My story, a life story, a love story, a Palestinian story


The idea of writing about something very personal is haunting me. As a Palestinian, it’s really hard to know where to draw the line between the political and the personal. But, in Palestine, the personal is political and the political is the personal. I’ll keep the political away and dig down into the personal. This blog has been the vent for me to write some simple and humble accounts coming from a very ordinary person living under extraordinary circumstances.  I can’t exclude Gaza; Palestine from anything happened-happens and will happen in my life. Simply put, being a woman from Gaza formed the person that I am today.  Proudly and luckily, I consider myself born and raised in Gaza though I was actually born in Kuwait and moved to Bolivia before coming to Gaza. I feel like that I discovered my voice between the digits of these electronic pages, so it’s so much like a small note where I write a blend of the heartily minded digests of my life. I feel now that I am getting married, it’s the time to share my story, a life story, a love story, a Palestinian story.

In the past few months, I’ve been living very fast-paced events. I’d be lying if I say that I 100% fathom all of them. But all I know is that they look like everything I hushed to myself in my sleepless dreams but ironically never thought they would happen.  But they did happen!

I’m a few days away from reuniting and getting married to the man that I really respect, admire, and love. Our story proves that love knows no borders, no siege, no time, and no occupation. It all started by a tweet debating whether the loud bang that was heard across Gaza was an Israeli bomb or just some thunder.

We started as friends who shared the same interests. We tweeted together as Egyptians were toppling Mubarak in Tahrir square.  After a while of chatting online, Mohammed became my best friend. Long chats about Palestine, the world and the future dreams led us to feel that we can build a future together. 

Mohammed is Palestinian South African working in Qatar, Allah (SWT) brought us together through , I am listing all the social media tools we used to communicate, Twitter, WordPress, Facebook, and Gtalk, then later on Skype.  He left Gaza just a few days before I first knew about him.  The last thing I expected in my life is to be engaged and married to A Palestinian South African! Even my parents when I first told them,(yea am a Muslim woman who didn’t have arranged marriage, get over your stereotypes), they were like SOUTH AFRICA?! And I was like “CAN U BELIEVE THAT?!” But love knows no difference between South Africa and Palestine. Actually between South Africa and Palestine there’s the love of freedom and dignity.

April, we were officially engaged. But it was without meeting Mohammed in person.  From April to September, our chats were often cut by the electricity outages, bad internet connection, and the Israeli siege on Gaza.  Hearing the ghastly stories of Rafah crossing, the continuous closures and the difficulty of going out and in Gaza, made us more determined to meet. But there were times when I used to tell Mohamed: “being engaged to a Palestinian is a pain, isn’t?” “I love you more because you are a Palestinian” that answer was enough for me to stand the days, weeks and months of talking on Skype.

Palestinians don’t have airports, to travel anywhere, so we have to cross a 6 hour trip though Sinai to Cairo then from Cairo’s international airport to the intended destination.  So, a trip to South Africa took about 6 hours in car and 8 hours in plane, but the result was totally worth it.
Finally I met my future husband. I enjoyed South Africa for the richness of its history. I just need to mention going to the Apartheid Museum where similarities between the Israeli occupation and the former Apartheid system are striking. I felt like I was home in South Africa. And indeed, now, it’s my second home.

After a 40 day trip between Gaza, Cairo, South Africa, Cairo again, Jordan then Cairo again, I came back home with my parents.  Mohammed went back to Qatar.  Going back to Gaza was like sending me back to the prison. We both felt the fear of not being able to go out again. But I’m from Gaza-Palestine, and our wedding must be in Palestine, too.  Time flew by, very soon I’m uniting with the man that I love in the country that I love, but I’m also a few days away from leaving my family and Gaza. Though I’m moving, I know that no matter where I go, I’ll carry Gaza, Palestine and the struggle along with me.  Home is where my heart is. And my heart, mind, and roots will be in the country and the city where I grew up.  

As I am starting my new life in Qatar, I’ve been buying Palestinian crafts, Gaza mugs, Palestinian embroidery, Palestinian traditional dress and kufeyiahs. I am moving a part of Palestine that I really cherish into my small house. And I know that I’ll be telling stories about the sea, the war, and the contradictions of life in this part of Palestine.
The goodbye will be difficult. Leaving my family, especially my mum, will be the hardest thing I’ll do in my life. The fact that Gaza is not free makes it difficult to visit it whenever I want. Any trip would take me to cross a desert and withstand the humiliation of Rafah crossing let alone the possibility that it can be closed anytime.  So, I’ll live on the hope that I’ll be seeing them again, in sha Allah.

I wrote this post to the man that I want to spend the rest of my life with, to the city that gave me so much, to the family and friends that I will aguishly miss.

I’ll leave you for love not for not loving you.

And as we met through a tweet, some of my friends will be tweeting from our wedding, and maybe Mohammed and I will be able to tweet from inside the wedding hall  :D.

You can check my Twitter account :
my friend Amal

Our virtual wedding invitation


24 responses »

  1. When I saw the invitation card, I didn’t think that there is a story.
    Your way in writing and the unique love for your fince’e ,family and palestine make me prouder for being Palestine.

