The Cold and Dark Winters of Gaza and A Child’s Fantasy

The Cold and Dark Winters of Gaza and A Child’s Fantasy


I’m not suffering from writer’s block, but rather writer’s lag. For some time, I have felt that I can’t make myself sit down and write as I promised myself. The passion is there, but the inspiration is quite lacking.

In my hometown of Gaza, amid the biting cold winter nights and hustle and bustle of our days, I constantly contemplate over our need as Gazans to “be”. But to my frustration, I find myself faced with daily new challenges which voraciously suck every bit of energy in every living cell of my brain. I try to find an atmosphere when my thoughts are most clear, but can hardly claim that my mind is untroubled at any time. Like my TV screen here which is blurred by the hideous Israeli drones, my thoughts are constantly turbulent which makes the attempt to focus strenuous. What is the cause behind this mental state of mind?

Electricity outages are at their extremity now in Gaza. Daily sporadic shelling and the howling of power generators rocking the neighborhood have all contributed to this heavy feeling of unrest. When power comes back on for the six or so hours, it’s only temporary relief just enough to rid us of the noise and air pollution we struggle with. But that is only if you stay inside your house. If you decide to go shopping, you’ll find lines of motors chained to shops venting their angry roars at by passers.

Time and time again, I decide that I need to do something extraordinary to bring peace to my mind. These days, I found my retreat in entering the colorful world of imagination and play my children have immersed themselves in. I contemplate over their little remarks and try to answer their tricky questions they suddenly throw at me. In their little minds, there are no boundaries set for imagination. One of my daughters asked me one of those pop ups yesterday: “Mom, is there a country called Syria?” What a good one to ask at such a time, I thought. Ever since the Libyan Revolution, I have become less enthused to watch the news five times a day as I used to. With the horror gripping stories of brutal murders in Syria, I’ve decided not to gaze too much at my TV screen for the sake of my own sanity. So I found myself giving my daughter a plain, “yes there is”. I thought I had told them enough stories about mad Arab dictators who killed their people, so I needed to spare them for the time being. It was a good decision, I thought, especially when one day as they were quarrelling, I was both surprised and amused by the names they were calling each other when my son called his sister a Gaddafi!

Into the Big World of Childhood

“Mom is a polar bear taller than a building?” my son asked me yesterday. Another one followed, “who gave shanta, (bag) this name?” So I thought I should take delight in responding to his questions and not to disappoint his fantasy. Hopefully, my imagination and creativity can be ignited again just like theirs. I think I’ve found my source of inspiration for the time being and my heart is set to dive into the world of the fledgling fresh minds of childhood. I may even ask them my own questions to see what their creative mental faculties have in store.

So my resolution is to: set aside the fuel, gas and electricity crises and pretend to live in another place with my soul and mind. I’ll let myself travel through time and space to free my heavy heart from its burdens. I’ll stop having a fit when the power is out or when my daughter tells me that the light in their classroom wasn’t on today, so the teacher had to open the door. But here goes the struggle again between my conscious and I. What about the hundreds of thousands of Arabs who have been killed and continue to this day for freedom. I am adamant to adhere to the long and enduring belief that is, to stay strong. I know that by holding on to the values of justice and equality which humanity shares, I contribute in making the change our world longs for. Yes, only humanity shares, only real humans, not barbaric cannibals of modern times hiding behind fancy tuxedos. Safeguarding these values and principles is the only means to save the dehumanized people of our world who have been deprived of the most basic rights every human being is granted by all religions and international laws.

I pray for the growing generation of today to grow up into a world free of tyranny and human greed. A new era of justice and peace will shine over my children’s world. Time will tell and time has told: the age of darkness and evil has begun to decay. No ultimate superpower shall stand when it functions on evil to dominate and suppress other peoples. The world of tomorrow will have no place for dictatorship and aggression; only peace, love and justice shall prevail.

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