This is something I’ve been feeling so significantly the past week. It’s the feeling of dehumanized or the feeling that life is not meant for us, the Palestinians. Even though I fight this feeling with all of my power, yet sometimes it prevails, because I don’t find an escape. In other words, my strength can’t protect my vulnerability; I find myself in need to feel weak, so I can feel my strength again.
Well, smallthings are always more significant than say wars or assaults.
Getting to explanations, the electricity in Gaza has been nothing but horrible since the start of this summer. It’s cut for almost 8 hours and mostly when it’s required. I think when you wake up at 8 am hopping to have a productive day then the very next moment it’s cut till 4 in the evening, you find yourself like…ok, now what? Go back to sleep! I use my computer for educational purposes. I’ll still live if I don’t use it for 8 hours. But now almost every single institution & society uses computers and depends on them for work. No electricity, no work!
Moreover, it’s July, the summer has not been hotter here in Gaza.
You may want to argue that these are tolerable troubles and after all you still get 16 hours of electricity!! Why all this drama?
Well here’s something, have you ever thought about not having electricity for 8 hours? Something the world takes for granted, like the electricity. To us ,Gazans, it is somethig when we have it for 24 hours.
So isn’t enough to feel dehumanized?
Another thing, summer time to many people is a time when you travel & chill out to put behind you all the year’s stress so you can have energy to start over. Well in Gaza, it’s yet another season. In this regard, I don’t feel bad for myself, as much as I feel bad for my parents; they work hard all the year. They deserve a break. My mum has not seen her mum for 5 years. Grandma lives in Jordan.
As a matter of fact, it’s impossible for us ,Gazans, to visit Jordan, because we’re not given visas.
Moreover, Rafah crossing opens 3 days each 3 months and conditionally; that is only for those who are severely sick, students ,and not Gaza residents. Plus, if you go out of Gaza, you won’t have a specific date or even an estimated period for how long you’ll be out. Not forgetting, the way people get humiliated by the Egyptian police on the terminal. So why the drama, the humiliation why to travel unless you were dying?! Again is that something you’ve ever thought of? It’s another thing the world takes for granted while to us, Gazans, is a means of last resort.
Last, the food we eat and the things we buy. I think that more than 80% of the goods you find in the supermarkets are smuggled. When you go to Al-Qishawai, one of Gaza’s biggest supermarkets, you find most of the goods there are smuggled from Egypt. One may ask what gives it away? Well you have to wash the Coca Cola can before you drink it, because it is so much like it was buried in the sand, and then hit by rocks then exposed to the sea that it got rusted. Another thing caught my attention how the box of tea bags is full of sand, because it’s smuggled.
The siege which has been imposed on Gaza for more than two years now does not mean to hunger the Gazans; it wants us to feel dehumanized! Something like, see even the food you eat is not clean, because you don’t deserve one. You don’t get to travel, because you don’t deserve it. You don’t get electricity for 24 hours, because you don’t deserve that either. These things are for human not Gazas humans.
Life is difficult in Gaza. All the people are suffering this dehumanization.
For how long? I don’t know.
Things don’t seem to get better. It’s only getting worse and worse! There’s no room for hope or anything that prompts it.
However, the only thing that makes me feel good in the end of the day despite the annoyance and frustration prompted by feeling dehumanized,is that I am not distracted to what is important, to what the Palestinian issue is all about; struggle for freedom ,dignity ,and justice.
In fact,I am in pain for the siege but not only for that. I am in pain for the constant confiscation for the lands in the West bank by the Israeli settlers. Moreover, I am in pain for the house demolitions in Al-Quds. I am in pain for not being able to visit Al-Aqsa even it’s only 2 hours or less far away from where I am. Maybe this pain is the only thing left for me to have hope. In fact, it is the only thing left. Till this hopeful pain turns to freedom we aspire, I am letting my strength protect my vulnerability.
Special thanks to Nesreen Abu-Sultan & Zahid