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END the Occupation of Palestine NOW.

Break the Siege of Gaza

Break the Siege of Gaza
The siege is a genocide and don't say you didn't know

Friday, June 22, 2007

We are not super people

I’m looking at Luai’s eyes and my own are full of tears. I can hardly keep from crying in front of him. I’ve been trying to take him out of the flat for two days and he refuses, saying “I don’t want to go anywhere, mummy, I love to stay at home”. It seems that he is afraid to go out now because of all the stories he has heard from his friends during the past week about the killings and shootings.

Yesterday I went to Al Deereh Hotel, one of the nice places by the seaside in Gaza, to meet a journalist. I found that many people are on the beach, swimming and enjoying the calm sea. I felt so relieved that the people of Gaza are back to their normal life.

Many people have asked me why I am not writing. I stopped writing in December when I visited my mother in Syria. It was the first time that my mother, my two sisters and our children and I have met in Damascus at the same time since 1983. The joy was interrupted by the events in Gaza at that time, the assassination of three children as a result of the armed dialogue between Hamas and Fateh. I returned in January only to find out that I was unemployed. And the series of a lot of fighting rounds between Fateh and Hamas has taken place from January until now.

I became so desperate, like most of the Palestinians, but this time, it was not because of the collective punishment imposed on us by the international community, not because of the Israeli siege imposed on Gaza Strip, the big prison. But because of the fighting between the Palestinians themselves. I thought to myself, “What should I write to the people outside, that we are killing each other, that we are destroying our dream by our own hands?” Thus, I was unable to write.

The last round of fighting was the attack against the Palestinian Authority security forces last week all over the Gaza Strip, by Hamas and its Al Qassam militant group, which resulted in the control of Hamas and Al Qassam over the entire Gaza Strip.
This time we had to stay at home from Monday till Friday night. I was so afraid - the bombing and the shooting I heard from my flat, which was in the middle of three fighting areas, was terrible. The result of the attacks was shocking to all Gaza residents. At first, we thought, “It is another round like those before it but it turned out to be a round that changed the lives of each one of us. Hamas controls Gaza. Politically, this has great implications for the Palestinian issue but I won’t deal with this now.

What has made me decide to write is the fact that I feel so down today, so desperate, that I’ve been crying the whole day. I’m not afraid about my life, or my husband’s or even my son’s. I feel bad because I have discovered that we are not the “Super People” I thought we are. I discovered that we are normal human beings. I know that most of the people all over the world, especially the freedom lovers and fighters look at us as idols, as a people who cannot be defeated, as freedom fighters who are trying to achieve their liberty and live in dignity.

Now I have discovered that we are like any other nation, savage, brutal and looters.
The looting scenes from inside the governmental buildings, the private houses and flats, reminded me of Baghdad after the American occupation and the collapse of Saddam’s regime. We thought that we could never be like that. I know we did it after the settlers went out of their colonial settlements in the Gaza Strip, but these people were our enemy, those who had stolen our land, not Palestinians.
The news about the different acts of violations of human rights against each other is shocking. It reminds me of the practices of the Israeli occupation forces in Gaza and the West Bank.

What are we doing to ourselves? Why are we trying to destroy our dream of a democratic, independent state for all Palestinians.

So, I think and I wonder, “Are we really like this? Are we really savages? Aren’t we supposed to overcome our differences by peaceful means? Who is to blame for this happening to us? Isn’t it the international community who denied us our legitimate right to have a state of our own? Isn’t it the international community who denied us our right for democratic choice in our election and decided to punish us for that? Isn’t it the international community, which has starved us and made us depend again, after 59 years. on humanitarian aid?”

Now I know we are not superhuman or super heroes or super people. We are normal people who will become savages when you put them in a cage with the minimum needed to survive.

I know everyone is waiting from me to tell personal stories about the events that took place. But I am sorry, I can’t. It’s too difficult to tell stories about what we’ve done to each other. I only ask the people to be objective when they look at the news and ask themselves why is it happening to the Palestinians?

