Anger? Sorrow? Joy? A combination of the three? A combination of the three. They passed, the last couple of months, so slowly like a snail making its way across the dead sea. Yet so swiftly, they passed, like a scorching fire eating up the remnants of a thin-paper made, abandoned journal. There was all the time in the world to write and to pour onto the paper this limitless drift of emotions, yet very little time. Duties, dreams, anger, stress, LIFE – all melted and merged into a darkening chaos that held sway over me. It was these very things that always pushed me to blog my heart out. This time the high dose of anger, of frustration, and of longing, however, has been paralyzing.
The list of what I wanted to speak of or rant about is swelling already. There is the dreamlike pack of books I received as a gift all the way from the UK from sweet Vicky whom I never even met, there is Diwan Ghazza and so much inspiration and hope, there is the talent show I have been working on, and there is also my unanticipated trip to Malmo, Sweden. Equally, there has been my unprecedented frustration with the Palestinian leadership and desire to quit twitter and stop reading news for some good time, there has been my laptop busting because of electricity instability, and there of course has been the fuel/electricity crisis that stripped us all in Gaza from any feeling of dignity (an article I wrote on the matter) – 12-18 hours of electricity cuts a day that affected every aspect of our living and one that made the sole intention of our days to try and find electricity/fuel/water, or turn on generators, and pass the time. Waking up to no water in the toilet because of no electricity, forcing me to go to a restaurant in order to use the damn bathroom, sure was enough to ruin my mood for an entire day. Hearing this person’s story and that person’s story, thinking about newborn babies dying in hospitals, and struggling to get online, to charge my phone, or to use electricity for anything at all has all struck me forcibly. Overwhelmed with joy when it’s on, and weighed down with anger and irritation whenever it’s out or back during sleep hours. Electricity became everything. It became our dream, and also our worst nightmare. I cannot fathom the considerable transformation of our Palestinian cause, the cause of the land, of the refugees, of Jerusalem into a struggle for basic human rights and a dignified, equal life.
I was happy to take that break and get the chance to leave Gaza and visit Sweden. I did not know it was going to be so painful. Whereas the biggest deal for me was crossing the Rafah border and getting to Cairo without getting deported, I was entirely shaken with what happened at the Cairo International Airport. The humiliation. As it was boarding time, I was sent back to sit in my chair and wait. He did not tell me what to wait for. There was less than an hour left for takeoff. I came back to try again. I was sent back to my chair once more. He did keep my passport. He did say facing the passport with only his eyes staring up at me, “you’re Palestinian”. I asked insistently if something was wrong. I only got “Nothing is wrong. Please wait over there.” for a response. I was later called by some dude who had the creepiest, ugliest, and most tackiest grin on planet earth for questioning and checking my passport and documents. I, then, was told that I am ready to go. Tears jammed up inside my throat as I took my passport and headed back to try to enter the gate again. I did not want to cry in front of them, a Palestinian should never cry in front of them. But I couldn’t; that one boiling hot tear crawled down my face without permission. I spent that whole time on the plane thinking about it. About what you are to face just for being a Palestinian; even from Arabs. I did not know what to feel. I do not know what to feel until now.
Electricity got back two hours earlier than it was supposed to tonight. I should be jumping up and down with joy. But all I feel is sickness – all the photos from today. I am indeed happy with the thousands who took to the streets and headed to the borders today, I am happy with the renewed struggle for the real Palestinian cause and of the occupied resisting the occupier. I am happy with the brave men, women, elderly, and children who put their lives at stake and stood up to the face of tyranny, of occupation. That same occupation that seizes our land, our rights, and has a hold over our lives and how they run. The occupation that looks down upon us as insignificant and unequal.
But I cry for my people. The photos of the utter brutality of the Israeli Occupation Forces make my stomach roll. They whip the tears out of my eyes and squash my heart like that Palestinian demonstrator is squashed under the horse and dirty boots of the occupier.
Depressing post, I know.. Will make it up in upcoming posts, I promise!