Like a dead body
Like a dead body
That is how my friends are describing their lives now in Gaza.How they are describing Gaza.
One friend of mine, who recently moved to Gaza (in June, just before the borders closed up) to start an NGO called “Save Gaza”, says it is the feeling of hopelessness and abandonment that are most overwhelming of all. Her group's first project is helping Palestinians establish sustainable home gardens in Rafah’s refugee camps.
Yasmin has some riveting posts, like this one about a woman’s attempt to get pregnant in Gaza.
My neighbour Heba, in her fantastic blog Contemplating from Gaza, has marked a year since beginning her blog, and happily, has decided to continue doing it. As I too have found, it provides a much needed outlet, in a place where there are literally none.
Heba says the Palestinian people’s will to survive never ceases to amaze her.
The question is, do they even have a choice anymore? They take the cards they are dealt and go on with their lives. I can’t help but sigh when I’m asked to gauge people’s expectations or opinions regarding the latest peace deal, treaty, meeting, or forum. Like Annapolis for example (Yassine jokingly asked today whether another $1.75 million-the amount spent on Arafat's tomb- would be spent to feed those in attendence crabs).
The situation leaves no room for something as luxurious as opinions. It’s adapt or die.
My cousin says meat is scarce and very expensive now. Butchers are not working all hours as they used to. And people only buy what they can afford. A kilo of stewing beef has shot up to 52 shekels ($13) in a place where the average daily income is less than $2 a day for the overwhelming majority.
Meanwhile, Rafah remains closed. Gaza remains neglected. And the merry makers of it all are smiling, waiting for it to all fall apart. I say it because people’s lives already have. But in the end, success is calculated not in human terms, not in the sheer numbers of hopes crushed, souls suffocated, eyes and hearts and chances lost, or futures destroyed, but whether or not Gaza has fallen; and things can go back to "normal".