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Back to Death!

[1]

I’m neither writing to argue who has started, nor do I writing to plead. I just want to speak about a place on earth where people experience death every moment while they are still alive,  and where people suddenly die with no throes.

[2]

It’s Gaza

The last few days, a mother delivered her baby boy (Matar) on the same day her son (Matar, 17 years) was killed. It’s Gaza where people never die, where life goes on despite of every tragedy the city goes through, and where everything seems to grant people more strength.

[3]

I’m pregnant,

And the strangest feeling I may feel at these moments is that the little embryo inside my womb moves strongly and quickly once a strong bombing shakes everything around.

[4]

Buzzzzzzzzzzzz

The city is drowning in darkness, and the buzzing of the Zionist spy planes is getting louder and louder. My bed is shaking at the moment, and sounds of explosions are deafening.  I just cannot understand how my mother simply says, “go to bed”.

[5]

Nothing to lose!

I was reading Nothing to Lose but Your Life by Suad Amiry. I thought, it will be okay if I just lost my life. No Suad, I have many things to lose. I may lose the life of my husband, brother, father, mother, or sister. I may lose a part of my body. I may lose my eight-month embryo. I will be lucky if it is about losing my life only.

[6]

Facebook

The home page suddenly turns into a news screen on which all of my friends write the same status update: Qasef!!!, Bombing.

[7]

Irony

Despite of this rain of fire, I want people to know 15th of November is Palestine’s independence day =D

Anyway, it’s a nice opportunity to live the lie of Yasser Arafat.

this is how Gaza looked today, and is still, however; in darkness now :

[8]

I don’t care

I don’t care about what anybody on earth thinks of Gazans. I don’t care if they called us terrorists. At this moment, I want resistance to go on stronger and stronger. I want resistance to force them stay in their shelters forever. I want them to know we never go to shelters, we never make shelters, even. Shelters are for cowards, and Israel knows, very well,  we are not!

Damn you Israel,

 Long live Gaza. Long live resistance.

Ruba Monzir

15/11/2012

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Farewell IUG

If our life is a matter of  days and days, the day of farewell is to come sooner or later. I still remember my first step in IUG, as if it were yesterday. My schedule started at 8 am. I wore my brown jelbab, off-white headscarf, small jeans bag, and a ring my father gave me as a gift when I finished high school, and went to say welcome IUG.

I was looking in students faces as a lost child, looking for someone I know. The most difficult thing is to search people’s faces and eyes looking for something familiar, something just to spend some time with, but you don’t find. That day was too hot, and the campus was overcrowded with strange faces.

Days after days, my bag gradually became bigger, my books became more in number and smaller in font size, and I started to make some friends.

I remember: when I was still a beginner searching for words and putting them together to form a correct sentence before I speak English in front of professors and classmates. Although it was broken sometimes, I still remember my teacher when she shook her head slowly up and down and said, “excellent!”

I still remember when IUG was bombed during the Cast Lead in December 2008. The scientific laboratories building kept smoking for about 3 days, and my father kept surfing the internet looking for an undestroyed side of the building and pinning hopes that his laboratory is still alive. However, it was all in vain!

I still remember the smell of savageness coming out of damaged concrete. I still remember the dryness of tree leaves covered with white dust, and I do remember exam sheets and projects were under the debris. Every single minute I spent at IUG is unforgettable.

27th of December, 2009, the first anniversary of Cast Lead. I was a member of IUG Female Students Council. All of members were busy thinking of a strong decoration for the commemoration but we decided what happened is above all decorations! I went up the ruins of the damaged building, holding the microphone and started.

At that time, every single cell inside our hearts was telling Israeli’s: “you will never live in peace as long as we have memories”.

I think of how my life is going to be after graduation. A life away from friends I used to meet daily, a life away from assignments, presentations, and hard work , a life without exams! That has seemed a dream to me since I knew the word (teacher); it seems a nightmare to me now!

All of the details there are distinguishable: the break time, our daily falafel breakfast, the place where we daily sit, our chatting, laughing, cursing marks :S , and photocopying notes 😀 Soha’s mess, Rawand’s complaint, Shaima’s constant will to leave early to have lunch, Rania’s fun and our madness together.

If it’s to say farewell to all of this, it’s may be the time to say welcome to many other things; they will all be grown-ups’ affairs and a life of big responsibilities. If it is time to say farewell, I have too say thanks for too many people:

My parents: thank you for your care, patience, and support.

My professors: thanks for your encouragements.

