The connotative meaning of siege on Gaza

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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

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7 responses »

  1. Salaam linz,,this article realy makes me sad 😦
    ,, i wont say that i know what u’re feeling, but i remember last year when elctricity was cut in our neighbourhood for maintenance causes for about 5 hours and i was realy going crazy without my computer,, so, i think u’re realy patient and strong standing in face of all that hard conditions,i think all the palestenians are,,, so don’t go down my dear sister, Allah is always with u, stay strong
    God bless u 🙂

  2. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Palestine: Dehumanized In Gaza

  3. Lina ,

    We all have no idea what you Palestinians go through… We can’t begin to imagine the pain you go through every single day. But one thing I’ve always admired about you is your strength in dealing with all this! All that stuff you just said is relatively nothing to what you really go through. It’s enough that your building was actually hit!!!!! You’ve been through and will go through a lot isa… But for that to end and for that to get better as you say, you have to be patient and strong. I’m not asking you for something more, I’m asking you for something you already have but that you’ve forgotten for a while. When you use these 2, you’ll at least achieve what no one in your conditions can! you’ll at least smile in pride knowing that you’ve outdone a lot of people with all the options in the world while you’re… in Gaza. You have to beat Your vulnerability like you’re already doing isa and msa, But for that to happen you have to also regain your faith! remember that faith of yours that was always your real engine of strength! faith that when life through crap like this in your face you say qadar allah wa ma sha2 fa3al and keep going! This is the real thing you have to regain, cause strength without any faith base is just a fragile building. And through out my entire life I haven’t met a girl with more faith than you msa, but the problem is we all forget :S we all weaken and almost give up! but one thing triggers that strength back to you in a second! Believing… When you’ve regained your faith that will make you start to believe again you’ll find yourself welcoming to any obstacles as challenges :D! That’s the lina I met in the first place! I was so overwhelmed by you that day and was impressed msa by your strength and faith…. don’t ever forget that ya Lina! you have it in you to fight all this and still be able to believe that good will come isa… cause lets face it! “koloh bethawaboh” … there’s not a second that passes when your electricity is cut off but you still keep your faith up that you don’t get your reward for… it’s too much I know.. or I don’t know… but still! that’s why you’re Lina Al-Sharif :D! cause despite of all of that! to you ? you could handle it easily too ! I know that! even you know that! but as I said… People tend to forget 🙂

  4. :'(..walahi I’m just sitting here and crying …
    my heart breaks to read your words, and though I am thousands of miles away I feel your pain through your words and I feel absolutely helpless and all I can do is cry.. 😥
    yalla this is beyond any justification, words cannot find comfort for your plight, yet the people toil with patience, with resilience, with no reason to hope…it is as though Hope makes a bitter mockery of life and you are in reality staring into a downhill battle..nothing can be won, yet you have to struggle to hold on to hope and all the time it eludes you…maybe I do not know what it is to live as you do but certainly I can understand and my heart can feel …
    May Allah be with all of you ameen
    my heart is with you Lina
    take care of your beautiful self
    stay blessed and safe inshaAllah
    with dua and love,
    Le-Ann

  5. No one would conceive our rigorous reality with its painful details except those who have experienced it; I AM one of them :(. We have been through unbelievable critical times! We are living death!
    But sis we have to be resolute and never freak out since Allah is by our side!
    Linz, you have depicted our life meticulously!
    El7amdollah… we have to be satisfied for what Allah has destined to us.
    Keep up writing lina and show ppl how we are suffering every single moment.

  6. Hey Lina, tears are running through my ears too, maybe they mean nothing to you but i ask you to keep doing what you have been doing so far, being patient and sharing your experiences with te world. We are the ones who are dehuminized for not caring what our fellows have to go through, in Palestine, in Sahara, man even in my own country. Getting to know experiences like yours makes us more like you, more human.

    Hopefully one day those of us who care, and those of you there fighting can change things and make things better.

    For some days now i’ve been thanking God for all the things i have everyday and sometimes we forget how important they are, like drinkable water, electricity, the freedom of going places, the right to education, etc.

    The onlyu thing they can never take is your mind and your heart. Dont ever forget that. And once again, you know you care you do sth about it, you (and all gazans and all people living under siege in the world) are more human than us.

    Big hug and may God bless u

  7. Lina, if I could trade places with you and your family I would honestly do it this very minute, Without ever regretting my decision.

    I want so much, with all my heart, for you to be free, and to see and to do all the things that are your given right as a human being of this world.

    You are such a wonderful person and Ambassador for Palestine to the world. You have a far greater gift than those who control your borders and your life, that gift is humanity.

    you are precious

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