Emotions are a hard substance. They are unbreakable and stiff. With time, however, they become less immune, and more flexible. One day, you are in a dark room, you can hardly hear anything except for an endless buzz coming from a disturbing bug, and an annoying deep thought of how it is going to be like if you die; and a worse voice asking you how it is going to be like if you live. Living is alright, but the question embodies a deeper thought: how it is going to be like if you live one family member short, one leg cut, one arm gone. That is what makes living a harder choice than death.
Technically, this is true. Most of the time. However, here in Gaza it is not like that when someone is out of war. It’s different.
When we ask ourselves a question like: are we gonna die? In a very husky, low voice afraid Heaven is open and the question becomes a reality. We tend to believe that we may actually jinx ourselves to death.
That is not the case, however, here in Gaza. Most of Gaza, at least.
It is that sense of security in the middle of chaos that Allah is there, above us, watching over us. We, the Palestinians, believe, no, we strongly believe that no matter how ‘hard’ now is, the hardships won’t last; that it will all be over, soon; and when it does, we will be there to enjoy the victory of having survived perhaps with one family member or more gone, an arm or leg cut, but, definitely, with a strong faith that Patience is our ticket out of this destruction. And it was.
2014-50-day war was long, indeed, in comparison to its fellow wars which happened in 2008-2009 and 2012. However, such Darkness taught us that it may get really bad, and things will seem apocalyptic, they, in fact, are not. It will be over. You may lose your sense of time, and your sense of place, and sense of love, and sense of existence, but such losses only dwell for a short time. See, the thing about Time is that it never lingers: not the good times, not the bad times; it all goes. We, the Palestinians, learned that the hard way. We learned that so long as the earth keeps spinning and time keeps passing, one’s fear -that emotion, that unbreakable, stiff emotion- will eventually bend in the direction we desire. We’ll control it, and use it to deepen and strengthen our belief that no matter how horrible it is, Allah will still be there to lift us from the oceans of misery, discomfort, horror to the beauty this world holds above the clouds, and in the depths of seas.
We will be happy, soon. It is a must, we know.
Time did pass. It has been a year. Last year it was hard, it was really hard. It was dark, it was really dark. It was scary, brutal, bloody, hurtful, and every single horrible word any living dictionary has may still fail to explain, to describe. People still hold on to those whom they lost, people still remember with anguish the memories they could have had, the laughs they could have shared, the stories they could have written together, the poems they could have recited for each other, but, and this is an important but, the people, here know, that Death is a must, and it is the most honorable when it is in the name of Allah. The murder was brutal, and awful. Yet the Palestinians know the memories, the laughs, the stories, the poems cannot be very useful. Now that they have to confront the losses, they pray. They recite Qur’an. They stay up all night whispering to Allah to ease their pain, and to make the Grave of those who were martyred a piece of Heaven. They pray to be united with them in Heaven. They pray knowing that Allah will answer because He, Almighty, never breaks a promise.
Last year it was dark, but that was last year. Today, the light is back on.