From day to day, a place like Gaza waits for its inescapable destiny: war. Being here all my life, I concluded that this place has some unique positivity simply because it’s home, despite the fact that it happens to be one of the “hottest” spots in the universe.
We, our generation, have heard a range of noises associated with war. Mostly, it is really not a big deal. What was different this last time was my little Zayneb. She is our first child, and is now only two months old. I was pregnant when the latest war on Gaza took place in July-August and lasted for about 50 days. While I was speaking to journalists and friends, one hand would be on the phone and the other would be “hugging” her in my stomach. I was trying to prevent the noise from reaching her and also alleviate my own stress!
She generally did well, staying calm inside. But once, I was significantly stressed when F16 fighters fired five bombs at the Gaza port – just 150 meters away. She stopped moving for almost the entire day. I felt like she was stressed too!
One day in between the shooting, or whatever you would prefer to call them, a bomb exploded just a few meters away from home. An unexpected explosion is like finding yourself trapped, frozen in noise and unable to act.
Last night was the first time an explosion occurred since Zayneb was born, and it was a very new experience. It wasn’t from Israel this time. No one claimed responsibility and our government didn’t say a word.
Just one second after the explosion rocked the nearby French Cultural Centre, Zayneb burst out crying. I was shocked. I was saddened. I was silent for half an hour, not believing she had already started her journey of fear. For a new mother, I guess it is mine too.
May your children be blessed with calm and safety.