Dr. Nazmi Al-Masri: thanks a million for making me love teaching and love all what I do.

Dr. Kamal Murtaja: I’m sure if you read this you’ll immediately mark many mistakes, but let me be grateful for you gave me the confidence to write on a blog J

Dr. Ayman Al-Hallaq: the most informative classes were yours. Thank you.

Mr. Jamal Sahabani , my training supervisor: thank you for your confidence and support. I’m proud of you.

All of my friends: thank you for every second you spent with me.

And IUG: thank you for granting me all of these nice people, experiences, and years.

27th May, 2012.. my last exam at IUG. I, intentionally, wore the same brown jelbab, off-white headscarf, and my small jeans bag, but this time with a wedding ring in my left hand, and went to say farewell IUG.

 

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Electric diaries

it’s Duaa, a 6-year girl at her first year of school. I was astonished to know that a 6-year girl writes a diary, and was shocked to see what her diary includes.

In each page, she wrote something about electricity. People may see her diary and say, “how innocent” but they never think these little children are living what they are not supposed to live, thinking of what they are not supposed to think of, and writing about what they are not supposed to write about!

When diaries become electric, they are a difficult task, a dangerous one, and a heavy burden as they may turn one’s heart into a piece of coal, gradually, with every single letter, and with every single heartbeat.

Gazans, even children, don’t write about their dreams, about their meditations in the sea colors at sunset, neither do they write about their birthdays parties, for they have to hold the whole party on a candle, not only at the cake time. They sing happy birthday, but mothers never allow children to extinguish the candle, as it is needed to see what they are eating!

Sabri, Farah, Nadeen Basheer, three siblings from Deir Al-Balah, died in a fire caused by a candle, in a need-for-light.

However, there are still other Gazan children who sleep with a candle on, just like Duaa !

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2012 in Being a Gazan

 

Heeeeeeey, it’s baaaaaaack !

.

If you are a Gazan, you must immediately know what I am talking about.

In Gaza:

The first question when you call someone: “is there electricity?”

When you meet someone for the first time: instead of asking how do you do, you ask, “How is your electricity?”

When you are in a gathering meeting with friends or relatives, you never speak about weather, but about electricity!

When your Dad comes back from work, the first  question he utters, “when did electricity go off?”

And the first question you may ask someone you intend to visit at 6 pm for instance, instead of “are you free?”, “do you have electricity at 6 pm?”

The first most common and accepted excuse for not doing your assignments, “there was no electricity”

In Gaza, the best gift you may present to someone is definitely ( a rechargeable light)!

In Gaza, it’s not awkward to hear the voice of your neighbour’s vacuum cleaner at 2 am. it’s not awkward to notice people sleep when electricity goes off, and wake up once it goes on, regardless of what time it is.

In Gaza, it’s normal to find clocks empty from numbers except for those which indicate electricity. For me, the watch contains only 4, 6 , and 10 !

[Feelings]:

Gazans are lucky that they feel the grace of electricity as nobody anywhere else does!

Happiness: when electricity suddenly goes on.

Sad waiting: when it’s about to go off

Astonishment: when it’s on, but it’s not its time to be so.

Family warmth: when it’s off in the evening.

Anger: when it goes on once you sleep, and off once you get up!

Rage: when you have loads of housework and assignments, and you cannot do anything but waiting!

Relaxation: when you are not in the mood to do any thing and it goes off offering you the best excuse ever!

[Darkness]:

You can find irony in almost everything here. However, once it gets dark, everyone starts thinking seriously. Fathers ask how many candles left. Children know they have to go to bed earlier than normal days. In darkness, all faces are the same, all minutes are the same, all places are the same, and all colors are only one.

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On the pavement…

 

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My home is close to my university. I can walk to it every day and even enjoy wandering in the morning hours. I can easily find a taxi in my way back as the distance is somehow short, and my Shekel will be a nice chance for the driver.

Just today, I went back with my friend after having an exam finished at 4 pm. We stopped at the crossroad waiting for a taxi for her. We had to wait for about 30 minutes until she found one.

Well, this was the first time I feel the difficulty they suffer everyday’s morning and afternoon. My friend and I were looking at the coming taxis with hopeful eyes, the hope of which was chipping after the taxi passes leaving us with more than other 20 boys and girls before the pavement trying to fix our hope again.

30 minutes were enough to teach me a lot of things…

Just when we feel we are all the same, we can do what we have never done. Gaza people, those stubborn minds, were sitting in the taxis in fours in the back seat, and twos in the front one. at first, they were complaining, but once they go into the taxi, they forget about the crowded car, praising God they were lucky to find one!

