Power Outages and the Fine Art of Patience
There must be a wisdom behind the fact that patience is mentioned in the Holy Quran 103 times. Of all life’s experiences, I think that two most important events have shaped my understanding and exercising of this virtue highly praised by all peoples, but rarely applied. As my fingers strike the key board now, my nerves are in fact undergoing a live test of my words with the crying and whining of our neighbor’s three year-old. A mother learns patients in so many ways. Anxiously waiting to hear her baby’s first cry of life; waking up in the middle of the night or spending full nights awake not knowing what to do for the baby and so much more that comes with motherhood.
Putting up with electricity outages is another form of testing patience, especially when it happens in midsummer. Here in Gaza, the majority of literally overheated people will just leave their houses and seek refuge at the beach. While this provides temporary relief, facts are that the power goes out in a wide range of situations throughout the day. One of the most frightening experience is in the middle of the night when your source of ventilation comes to an appalling abort, you are awakened by the streams of sweat running down your neck and back. Helpless and desperate become the miserable midnight victims of power outages in Gaza. Sometimes it helps to uplift your soul momentarily when you know that you are not alone in your misery.
With the advent of power generators into the Gaza enclave, people almost breathed their sigh of relief. But with the high numbers of deadly accidents related to using those generators, the toxic fumes they give off and the abhorrent noise they communicate, it as becomes obvious that those machines are not human friendly. Another frustrating feature these monsters are famous for is their loud roaring. Even if you lock yourself up well inside your own house, it is impossible to escape the noise. Try to open the balcony door to hang out the laundry and your ears will be shaken by the vociferousness which rocks the neighborhood. The natural serenity of night is nowhere to be seen or enjoyed and the moon and stars above watch idly. I think of how I must be powerful to overcome all that and stand firm so as not to be defeated by a stupid machine. I wryly laughed to myself as I read an article on a lady who was escorted out of a train trip for blabbering on the phone in a quiet seat for 16 hours and thought how the motors situation would figure into the world of order and law. We are still enjoying the pleasant spring weather here in Gaza, but it’s good to equip ourselves with the needed strength to confront that upcoming crisis, which I hope and firmly believe that it can be avoided.