Palestinian youth tell the human stories behind the numbers in the news

Palestinian youth tell the human stories behind the numbers in the news

Sorry; can't be sorry

Omnia Ghassan | 15-11-2018

 

Palestinian fist bumping Israeli fist

Voldemort vs. Harry,
Harry vs. Voldemort
Israel vs. Harry,
Palestine vs. Voldemort.
In my head I always pictured
Palestine winning over Israel,
Just like Harry won against Voldemort.

In my head, I could sometimes understand Voldemort’s actions.
But I can’t fathom how murderous Israel is;
I can’t find any excuse,
Even one justification,
That makes me think, “Oh yeah! That makes sense!”
Nothing makes sense
And never will make sense.

The world is falling,
But I'm still writing.
We’ve been through this before,
Daily.
We shouldn’t be afraid!
It’s routine, right?
No!
With every rocket, going or coming,
My heart beats faster,
My limbs tremble, 
My eyelids swell.
My skin turns yellow,
And my stomach lurches with pain
As my mind flashes back to the last war.

Fist rising out of bomb smoke Gaza

Like a horror movie, you say?
You have no idea!
Have you ever ran for your life,
With your sick mother, from house to house,
Knowing you’ll die anyway,
But you keep on running?
Or when your father is calling while you’re screaming;
He can’t reach you, you can’t fall into his arms.
You’re under attack; he’s somewhere on the other side of the world,
Counting the days till he sees you again. Will he? 

Have you ever fallen to your knees,
Thinking of your 6-year-old son alone in school,
At risk of being bombed any second,
Without being able to smell or kiss him goodbye?
He left that morning reproachful, for you hadn’t bought him
The radio-controlled car he wanted for his birthday.
That lump will never leave your throat.
You will sleep with your eyes wide open; 
Part of you has been detached. 

Have you seen the woman who was widowed twice?
She lost her husband, then remarried, and lost the second one again!
Have you heard of that mother who lost all of her unarmed, civilian sons
To an unmerciful, fully equipped army?
Have you witnessed a bath of blood mixed with tears of children and elders?
Have you leaned low to hear the mutterings of the verses of the Quran,
desperate attempts to shield their whisperer from harm? 

There are so many, many stories the English alphabets can’t describe.
All languages are limited when describing the pain, 
The heartbreak, the brokenness.
And then, you speak to me of your suffering!
With all of your shelters,
Airports,
Always-at-hand passports.
Did you ever pray a war would erupt 
So all of your people would just die already?
Only then will we stop suffering. 

How many did we kill of your people?
10? 20? 50?
Multiply those by 1,000, 2,000, 5,000.
Yes, that’s how damaged we are
You blame us for shooting rockets.
Look what your supposedly “calculated” bombs have done!

I’m sorry, Israeli friend,
Your name is taboo for me,
Just like my name is taboo for the world.
I have nothing against you,
But against that adjective preceding your name, 
The adjective I hate the most.

I’m sorry, Israeli friend,
For as long as that word is attached to yours,
I can’t completely open my heart to you.
Mama always told me the occupation is a shape-shifter.
I’m worried you’d be one of its shapes
Why can’t you just be a “friend”?
Please understand me when I say,
I want to feel sorry for you, but I can’t.

Posted: November 15, 2018


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