I was looking through an old album of my father while he was playing sports, visiting Jerusalem (Al Quds) and serving the UAE armed forces. It reminded me of the invasion of Kuwait (Gulf war). He served with UAE army and we could lose him forever. It was horrible times, but we survived and Life goes on. It reminded me of seven years of my life. A story I never tell to anyone, and still no one knows its complete details, even me. I decided to write what I can remember..
I traveled to my home country back in 2002 for complex reasons, but the true one was my passion to see it and help in rebuilding my country (Palestine) which was a dream. I went there. I saw Intifada, civil war and ended up with Gaza War (with all its horrible memories). Worked there in human relief, as independent reporter and photographer. I met so many people from different views, beliefs and religions. It doesn’t matter at the end of the day you do what is right and as a responsible man you take responsibility over your duty as human and freedom fighter. I traveled back to the country I was raised and born in on 2009 ending that (7 years) chapter of my story. Which influenced my personality and awareness of my people’s cause.
I saw a type of people who are tough like the mountains. Maybe they were poor, defenseless and weak, but their spirit and will power made me bow my head for them. This type of people worth my full respect, admiration and salute. This type of people WHO don’t need any sympathy or pity from anyone. If you want to stand with them for the justice of their cause, you will be lucky to have the chance. Some of them already passed away from this life. Some of them are still there standing like the mountains as I knew them.
Kind of people who were buried in their houses and refused to flee while the “Merkava” Tanks of Israeli occupation army advances. Their flesh and blood stopped the strongest army in the region from advancing to the heart of Gaza city and reoccupy it in the war without arms or even shields, while others were fleeing and hiding like worms. I stopped smiling and laughing properly from that time. The images can’t leave my head reminding me always of the pride of these people. I will keep saluting them till the last moment of my life. I wish I could stay with them forever as they are the dream, they are my country, my pride, my dignity, the cause and source of honor.
I saw another type of people who are weak, fearful and full of doubt. They stopped trusting everything around because it’s not making sense to them anymore. They can’t live normal life or see the sun as we see it. Lack of water, food and everything. They can’t defend even their breath. They will always ask in a third voice “For what I am doing this?”. This type of people are the victims who are at the verge of losing hope. They look with empty eyes sometimes into the horizon and sometimes with eyes full of tears.
I spent a lot of time with them, trying to harvest hope. Trying to color their dreams and build their trust of life and the afterlife. This type of people who need help, who really deserve sympathy. They are at the verge of despair and they want our feelings. The toughest question I was asked from a child saying “When this is gonna end?” it was about his suffering. I looked into his eyes, they killed me. I had no answer for him, I spent more than three days with hunger and without sleep because I knew, it will not end soon, or may be never. He may have to grow up with this fact, but I couldn’t tell him that.. I just couldn’t .
On the other hand of the story, I saw people who are scumbag. Who sell everything for the sake of money, fame and selfishness. I met them. I dealt with them. I believe they are the cause of suffering for my people. They have a big load of bad deeds. When someone abandons his humanity for the sake of materials, he is unworthy of respect. When someone loses the ability to love because he only loves himself and his selfish desires, he is contemptible. Is there really a meaning of life after that!. How can they live knowing the truth that they are feeding their fake ego over people who suffered that much!. How can they live knowing the fact they are a bunch of beggars who harvest the blood of innocent victims for their selfish desires. People who can never be trusted. Who can never have friends. Who can never live peacefully and feel empathy. Loneliness is their fate that they chose for themselves.
I wonder what is the value of money, fame, power and castles when someone loses his dignity and self-pride. On top of all of this, they think they are smart and that’s what makes it even pathetic.. I stayed there for seven years and never went back, but I still remember humans and inhumane. These types are still commonly seen and I still meet such people along the way of life.
I still have hope and trust in my people. I trust that good people in my country will build it one day. They will make our dream of freedom, dignity and justice true.