I’m listening to “We will not go down” by Michael Heart right now. Wondering why I have to listen to it again and realizing it’s describing the situation in the same context as the previous. I can’t sleep. my muscles ache from exhaustion and I find myself shedding a tear in distress every few minutes.
I just finished a call with a Gazan friend of mine who continues to call up her family every hour to check if they’re still alive. And every time she calls, they have to speak to eachother competing with the sound of the shelling of Israeli warplanes. Her family is in the Rafah area, currently being bombed heavily. Her mother’s cousin’s house was hit and they have no way of knowing if the house is still occupied. When she calls in and asks to speak to her grandpa, she hears that he’s managed to sleep, despite the loud raiding of bombs which could hit them at any moment.
The people of Gaza teach life, as Rafeef Ziadah put it. They teach us an important lesson on how insignificant the value of ourselves is. How human are we? We are silent and ignorant by choice to the suffering of the rest. After all, people are dying everyday right? Why should we bother when we are all destined to die?
The people of Gaza teach us resilience. As a Palestinian refugee who’s never had the privileged of caressing the soil of my homeland, that is what kills me inside. I will never know what it really is like to carry a bleeding dead body. I may never hear the piercing sound of bombs going off around my neighborhood while I sleep. I may never lose a child and be forced to live with it. Maybe I’m crazy for saying this, but I wish I was there rather than here.
I want more than anything to learn about life like the people of Gaza do. These children playing soccer in the streets while they are being shelled by Israeli forces have something that I don’t have. You find seven year olds speaking about the deep meaning of life; something you almost never hear from a Canadian child. We are sheltered people. We think we are entitled to human rights by default.
I vowed to myself to continue wearing the koufiyeh until this genocide is over. I want the world to start asking themselves questions about their humanity. This silence we experience in our schools, universities and work place is dehumanizing us. When we fail to recognize other’s suffering, we lose a part of our humanity along with it.
The third person perspective sees this as a two people war. “There is the Arab and the Jew, why should I bother getting myself into this mess?” Don’t let this stereotype blind you from the truth. It is not the Arab and the Jew. It is the oppressed and the oppressor. It is the colonial powers versus the indigenous.
At this point, I feel most blame towards myself. But this was my destiny to be away from my homeland. I will bring back with me the experience of the outside world one day and join them in their struggle to gain back my humanity. But for now, I must join the global movement against Israeli apartheid and work from where I stand.