Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Going Back to Work in Gaza

"Going back to work

Najwa Sheikh Ahmed, Nusierat Camp, Gaza Strip

The road was dreary, it was the second day after the cease fire was announced, and people started to leave their houses to see what has happened to the other places, I was on the taxi going to my work in Gaza, and all the way I was trying to prepare myself of what I am going to see, the destruction in the houses, the lands, the roads and every thing, but it seems that I was so humble on my expectations, every thing was different starting from Natzarim junction a long to Gaza city, to the destroyed houses, offices, streets, buildings, play grounds, even worship places, the mosques where we found peace and security.

I was shocked, though I saw many reports on the news about the destruction on Gaza after the war, but on reality by your own eyes, it is different, more painful, and more frustrating to witness this destruction.

All the way to the office I was trying to recognize what exactly was on this place, a house, a farm, a school, maybe, nothing for sure, every thing is upside down as if the earth took out its anger, and erased every thing, however this time it is not the earth to blame, but the human controlled by the power of hatred, and a big appetite to kill.

With each meter of the road there is a story, a story that can be told by the faces of the inhabitants of this place, which was their home, their shelter, and their life. On each pile of rubble stand children, women without any feelings, any reactions but silence, trying to grab what is left from their lives, from their memories, from their hard work during the years, but they come only with some ragged cloths, nothing else.

Today I had the chance to meet with families who lost their houses, the stories told by the women in general, and the children in particular tell more about the war, it's cruelty, with one question on their minds, why us? It was not our war, and it was not against armed people, it was us who were targeted, civilians on their houses, between their kids. It was us who have to leave under the fire, and the shelling, with the screams of our terrified children, hoping for one thing to stay alive or to die together.

The tears shed by the mothers who went through this experience, the experience of losing the safe shelter make them unable to give more for their children as if they were drained from any feelings, from any love, any security, but kept with their painful memories that will take ages to be healed and forgotten as one mother told me.

The children’s simple wishes of bringing back their toys, their books, their favorite things, were very hard to me to listen to. Their innocent eyes and their shaky hands when recalling the horrible events make it difficult to believe in peace, the peace that we pay its cost from our lives and the lives of our children.

A question is left there in their small heads, and small tiny hearts, what is the benefit from teaching us the human rights while we can not experience any of these rights, why I am as a child can not live in a safe house, and treated as a human being while many others who are not different from me, in other places on the world practice these rights.

Why the Israelis seek a better life for their children, and at the same time destroyed our simple houses, our lives, our dreams, leave us nothing but a toll of painful memories, and a bitterness that will be for ever burning us from the inside until I take revenge.

Why they are asking us to be normal, logical, and life loving persons, while they are teaching us how to hate?


January 26, 2009 From Najwa Sheikh Ahmed, Nusierat Camp, Gaza Strip. Najwa Sheikh's blog:


Also see
: A letter from a mother in Gaza to a mother in Sderot

Open letter from Palestinian Refugee Family living in the Gaza Strip, SOS

Immigration within the camp

From a meaningless life to a meaningless death

All the time we hear the Israeli war machine'