By Najwa Sheikh
It is Gaza again, with all its attractiveness, and its pain, with all its sad stories that break the heart, and bring the tears. Life in Gaza is a kind of adventure that you have to experience, and a risk that always ends sadly, painfully, and with great loss, a life that is always attached to death, by the injustice of a world full of contradictions. We have been taught that one of the major rights of humans is to receive medical care, it is a granted right that no one can deny, however the real life in Gaza shows how faked are all those words, how deceptive are these rights. Since Israel announced Gaza as a hostile territory and since all the borders have been closed my people have denied access to travel outside Gaza, not only to see other places, but even to receive any medical care outside Gaza hospitals which are known for their lack of equipments and advanced health care.
How painful it is to realise that you might be a victim of any fatal disease, and at the same time, watching the days passing away from you, unable to do anything but to count and wait the moment when you will give up and stop straggling for your life. This is what happened with my people, 116 victims are the outcome of these outrageous sanctions against my people, among them children, mothers, and old men. I tried many times to imagine how they feel, or even how their families feel, it is a feeling that is more painful than the sufferings of your sickness. The fact that you know at the end are dying and leaving your beloved tortured by their feelings of bitterness and helplessness is another kind of sufferings that can not be endured.
I wonder how it is to see your children around you, playing and running but unable to figure out what to keep in your mind from these memoires and what to leave for them, How is it when you realise that you will leave them without completing you role, without giving them the advises they need? The comfort they are eager to feel when they experience any traumatic events?
I wonder how it is like when you are dying day by day, hour by hour, among your beloved who share you your pain and misery, but unable to do anything tied with their heavy feelings of helplessness?
I wonder how it is when you as parents are watching your child suffering, fighting the pain, unable to offer you a smile, losing any sense of time and joy, just because he is living in Gaza and born with a Palestinian identity?
Oh God how unbearable, and hateful it is to have children and to be a father or a mother, because in a time and by the evil of humans you have to witness the death of your beloved child in front of your eyes without being able to do anything, or to alleviate the pain your child feels. How devastating it is to watch all the dreams and plans that you spend years to fulfil are vanishing because of the inhumanity of others?
It is the punishment that no human can or should suffer, the punishment that no one should experience. A punishment that holds in its details all the hatred, cruelty, and sufferings that a person can bear.
-Najwa Sheikh is a Palestinian refugee from al-Majdal located just north of the Gaza Strip. Shiekh has lived in refugee camps in Gaza her entire life where she is married and has three children. She contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.