This has been in my Drafts folder for way too long

by Makola

Shifa Hospital (Associated Press/Bernat Armangué)

“At first light we would cover the direct consequences of these air strikes: destroyed buildings, bodies in the hospital morgues and funerals. In situations like this, there is no fixed agenda; reality changes every minute.

There were certain areas that were constantly affected by bombs, which I avoided. My main priority was to show the life of the people in Gaza; I followed them in their houses, on the streets, to the morgues.

That day 11 members of the al-Dallu family were killed when an Israeli missile struck the two-storey home of the family in a residential area of Gaza City. Some bodies were recovered and brought to the morgue, so I went there to take some pictures. While I was there, another family came to check if it was true that one of their relatives had been killed. They cried, held his body and one of them kissed his hand while saying goodbye. “

Associated Press photographer Bernat Armangué: Photographing the conflict

Gaza, Saturday, Jan. 3, 2009. (AP Photo/Tara Todras-Whitehill)

Rewind.

From far the sky appears to be riddled with stars. You stand on that soil, taking in the gas and the gunfire, and you realize they are pamphlets that are thrown by the warplanes whirring overhead – is this what courtesy looks like in this world – warning them to move out. Move out. But they have nowhere to go. They’re trapped. You think that in all these years, things would have changed. You were wrong. The pamphlets fell even now, they remain trapped even after all this time.

“And all the while, we hear bombs. Bombs that bear autumn’s scent and winter’s chill. Bombs that batter. Bombs that kill. I still have waking nightmares of the bombs that tore through our sky nearly four years ago, when a classmate, Maha, lost her mother in an Israeli strike. And a childhood friend, Hanan, who saw her mother’s leg severed under the rubble from another strike.” (source)

This has something to do with fear – perhaps if the fear was subdued then would peace return. For how can there be peace when one lives in fear?

“I’ve really tried to understand the Israelis. I used to work on a farm in Israel. I speak Hebrew. I watch their news. All the time they talk about fear. How they have to run to their bunkers to hide from the rockets. How their children can’t sleep because of the sirens. This is not a good way for them to live,” said Khoudry, who now scrapes a living growing his own produce.

“We Palestinians don’t talk about fear, we talk about death. Our rockets scare them; their rockets kill us. We have no bomb shelters, we have no sirens, we have nowhere we can take our children and keep them safe. They are scared. We are dying.”(source)

When I am asked about Palestine, I know it is safe to remain silent. But living here, this kind of safety has ceased to matter. There are far more important things. One of which is to consider how humans always try to subdue the pain. They invent painkillers to remove the symptom. They do not search for the cure. They do not speak of putting aside all technology and going to give your family a hug.

They do not tell you that more than often, there is wisdom in pain.

“A stroll around Gaza says it all. Out in the streets people are cleaning up the rubble, sweeping away dust and glass, extinguishing the fires that remained, and fixing the blown out doors of their homes.” (source)

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