Its Wednesday morning at 12:05PM and i sit with my friend Nadaal in a coffee shop called Babal Haara which is located in Central Gaza City Al Remel Street. The last two days have been extremely tiresome and the situation in Gaza can not only can be physically challenging but also mentally. There is always something to worry about in Gaza. If its not the siege its the thought of Israeli Apache helicopters and F16’s flying over your head and destroying everything in sight. Everyone in Gaza is trying, trying thier best to succeed regardless of the situation placed on them by the Zionist entity. This is something to be admired and I keep telling the people of Gaza that they are not alone in this struggle.
Yesterday morning I interviewed a woman called Amaana. Amaana is a widow who lost her husband during Operation Cast lead massacre on the Gaza Strip in 2008/09 . Her husband was a bomb defusing expert who worked for the Palestinian Authority in Gaza. She described him as a good husband and someone who would do anything to help his people. Amaana got the news that her husband had been killed whilst she was at university. She was pregnant at the time and immediately got sick and slipped into unconscious after hearing the news. Through all the trauma of being a widow, having to raise 4 kids alone and battling legal procedures she was still glad that her husband had the honor of passing away as a martyr and named her son after her late husband. It was my first time interviewing someone body face to face . I really had to remain cool, calm and collected and not be affected by this painful story. Amaana got emotional when ever I mentioned her late husband and wanted to rap up the interview up as quickly as possible . I ended the interview on a positive note where she told me about all the support she gets from the BYNA NGO in Gaza . She still has the dream of opening up her own kindergarten for children of widows and hopes to study nursing when she gets a scholership. All that i ask from my Lord is to give her strength and courage to achieve her dreams and raise her children who can benefit the community in Gaza.
I left the BYNA NGO and headed off back to my home in As -Softaawi where i got some much needed rest. I was woken up suddenly by a boy called Mohamed who informed me that lunch was ready. As usual the lunch was really zaaki (delicious) and my appetite was left more than satisfied. In As-Saftaawi there were protests for Al Nakba . People were lining up and waving their Palestinian flags vowing to return to their homelands. I expected bigger protests or rallies for Al Nakba but Gaza being in the difficult situation it is kept it very simple this year. My mind is constantly working here in Gaza, it never rests. All that I can say that I have experienced the siege mentally as well as physically and cannot even imagine how strong and determined tho people of Gaza must be having to put up with non stop war and miliatry occupation since 1967. The people are really surprised at the fact that I am in Gaza. Many say ”Why do you come to Gaza when we are trying to escape?” These are questions that I myself struggle to answer . My love for the blessed lands of the Prophets Al Shaam and Musjidul Aqsa are of a few factors for me making my journey to the Gaza Strip. I cannot express in words how content I am thus far with my trip in Gaza. The friends and memories I have made here so far will forever be treasured.