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Memoir of a war survivor

Israel/Palestine
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Palestinians walk past the rubble of houses destroyed by Israeli strikes in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip, Sunday, July 27, 2014. (Photo: Lefteris Pitarakis, AP)

Palestinians walk past the rubble of houses destroyed by Israeli strikes in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip, Sunday, July 27, 2014. (Photo: Lefteris Pitarakis, AP)

This is Sarah, I’m a Palestinian citizen. I became 23 in the 19th day of the third war I’ve witnessed in the last five years of my life against Gaza. And to make it clear – I’m not a terrorist!

I’m writing this piece after watching Al-Jazeera documentary film “Al-Fajer Massacre” describing one of the most savage massacres that took place in this war, and maybe the entire world! I’m not exaggerating if I said that I am literally heartbroken right now for all what happened to those innocent people, who lost everything, their beloveds, their memories, their homes .. just “everything” is the only word that can describe the size of their loss! Everybody cried while watching the film, my entire family did!

I live in the center of Gaza, and till this moment, neither I nor my family have physically been affected by this brutal war. This is the day number 21 of war, and it’s not much different from the last twenty days. The same things are taking place every single day. I wake up to follow up the latest news, the new updated number of martyrs and wounded, the new places being targeted by Israeli forces, whether everyone I know is still fine and alive! Then we all keep waiting for what’s coming next. Where and who will be the next target? It might be me, or my whole family! Or we might be lucky to survive from the random missiles that target nothing but civilians! Nothing is certain, and all the possibilities are present. Yes, it’s that simple!

Watching others’ death, pain and loss is not far from death itself, on the contrary, many days passed and I die more than once a day, the size of pain that survivors suffer from is much larger than the pain you would feel till the final death! I imagine how would I feel if I lose those people who I love, how my life would look like after them. What if I die? How would my mother would feel about that? How others can carry on in their lives without their families? I just can’t imagine and I’m pretty sure even those who have already lost their beloved ones don’t have any idea of how they would keep living without them and I bet that they all wish if they died with them.

Nothing is more difficult than death in this place but life. I think those who died “martyrs” are the luckiest! Lots of us are keep telling ourselves: unfortunately, we’re still alive!

Even in times of peace and ceasefire, life here is not rosy, Palestinians’ life in Gaza has always been tragic. We’re living under siege for more than seven years, the siege killed the dreams of thousands of people, the dream to study, to get medication, to see relatives, to see the other side of the world, if it was even right to consider this side as a part of this world!, and much more than I even can count.

We’re already dying before this war has been launched, before any other preceding wars took place, we’re dying slowly; our crime is only being Palestinian citizens. We’re lacking the simplest necessities of life .. water, electricity, borders, infrastructure, … and endless consequences. Even those Palestinians who are living outside Gaza and West Bank, they’re dying every single day more than once; because our land and homes were once stolen .. but for sure not forever! Peace and stability are the dreams and obsessions of every Palestinian, of every human being on this earth .. not terrorists.

Sarah-Gh
About Sarah Algherbawi

Sarah Algherbawi is a freelancer writer and translator from Gaza.

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3 Responses

  1. amigo
    amigo
    July 29, 2014, 10:58 am

    Sarah, we in Ireland can never know what your pain is like but we will be on the streets and outside the Zionist Embassy in Dublin and several other cities every Saturday as long as it takes.

    We will explain the facts to others when they are taken in by Zionist propaganda that seeps into our national media.

    We will boycott Israeli goods at as many stores as we can and demand from those who sell this contraband to cease.

    We will proudly put “Boycott Israel ” signs on our car windows and show our solidarity with the people of Gaza.

    We will lobby our Government to do something concrete to end this slaughter and work to end the siege and blockade.

    We will not let our stamina weaken.

    May you and your family be safe.

  2. Marnie
    Marnie
    July 29, 2014, 11:27 am

    As-Salaam-Alaikum Sarah – you’re just one year older than my own daughter. I can’t begin to tell you the sorrow I have for what is happening in Gaza, what has been happening in Gaza all of your life and much longer. I pray every day for the end to the horror you have known all your short life and that soon all of Palestine will see justice and you’ll have peace, autonomy and life.

  3. chocopie
    chocopie
    July 29, 2014, 11:53 am

    “We’re living under siege for more than seven years, the siege killed the dreams of thousands of people, the dream to study, to get medication, to see relatives, to see the other side of the world…”

    This is why everyone should support all forms of BDS. Why should Israelis be allowed to travel, study abroad, go on business trips, visit distant family members, and live normally while Palestinians are imprisoned?

    Israel is intentionally wasting the human potential of all the Palestinians it imprisons in Gaza and intentionally hobbling the advancement of the Palestinian people. All over the world, Palestinians who live in freedom are doing amazing things in their professions, in their communities, and in their lives, but Israel intentionally thwarts and strives to limit the advancement of any Palestinians under their control and especially those living in Gaza.

    Try to imagine, in this day and age, a ghetto of Jews living under siege, not allowed to study or travel, not allowed to take part in everything life has to offer. The world would never stand for it. Are Palestinians less human?

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