Saturday, 15 January 2011

First Death Experience

A True Story By A Girl From Gaza

Walking and tears dropping on the floor and without choice I had to prepare myself for death. Whispering to myself, will they wipe us out, will everything stop, my dreams , my hopes?
And then...where will the love go and where will the flowers flow? But surrendering is not a choice to me. I was repeating victory poems while collecting my things, within my  mind there were echoes of silence addressing the world, where is your Humanity, where are the advocators of human laws that aim to protect and serve?

“The Israeli forces are at the end of our street” my brother said, “no choice to escape“, he added. I was confused and panicking sped up my steps towards my shelf to pick up things my Grandma gave me, that medal carved in it the Palestinian flag and the key of return. I took some pictures of my fancy childhood, putting them in my bag, looking at the remaining things, my files, the yellow box I bought with my cousin, and my books I bought with my own pocket money. Those slips of papers from my beloved people, my pictures on the wall, the new clothes I bought to wear for that party we were preparing for, all that will soon be destroyed; I even questioned my own survival. I tightened up my bag, wiping my tears; consoling myself that nothing will remain in my heart except nice remembrances and hope.
With sudden jarring of the floor, a trespass upon our zone, tanks and bulldozers surrounding all buildings in the place, all families were in distress.

Mummy closed the doors and windows for safety, father rushed with my brothers to protect us, my brother’s wife say pregnant on the floor doing nothing. Waiting.

Cautiously, I went peeking from that broken window to see what’s happening outside. More than 17 tanks were settled, I caught the eyes of those Israeli ‘Defense’ Force Soldiers who were perched with indifference on the knife-edge of their offensive machines, popping seed after seed into the black holes that were their mouths: waiting, to pounce on my life. The bulldozers savagely advanced on the planted orchards…Other soldiers set about fencing off the street.

I heard a knock on the door that pulled my attention away from concentrating on this terrifying view.
With a quick stand, I reached the door. Looking through the door lens I saw our neighbors gasping and asking what shall we do? We told them in a hurry to come to our flat; it might be safer than theirs. My young siblings, my brother’s wife, our neighbors, and some more; we all were trapped in the house. Five hours after, the Israeli soldiers reached our zone, they took our location and distributed themselves amongst the buildings. They started bombing and striking bombs randomly. The operation started. Many bombs were thrown towards our building; fire ate every single thing.

We were waiting to die. We reached death station: every voice of the bombs we heard made us move to the opposite side of the room thinking wrongly it would be safer! It was all quite like a horror movie. You know the one where you are trapped: waiting?

I never stopped peeping from the broken window, this time I saw one tank moving its artillery to a near place. Suddenly, a big explosion in our building without knowing in which floor, you can’t scream, you can’t walk, you have to lean yourself on the floor  not to make shadows, to ask in silence, it was our language that day.

Electronic wires were cut, transmitter station was ruined. The soldiers opened fire on water drums and barrels of water with apertures everywher. Minutes later, we would find no water, no light and no communication network, but few candles and some water mum has saved for need.

We were isolated..!

My father prevented us to open any door which leads to rooms in our flat, “we don’t want them to know we are here” he said, otherwise we will all be killed. I wanted to check if there was any damage in our room. I tried to open the door, but another series of bombs stopped me. Fear and the peak of frightening feelings settled upon us, they began throwing the firebombs. Smoke was frightening us more than rockets and bombs; it was the slowing down of death.

My young sister was talking to herself, looking at the blazing fire behind the window “I don’t want to be killed by smoke, rockets and bombs are much better...” I interrupted her asking why? “I don’t want to see any of you dying in front of me by suffocation, gasping for air, smoke will kill the weakest, the rocket might kill us at once.”

The fire reached the fourth floor, curtains caught fire, the windows smashed and broke, and there was no way to put out this fire. We used a white cloth to put on our noses to breath air, no place to protect us from smoke. It was everywhere.

“Shall I open the window for oxygen mum,” asked my sister. With no answer, my mother began to look for a safe place without smoke, but there was none. She held them and went to my brother’s room.
We stopped peeping out of the window, knowing nothing about what is happening outside, the situation got worse, and the sound of helicopters above us throwing rockets to the building, waiting for the minute, the land gulps us all.   Closing our eyes, holding our hearts, and saying: “Ya - Allah”.  We all were repeating after my mother’s praying and with one voice we said “Ya- Allah.” I fell upon my knees, raised my hands to pray for mercy and for rain... “Please Allah be with us “
“Where can we go Dad,“ my brother asked. Silence was all the answer.

I went to the toilet, to escape from the fire to find fire inside. Where I thought to be with no fire and smoke, but more badly, the wall was boiling, I couldn’t even touch it.

My elder brother lit a candle to try to see in front of us, we were all sitting beside each other I  embraced my young sister in my ribs, hugging her all time, she eased off her arms upon my chest, and closed her eyes and went to sleep.

Looking to my brother’s wife, I was afraid she would miscarry after this strained day. I was thinking, how one of us can bless those children in this hard time, thinking about that strange winter that passed upon us, with no rain.

We stayed till 9 pm, smoke began lessen and vanished, without knowing if the Israeli are still in the place or withdrew. I opened my eyes to pray, in the gloomy night, but I couldn’t move, otherwise ill awake my small sister who’s sleeping beside me. I didn’t know what time it was, I looked right and left I just saw the blackish night, took a breath  and a tear of mine dropped on my sisters cheek awakened and paniced her. She flopped on me and began crying.

All members of my family woke up and didn’t grasp what happened, we all got up looking around, finding no sound, and silence controlled all the surroundings.

I went in a hurry to my room, looking and checking my things, the injured dove amazed me, pooh!!   Even this dove is a purpose.  What’s this wrong? What’s this guilt? Damage was everywhere, smoke and broken glass on the floor, halls in the wall, files of mine were disorganized, books, everything was targeted, shrapnel everywhere.

O Palestine, to you I will express my sorrow, there’s no tears in my eyes, all have been dried, to your eyes I tell my sadness. My eyes were deprived of sleeping, afraid that my dreams would escape! Why is the life painful? When heart suffers from what is happening, When the echo of groans are grief, we are still living of what is called “humanity”.

1 comment:

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