Friday, February 6, 2009

The Aftermath

"The aftermath

Najwa Sheikh Ahmed, Nusierat Camp, Gaza Strip

When we are about to relax, take our breaths back and continue our lives as it was before the war started, comes again the sound of the F 16, a long with the Israeli threats of more violent war, more destruction, and more death for the People in Gaza as if we are sentenced by the Israeli war board to “Rest no more”. For me it sounds that the Israelis opened an auction for whom will create the most deterring way to kill the Palestinians, and who creates the most won more votes, finally we ended up human no more but rather an election campaign for the Israelis, how funny!!!

When we start to think that everything would be back to its norms, and that the families, children in Gaza who were subjected to massive, indiscriminate killing can swallow their pain, their grieves and continue their lives, the sound of the Israeli jets flying overhead across Gaza, with a fearful sound that bring back all the experiences, feelings, and mainly our fears that we have been experiencing during the war.

The horrible flashbacks that left from the war are still hidden beneath so close the surface, and will come out with every single minute a loud sound is heard from far away to remind us of a reality that we will be exposed again and again to the cruelty of the Israelis, and that with each time there is no safe place to hide.

Yesterday night I was helping my sons in their studies, Salma was playing around when a sound of the F16 was suddenly heard, though it was far away, but it freaked my little girl who suddenly jumped to sit on her brother lap, with one word in her mouth, “I am too scared, a shelling”. A reaction that will leave her restless with every loud sound.

Mustafa my elder son then whisper a question into my ears, so not to freak his other brother, “will the war start again” a question that I myself wanted to hear a negative answer for it.

My two sons went to UNRWA school and they receive 100NIS for each, so I and their father decided to let them choose what ever things they wish to buy, incredibly they both bought small transistors “small radios”, to keep following the news of the Israelis operation in Gaza as they explain it. Since then they rush to me with every piece of news related to Gaza and to the Israelis, what a pity, they are only children…

It’s a fact that not only children who seem to be exposed and very fragile by the scenes they saw, but also we the adults have the same reactions, though we try to keep them for ourselves. We are not fortified, or untouchable against the horrors that the war left for us.

The nightmares that I have every night, recalling the sound of the bombing, the fears and worries that overwhelmed me during the war are hunting me again, leaving me tired, exhausted, shaken to the core with the bitter taste of being helpless in front of my children.

The uncertainty grown inside us that an end will be soon to the countless Israeli wars against us as Palestinians, keep us tensed and alerted all the time. Then in any second we all will breakdown, and will not be able to act normally in our lives, with our children, and with others.

The Israeli government taught us how to hate violently by their frequent operations against my people; however, with the last war they taught us the real taste of fear. A combination of feelings that can direct its host to dangers reactions and behaviors.

Yesterday my son Mustafa commented on if the Israelis started another war saying to his father “I will ran directly to the first place that they will enter to be killed and rest from all the fearful moments, days that I had to live the last war”

Inside me, I wished to have the courage as my son did and take such a decision ending the possibility of having the same experience again and passing through another war.

Because the times that I kissed my children on their sleep asking their forgiveness for not being a good mother, and whispering on their ears how much I loved them were harder than the sound of the bombing. The number of times that I had to look closely to their faces while they were sleep to remember how they look, were harder than the war itself, and I am not going to handle going through the same feelings again


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'

Going back to work