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

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

Unfreeze your heart, Madonna

Basman Derawi | 16-05-2019

 

 

You only see what your eyes want to see
How can life be what you want it to be? You're frozen
When your heart's not open
You're so consumed with how much you get
You waste your time with hate and regret. You're broken
When your heart's not open

--Madonna, in "Frozen"

Hello Madonna,

You sang: "You only see what your eyes want to see. How life can be what you want to be. You're frozen, when your heart's not open."

My name is Basman, a writer from Gaza with an open heart and closed city like a big, open-air prison. Have you heard about Seba Abu Arar? She was just 1 year old when she and her pregnant aunt were killed by Israeli shelling earlier this month. "Me, my cousins and their children were sitting in the house when suddenly a rocket fell on us," her mother told Al Jazeera. "I wrapped my arms around my daughter to protect her but the shrapnel injured my hand and penetrated her body,"

What about Yaser Murtaja? He was a photojournalist who was simply documenting our protests at the border, like a journalist does, when he was shot and killed by Israeli snipers, despite his blue vest with the large word "PRESS" on it. In his last Facebook post, he shared an aerial picture of Gaza City's seaport captured by his drone and said, "When will the day come when I can take such a picture while I'm in the sky, not on the ground? My name is Yasser, I am 30 years old, I live in Gaza City and I've never traveled in my life!"

And have you heard about my friend Haytham Kishko? He studied physiotherapy with me and was hit by an Israeli missile July 30, 2014, when he was simply visiting a local market.

What about the long weeks and hours waiting to see if we will be allowed to leave through one of the few crossings, just to get medical care or be able to study? And if we protest, like we have been at the border now for more than 50 weeks, we are shot like fish in a barrel.

I won't even bother telling you about the long hours with no electricity because Israel restricts the fuel allowed in. About children selling biscuits on the streets because Israel won’t allow us to export. Or how we are eating our iftar meal under the rubble of a destroyed house after the three days of Israeli shelling this month.

You won’t let your eyes see what we want you to see. I want your eyes to look into our eyes. I guarantee we'd melt your cold heart. But you "hold the key," as you say in your song. 

Sincerely,

Basman.

 

Posted: May 16, 2019

Mentor: Pam Bailey


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