Gaza in and out – Messages from Gaza Now – October 2023 – June 2024

Gaza in and out. 

Almost two weeks since the last time I wrote about Gaza. But what to write and how to write while I am out of Gaza? It would be a kind of hypocrisy. 

While I was in Gaza, I was not following the news; first there was no TV, and second, I was part of the news! Today, I lay on a sofa watching TV, something that did not happen for 6 months in Gaza. I try to avoid the news, but how can I? 

I did not change that much, but too much has changed me. I forgot how to live. My smile is missing, and I seek feelings of joy but can’t find them. And how can I find them when my mother is somewhere in a tent in Deir Al Balah, and I know what it is to be in a tent installed on the sandy ground away from any means of life, surrounded by thousands of tents, with no toilets, no water, only heat, insects, reptiles and other visitors?

 How can I live while my brothers and sisters with their families are stuck in Gaza City and have no access to food but have access to all types of fear, panic and agony?

 A friend of mine wrote from Gaza: ‘Time in Gaza passes very slowly, like an annoying nightmare, with hopes of waking up so this nightmare will end, hearing shouts of appeals, but no one is answering. Women complain with tears, children cry from fear, and men swallow their helplessness with sadness and despair. Night in Gaza is like a dark cave full of horror and torture, expecting the worst with no horizon of any hope.’ 

I am afraid to call my family in Gaza. I am afraid of the news, but mostly I feel embarrassed. I feel that I deceived them by leaving Gaza and leaving them alone to face the daily terror of bombardment and displacement, and the daily suffering from the search for food and water. And I feel embarrassed to call anyone from outside as well, and when friends from outside call, I avoid answering them. I feel it would be another betrayal of my people in Gaza. What logic! It is nonsense, but this is what I feel here in Cairo!

Do I have the right to write about the people in Gaza anymore? I feel I don’t have this right anymore and this is killing me.