Missing Hope – Messages from Gaza Now – October 2023 – June 2024

2 June 2024

Missing Hope 

“No, we don’t believe in it, in fact we don’t want to believe in it. Holding no hope is easier than holding fake hope.” This is what a friend from Gaza told me about his reaction to the announcement of the possible ceasefire deal.

He continues, “Look what happened last time! When Hamas agreed on the deal, we all went out celebrating, dancing in the streets. And what happened? The Israelis invaded Rafah, forced a million people to be displaced again, and bombed everywhere. People were burned alive in their tents. It is better to have no hope, my friend. No hope, no thinking of tomorrow, just try to survive the now, the moment, and what will come will come. We are helpless, we are objects, in fact we are nothing!”

Another friend said to me, “My dear Hossam, don’t worry so much, we are in Gaza, and Gaza is the highway to heaven. This should not be a bad thing.”

My dearest friend, Basel, the artist, keeps saying: “They will not prevent us from living. Don’t get used to the image. Keep fighting! They will not de-humanise us! I must keep myself a sensitive and an awake human being. The war will not steal my humanity!”

Another friend said: “We don’t have the luxury of being defeated. There is no choice between slavery, occupation, and freedom. This is human instinct.”

My sister, my beloved sister, who is caring for her 82-year-old mother-in-law, and her kidney-failure patient husband, and 4 children, and my bedridden mother, told me that she has no more space in her heart for more pain. 

A colleague told me, “It is not easy to work with children here, when every day you realise that one or more of them are not there anymore, when you realise that the smiling child from yesterday is dead, and he will not smile any more.

Why is the world so quiet? Why is the world silent? We should keep quiet and silent when children sleep, not when children are killed! Every child is an entire universe for someone.”