Can’t see my tears 24/08/2014


24 August 2014


I just emailed Hossam and Jamal earlier today to tell them that I was thinking about them and to tell them that I went to see Rafeef Ziadeh perform her poetry at the P21 gallery on Friday evening after she was in conversation with Rich Wiles and to tell them that she performed this poem, and that I learned a lot at this event and that when we named our project they had told me that they wanted the title ‘War and Peace: Gaza (Palestine) – London (UK)’ and that sometimes I had shortened this title to ‘War and Peace: Gaza- London’ (because I’m a bit lazy!!) and that I would never shorten it again (get it?!).  And just now Hossam sent me this message.

Dear Jonathan
I started start writing this message after more than 15 minutes of opening it. I do not find words any more, I feel very much depressed and unable to control it, I am opening my computer trying to read a project that I must start in few days and am unable to continue more than some lines, I am very frustrated, I want to shout, to scream, to curse, to beat something, to break something, I feel very, very, very angry, and afraid, terrified, panicked. I feel lost, I try to calm down, but do not succeed, I try to get busy with something but can not concentrate, unable to focus on anything.
Yesterday they bombed a housing tower block, a 14-floor building with 54 apartments, 54 families were obliged to evacuate the building in 30 minutes, 54 families came onto the street with nowhere to go, 54 families, including men, women, children, old people, babies, people with disabilities, a complete society thrown out of their home, out of their shelter, out of their safe place, or what they believed was a safe place!
Abeer was panicked, she could not stop thinking that it might be our building next!! What if? What would we do? Where would we go? How would we continue our life? Would we get out of it safely? What about our daughter, Salma? Would we will be able to protect her? What life would mean without our home?
Do you hear my cry? You may do.
But you don’t see my tears

I wrote back:

Yes, Hossam, I can hear your cry.  I can feel your anger.  I can feel your depression and your inability to continue to work.  Nobody is indestructible.  Nobody is a total hero.  And I wonder whether anything is helped by my solidarity, my listening, my thinking that I understand?  Is anything helped by me posting this latest message?  I hope so because that is what I am about to do!  Just to cry out into the space of world, just to sing out our anger, just to stamp our feet on this old earth, just to hear some kind of echo and know we are not completely alone. Of course words by themselves are useless but they are never by themselves.  These words are between you and me and the world can listen.

Love and strength and life and joy to Abeer and Salma