A Gaza Diary: Falling Sick in Gaza

By Najwa Sheikh

I have been long wondered about the feelings, fears, concerns of those whose meant to fall sick in Gaza, real sick, and have denied access to treatment either because of lack of equipment in Gaza or by the arrogance and prejudice of other human beings who enjoy putting more suffering on the people of Gaza.

I have always asked myself about these people as I was sure of the huge burden that they have to bear, and the trauma they have to suffer, shattered, and lost between their own pain, and between the images, memories, they wanted to keep for their families, kids, and beloved ones.

However, I guess I have the chance to tell part of their pain now. A week ago I went to my doctor for regular pregnancy check, though the pregnancy was going well, my doctor suspected that I have a problem in my heart, therefore, he transferred me to another specialized doctor, who confirmed the diagnosis.

If I received the news in another place in the world except Gaza I would not feel that bad, but because in Gaza things can dramatically changed easily to the worst, I felt that something different had stricken my life and change my perspective to every thing. Even though I believe in God, I felt that it is not the time to fall sick; I still have more to tell to my children, I still have plans I wanted to fulfill, and still have life that I wanted to live.

When I went home, I felt that I am in a race with time, I wanted to capture every image for my kids, I wanted to recall every memory and keep it in my mind and heart, I wanted to tell them how much I love them, I wanted to tell them about the dreams that I have for them, the future plans for our life together, how I wanted them to be, I still want to feel their childish faces, and to hear their childish giggles, I wanted to share them every single minute, I don’t want to lose anything form their life.

Oh God, how poor those people who meant to be sick are, how heavy the burden they have to endure day after day, month after month, how inhuman the way they have to live with their pain, and loss. Feelings that they can not detach themselves away from it, the feeling that they are counting their days, the attempts they are trying to hold every memory, every image of their beloved, the words that they wanted to remember so they can forward to their kids, and suddenly they discover that they don’t have the time to do so. The feelings that they have to select what to say, what words that their children will remember, what memories, good ones they will hold in remembrance of them. Will they be able to give them all the advices, dreams? Will they be able to share them all the experiences they want? I am not sure.

-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

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