? Closing your eyes after a long night of bombings and prayers, it will be so hard to sleep with what you have witnessed, or heard! The sound of rockets hitting the ground; the ground which you don’t know if it was actually your house, or your neighbor’s house, I can bet that every person in Gaza knows exactly the sound of rockets, missiles, or grenades.
As a 23-year-old girl, I’m never too old for Eid! But this particular Eid made us all grow up, even children, with the fact that we might not live to see the next one. The first day of our Eid (a holiday for Muslims) was a complete catastrophe! You might also describe it as a genocide. We woke up to the news that the Israeli air forces has wiped out an entire neighborhood on the heads of its owners. Most of them were children. Children sleeping in their new clothes for Eid, a tragedy that made us helpless, sad, also in severe pain for the loss of those people. It turned into a funeral instead of Eid! These children were eager to feel the joy of Eid, the joy that comes twice a year, yet the Israeli forces decided they have the right to take away that joy from us!
The night we left our house was a complete horror movie! Our 10-member family did not expect to be alive the next morning. A red sky, horrific explosions whenever you blink your eyes, no electricity, sounds of crying, fear, terror, and martyrdom. None of us knew what would happen that night, if we will die or live to see the sun of the next day! But unlike others, we managed to survive this night. That was followed by other horrific nights of continuous sounds of bombing and explosions.
The painful fact is that no one knows how to avoid these bad days, but the one thing I know is to only live by the will of Allah. I never found what I wanted easily, I never heard the words I wanted quickly, most of my wishes never came true, they remained wishes, it was always hard since the beginning of my life. I lost my soul some days, but I always found my way back with the healing and recuperation of Allah. I do believe that He has good plans for us, whatever obstacles I find throughout my life, whether it be unemployment, war, the Israeli occupation, the siege, or even the masculine society we live in, I will always remain assured that if I have the destiny to see the next day or even the next year, I will.
If I don’t, I will die raising my head as a fighter who lived her entire life struggling and fighting for what she always wanted.
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