  2. Asslamu Alaikum my sister,

    Congratulations once again, and may Allah keep this unity forever and ever even in Jannah, Ameen.

    YaY, South Africa & Palestine!

    I have so many questions but I rather leave that for later as all I want to tell you that this comes from a South African herself who feels greatly pleased to know that South Africa was chosen for a Gazan and her family as another home for such intimate matters.

    South Africa is home to Palestinians anytime!

    May Allah free Palestine soon, so that you may raise your children in the holy lands where both of you belong.

    May Allah bless both of you with goodness and the best of both worlds showered with His mercy, grace and Love, Ameen.

    Lina, Palestine and SA are really going hand in hand, literally, MashaAllah. 😀

    Loved this!

    Congrats from South Africa!


  3. I unashamedly cried while reading this. I wish the both of you the very best. May your parents’ pain be comforted by the thought that you have managed to find love, despite the siege and in the face of unrelenting occupation.
    I’d give anything to attend your wedding; having followed you for so long I feel an attachment to you in a way that can only be described as being sisterly, full of respect and admiration.
    May your life be filled with joy and happiness.

    One day soon I hope to be able to greet you in a free Palestine, from the river to the sea.


    And by the way, having seen the photo’s, you both make a beautiful couple – and you, a stunning bride.

    Alf mabrook habibty.
    From your Southern Lebanese sister, a Palestinian forever at heart.

  4. Great post little sis !
    words are failing me now, but i wish you all the very best in the days to come, and me and Gaza will always miss you, and anticipating seeing you again 😀

  5. it’s really very touching, wish you the best great Linaaa!!
    by the way the most part i enjoyed was that about how u met Mohammad 🙂 I found that the tweet can do much !!

  6. why do “they” usually link long silence with folly or weakness? This post proves ‘them” wrong, badly wrong.

    Still, that does not mean, Lina, you need the long silence to produce such wonderfully woven stuff.
    Good luck you two and congratulations again.

    P.S. being out side of Gaza does not mean “liveFROMgaza” is a dilemma. You can always be in Gaza even if you physically are not.

  7. I love your story I think it will be a good idea for movie 🙂 Really it amazing love story..

    I wish to you a wonderful wedding party, and an easy travel from Rafah cross point and a happy happy happy happy new life with your man in Qatar …
    we will miss you, keep in touch and pass salamaty to Dalila plz.

    with my best wishes
    Nada Kahlout

  8. Subhanallah may you guys be blessed with all the happiness. Such an amazing story. Pretty awesome to see love blooming in adversity. Us South Africans and Palestineans are like kindred souls. Palestinean South African actually sounds pretty cool , kind of how many of us feel. Palestine is in our every prayer. Congratulations may it be a wonderful journey for you guys.

  9. Lina,,,,,, And here I stop.. What can I possibly say after your sincere words practically made me cry?? I hate goodbyes, especially when a precious priceless friend is leaving.. But you are going to a new amazing life with your significant other, and you are carrying Palestine with you.. Knowing that you’ll be happy makes me happy too..

    I knew you since our freshman year in IUG and although we didn’t get the chance to chat a little more about everything, you have a really special place in my heart, my dear friend..

    So best of Allah’s blessings, luck, happiness, adventure and whatever you ever wish.. Take a good care of your self and may Allah The Almighty bless you and your Mohammad and grant you eternal happiness.. 🙂

    Your idiot friend who couldn’t hold back her tears,,

  10. Pingback: زفاف غزة .. لون جديد من المقاومة | نازك أبو رحمة

  11. لزيزة قصتكم .. بتنفع فيلم 🙂
    ربنا يوفقكم و يسعدكم و يسهل لغزة امورها و تيجي تزوري اهلك كل ما حنيتي ان شاء الله 🙂

  12. Hi, I have just discovered your story on the site of a French news mag (article here: I wholeheartedly agree with a comment above: your story would make a really thought and hope-inspiring movie! And
    it moved me so much that I absolutely wanted to send my most sincere wishes for your future life together. May it be filled with love, joy, happiness and pleasure, and may the soundtrack of this life be the laughter of your future children, whom I hope will be raised in a peaceful and healthy place.

    May Allah, or God or whatever other name we give Him watch over you, bless you, all your loved ones and everyone in Gaza too.

    Love from Paris, Sylvie

  13. Pingback: Accadde in Rue Mouffetard, Gaza | Visioni insider, occidente » Visioni

  14. Pingback: If i could send in a Mondo Award inspiration might be about Lina and Mohammed: "a life story, a love story, a Palestinian story."

  15. Dear Lina, I am a British journalist. I write for Vanity Fair magazine and a British newspaper, the Mail on Sunday. I have been to Gaza twice and the West Bank many times since 2007, and I happened to find your blog by chance yesterday on the internet. I read the whole thing and watched some of the videos. It is incredibly powerful and moving, and also a document of historical importance, in that it gives more of an insight into living in Gaza the past few years than anything I have come across. I am delighted that you are now going to make a new life with your husband. But have you thought of writing a book, expanding the blog into a memoir – in English? I think you should. warm regards David Rose

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