My friend, who studies and woks as a special teacher at the same time, found herself forced to pay the taxi fare doubled, as she wanted to wait no more!

I looked at these long lines of people; they go into waiting same experience twice a day. I thought of  students who may miss their exams waiting for a taxi, teachers who are thinking of their classes they’ll be late for, mothers who are thinking of their kids they have to bring from their kindergarten before it closes its doors, men who are thinking of their work and their tough managers who may deduct from their salary for being late, and even the taxi drivers who are thinking of those long queues of people on both sides of the road and the best way they may find to keep the fuel they hardly got as long as possible!

30 minutes of waiting…

I thought about Gaza, where everything becomes a subject of writing, even things supposed to pass very fast! Gaza, where you can ponder in quickness, you can write with your tears, where you may smile despite of everything, where you miss clean air which is not suffocating with power engines smoke, where you find a matter of irony in every minute detail, but still where you CANNOT SEE IN DARKNESS !   

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For Jerusalem, I blog

I dream of visiting Jerusalem

My brother had an English course at AMIDEAST  in Gaza and they once had a writing competition. The miss asked them to write an essay on “what do you like about American culture”. The best two essays will be rewarded with a visit to Jerusalem! That seemed like a great dream was finding its way to become an experience.

He wrote, and I was very concerned to help him edit his essay and revise it. We stayed waked up all night to make it as neat as we can. Next days, the miss told him she found no mistakes in the essay even in punctuation. With a shining face, he went home telling us he had the chance to visit Jerusalem.

I was extremely happy that I helped him achieve such a dream. I thought for a while, even when we want to visit Jerusalem, our own land, we have to talk about the goodness of America.

My brother asked me, “What do you want me to bring you from Jerusalem?” I said, “a small stone, a handful of sand, and some trees leaves”. I wanted anything to smell Jerusalem!

I dream of visiting Jerusalem although I live in the same country it exists!

I dream of visiting Jerusalem although it is only 79 kilometers far from Gaza!

I dream of visiting Jerusalem when I know visiting any other place on earth is much easier!

That reward, from that American institution, is not a reward in fact. It is supposed to be a normal thing we can do every Friday..!

My brother went back bringing me some leaves and a medal shaped like the map of Palestine and “Handala” ..

and I’m still dreaming of visiting Jerusalem..

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3 Comments

Posted by on February 7, 2012 in Being a Gazan

 

Back to life

.

.

Many changes have happened during my absence. The thing I really missed was this place.

Well, I may be an ordinary person with nothing special, but definitely I have my own way of thinking which I adore 😀

Meditations:

[1] In a gathering lunch of the whole family at my uncle’s home:

I was looking at their faces. How much fast days elapse. How much we have grown up without noticing, even I.  I’m going to be the bride in the next wedding party the family is about to witness  few days later!

[2] Worry:

I’m afraid to grow up. I still love my teddy bears and old memories of childhood.

[3] Bitterness:

Nothing could be bitterer for me than throwing away something I love. I’m very attached to my memories. As I have to move to a new house soon, I had to decide what to keep and what to leave behind.

After tidying up my desk, I thought to myself: if people can’t fulfill their promises, why do they promise? They are not obliged to.

If my primary school friends didn’t know me when I saw them at university, why am I still keeping their gifts?

I decided to throw many things I considered as sacred many months ago and thought: How can life mock us this way? To what extent can we keep our memories and our ways of looking at things? How many people spoil our memories so that we hope to forget them? How many others we hope to keep in our minds and hearts forever!

[4] Yesterday,

I didn’t go to my uncle’s home with my father, but with my fiance. I didn’t go back with my father, but with my fiance. I didn’t even return directly to my father’s home, but, first, to my fiance’s.

I thought for a second, who are these people? Why should I know them specifically? What am I doing at their home?

I told myself not to be silly, to think positively and let days go on in their work shaping my life in away I will never realize or know how they are going to end it up!

[5] Tomorrow,

It’s going to be the first day of my last semester at university. I can clearly remember the first day I went there. It was a completely new atmosphere I had to get accustomed to. Anyway, thinking of the last year, the last semester, and the last month (being engaged) seems to put an end for everything.

Looking deeply at each minute detail creates a feeling of grief in my heart. However, every end holds a beginning inside. It will be a new life with every thing starting from the beginning, but I will be the one who portray and color its details. It will be my own, and only my own!

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2012 in On the Margin, Scenes of my life