Warm summers evening, sitting on the roof terrace, bottle of water in hand, looking out over the Mediterranean sea………, Sound idyllic, right ? wrong? Now I will fill in the details…
Yes, the weather is warm , its June in Gaza. The humidity is high, so the smell from the raw sewage , forced in to the sea because Gaza is forbidden to rebuild its sewage system , is heavy in the air. The bottle of water, is warm and probably contaminated as a recent report suggests that more than 90% of the drinking water in Gaza is contaminated. Regularly people , including ourselves this week, are suffering from stomach cramps and diarrhea, but water is vital to life, no?
The smoke billowing up through the buildings is not that of summer family barbeques but of an explosion to the east or a bomb to the west. In the last 6 days 9 people have been killed in Gaza , including a 14-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl !!!
Many others are injured, homes destroyed, the small amount of infrastructure left in Gaza is continually being hit, Recently, a chicken farm in Rafah and a cheese factory. Why? , because this is not just a psychological war, or a war of land but an economic war also, if Gaza can not provide for itself who must they turn to ? The one that inflicts the siege, that forces farmers to watch while their crops are destroyed by bulldozers , who shoot at fishermen who dare try fish their own waters and the small factory owners who dare provide for their family and community.
The nightly sounds of Gaza are F16’s, drones, apaches helicopters, shootings, explosions and generators .
But, each morning the people of Gaza rise to face a new day. Perhaps there will be no showers or cold drinks , this takes electricity which is ” allocated ” and alternated every second morning and afternoon, , the children , still tired from a sleepless or disturbed , noisy night, will make their way to school, many families will begin to bury their martyred sons and daughters,
Come evening, those who are “now allocated” power , will rush to do homework, cook meals, do laundry while possible, others will rise again at 3 am to do theirs , when they have power.
But the children will still play, the young couples will still marry, and Palestinians in Gaza will continue to Hope, There is still life, though hard, in Gaza and where there is life there is always hope.
Gaza will not give up , Please do not give up on Gaza, We will still sit at night on our terraced roof’s , look over the mediteranean , and dream of cold fresh water to drink , the smell of jasmine and the day when the only smoke rising is of family barbeques….
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Shukran, Go raibh maith agat, Thank you.
Pictures By Hussian Amody and Songs and Pictures from Palestine ( Facebook)