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The end of ‘Operation Protective Edge’

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Whatever was going on in Gaza for the past 51 days has finally ended. People can finally breathe, sleep, live! My family and I lived and experienced the worst of times, but we are still alive. We survived.

Minutes before the announcement of the ceasefire a number of civilians were killed in the most savage ways. I saw a father carrying the body of his son, his heart was broken and his eyes full of tears, I saw the mother crying over her loss and the pain in her eyes summed up the whole story. I saw a child, who had lost his parents and kept asking me,”Rana, did I lose my parents forever? I miss them. Yalla, help me to visit them. I want to hug them. I miss my mom waking me up and daddy bringing me toys.”

Everyone in Gaza seemed ready to hear the announcement of a long-term ceasefire. People were tired, they just wanted this war to end.

Rana Selfie
Rana Selfie

When the official announcement of the ceasefire was finally announce I couldn‘t stop crying! I could not believe this nightmare was about to end soon. I couldn‘t believe I was alive for this moment. I couldn‘t believe I was going to see my parents and relatives again.

I didn’t know how to feel. I was so relieved. I experienced thousands of mixed feelings at once. I hope this ceasefires lasts. Enough pain already! Time for darkness to go away! Time to resume our normal lives! Time to breathe a fresh air again.

Gaza was shinning today, though Israel destroyed its infrastructure Gaza is shining . All the streets were full of children and all the businesses were open once again. Life returned to normal for the Palestinian people but at the same time we feel pain for the loss of our martyrs including many of them who were little children. May their beautiful souls rest in peace!

All people were celebrating in the streets, I was celebrating in my way. I wish I could hug all the mothers who lost their children, I wish I could go to every person that was injured and tell them how much I respect them and how proud I feel for their courage and resilience.

Roads were full of children, cars and people. Many who had been evacuated from their homes went back to check the destruction and rescue whatever was left of them. Birds were flying in the sky after 51 days of war in Gaza.

Yesterday was unique in a way, the smell of victory and the memory our martyrs, now asleep in grief but their souls still remain among us – they are our heroes,  their sacrifice and martyrdom brought this glorious day to Gaza.

I saw the happiness in the eyes of the children. I was celebrating with the people on the streets and I raised the slogans “Free, free Palestine” and “Long live Gaza”.

After the long suffering inflicted upon us by Israel, Gaza was celebrating the victory. My cousins and aunt came to visit us. We talked about our experiences. We cried, laughed, ached, shouted, danced, giggled, and talked for hours. I asked them to leave these bad memories behind us and move forward to brighter days.

The voices of the nations of the world must unite. The Gazan‘s voice will be the victorious one. My faith in God is huge, our slogan is “Allah Akbar!” (God is Great!). Victory smiles to us with the power of God, Lord of the Universe, as written in al-Qur’an victory is to the Muslims. We give a promise that Gaza will never cry again. At this moment, the bombing from East and West has completely stopped. I swear by God that we will achieve victory!

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Mabrouk!

May these days of peace and joy be only the very first of many more. I hope that the rest of your precious lives are finally marked by freedom, respect, justice and peace.

Thank you for sharing your feelings and your experiences Rana.

I know there is a show of euphoria in Gaza now, and a sense of victory because they withstood the Israeli onslaught=but we must remember how this trauma will continue to effect people for years to come. We can see the demolished buildings and many of the physical wounds, but we cannot see the emotional scars that millions of people now carry inside them. I have been following this 51 day rampage on Twitter through… Read more »

Rana, this is the most beautiful piece of writing that I have ever read. I am in tears. I am a Palestinian here in the U.S., but my family is in Gaza and my heart and mind are with you always. Allah yi7meekum, habibitalbi. May God bless you and protect you always.

thank you so much rana.

Here is a thought. Based the latest OCHA data for Gaza and this detailed data on deaths in the Syrian war up to April 1 this year. Source: <a href="http://blogs.cfr.org/zenko/2014/04/01/syria-civil-war-total-fatalities/?cid=nlc-dailybrief-daily_news_brief-link15-20140415&sp_mid=45632445&sp_rid=andjZ2xhc2VyQGdtYWlsLmNvbQS2"<Council on Foreign Relations it can be shown that Israel killed 7 times as many civilians per opposition fighter in this latest debauch as the Syrian regime does. But then , as far as I know, the Syrians haven’t got a Dahiya doctrine Note: I have… Read more »