As for me, now I’m planning to take my son to the Al Deereh Hotel and let him see the world again, whether he likes it or not.

I hope tomorrow I will be in a better mood. Maybe I can write some more details.


Gaza City
22 June 2007

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very good, keep writing,
Majeda

Yish said...

Lama,

Have courage. history is not written by heroes, saints or devils. It is written by humans. Mere mortals.

If someone adopts killing as a mode of operation, including killing of women and children, then sooner or later they will start killing their own. All you need to do is convince yourself that it is for the cause.

I think the PLO call for general disarmament is the first step towards an independent Palestinian state.

Peace, may a better day shine tomorrow,

- Yishay

Anonymous said...

dear Lama,
I'm a french friend, very touched by your blog,
I kiss you and your son, I don't wish you the courage you have already,
I wish your people union and freedom and I want you to know we are numerous here in France trying to explain what's going on, in gaza, against the mediatic blocus, and feeling very deeply with you. Michèle

Anonymous said...

Dear Lama,

When men decide to pick up guns and fight (regardless of intentions) they become savages as you have written.

This happened in my parent’s country of Nicaragua. The Sandinistas freed their people from the brutal Somoza dictatorship, but ultimately their own corruption was their down fall. Men with guns and absolute power loose touch of their humanity and become beasts.

After 10 or so years of Sandinista rule, the Nicaraguan peasants voted the Sandinistas out of power and opted for an unknown future.

In the 1990 elections, it was told that the peasants woke up very early (it was their large turnout that influenced the elections) and by noon the polling showed that “the people” had enough of the Sandinistas – the movement that was bravely fought by Augusto Sandino who took arms against Yankee imperialism. Sandino himself led a revolution for the sovereignty of his homeland, as Nicaragua was occupied by the U.S. in the early part of this century (1909-1933) and the Somoza dictatorial dynasty followed this occupation and they were simply a puppet government for Washington. As a result, Sandino lost his life in this struggle.

Nicaraguans, "El Pueblo" or "The People", are accustom to poverty, but few can live thru the violence of gun battles and war. This world, our world, sees what is happening in Gaza, but the media is so controlled. “We in the west” are in a way imprisoned too. An imprisonment of the mind, thinking that wealth will give us security. We in the U.S. are so fearful of poverty that we've lost our way, hence the lack of visible protest for the war in Iraq, the resignation that without middle east oil our “prosperity” can not be sustained and in the indifference with the struggle for a free and sovereign Palestinian country. Our problems are not only abroad, millions upon millions of Latin American’s have migrated to the U.S. due to policies and wars created by Washington, but no one is dealing with their plight. Where is our leadership? Our humanity? My parent’s country fought against the U.S- a 100+ year struggle that continues to this day….and yes, tears many tears and realizations are forced upon us when a small state fights against a super power. We support you and the bravery of the Palestinian people. Your courage and your humanity is like a torch the shines brightly upon all oppressed and displaced peoples.

Jose

Anonymous said...

Dear Lama

You were a dreamer for long time and its a good thing that u finally awaken. I lost faith in Palestinians from Gaza & West Bank since I started to contact with them recently.
The deterioration in thier values and beliefs is very severe and the result was very obvious during last fighting. We might blame the whole world for that but I think the problem lies withen us.

We invented a lie of being heros and belived it but lie cant survive longer ..one day it has to evaporate and we are faced with ugly reality.

Rana

Tina said...

Dear Lama,

thank you for starting again to write about how you are thinking and feeling! Stay as brave and courageously as 'a normal human being'...

You are not alone. The so called international community consists of the 'international solidarity movement' too. There is still hope, although this hope - realistically - is not very large.

With sisterly solidarity
Tina Salhi

Take a look:
http://www.fraueninschwarz.at/berichte.html

brd said...

My prayers are with you. I have been a Christian for nearly as long as I remember. The words of Jesus have permeated my personal history. But sometimes they sound like crazy talk.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God. Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."

I pray for the kind of peace that passes human understanding, but I also pray that your Gaza City will experience tangible peace today with quiet streets and flowers growing in the sun.

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