Nothing is happening in Gaza 8/01/2015

8 January 2015

I asked my friends, Hossam and Jamal, how was the New Year in Gaza.

They are the directors of Theatre for Everybody with which Az Theatre is in partnership.  We first worked together in 2002 when Az brought a number of theatre companies from different countries together at the International Theatre Festival in Sibiu, Romania.  This was the start of our War Stories project.  In 2009 we started our ten-year partnership with Hossam and Jamal’s company.  The latest phase is War and Peace: Gaza (Palestine) – London (UK).  You can buy tickets for our upcoming event at Rich Mix on Sunday 18th January at 3pm. This will be a reading of a stage adaptation of Tolstoy’s last novel, Resurrection read by Philip Arditti, Annabel Capper,Tom Clark, Tom Chadwick, Deborah Findlay, Zaydun Khalaf, Elsa Mollien, David Mumeni, Andrea Smith Valls, Maggie Steed and Jennie Stoller and then there will be a video link conversation with our friends in Gaza.  Read more about our presentation of Resurrection


Jamal told me that the special gift for Gaza’s New Year was a brand new power cuts schedule that would mean even shorter periods of connection, 6 hours in every 24.  Things are getting worse in Gaza and most people stayed at home to welcome in the New Year.  They lit candles not to celebrate but because there was no electricity.

Then Hossam sent me this message:

Dear Jonathan,
What to say??!!! Things in Gaza have became too much that we feel talking about it is useless.  They drove us to despair. Nothing is happening, nothing at all. Nothing good, nothing bad. Nothing moves, nothing stops, nothing improves, nothing deteriorates, nothing. The only thing that’s happening is …. Nothing.
This nothingness is killing.
Less electricity, is a detail
No reconstruction, is a detail
Children dying burnt by a candle, is a detail
More than 10.000 people still living in schools as shelters, is a detail
UN Security Council rejecting the Palestinian proposal for a state, is a detail
Hundreds of thousands of people without jobs, is a detail
Judicial killing for robbery, is a detail
Hamas refusing to hand over power to the unity government, is a detail
Fatah refusing to pay Hamas public service staff salaries, is a detail
Sick people dying because they could not travel to seek health treatment, is a detail
Students losing the chance to continue their education as Rafah crossing is closed, is a detail
People drowning in the sea while trying to get some kind of life outside of Gaza, is a detail
My daughter Salma spending 2 weeks mid-year vacation at home as there is no place to go and spend some leisure time, is a detail
Houses drowning in the storm, is a detail
Nothing is happening, nothing.
This nothingness is killing us.
Gaza is not a prison. As someone said, in prison, food is guaranteed; in prison, safety is almost guaranteed; in prison, lights are guaranteed; in prison, meeting families from the outside is guaranteed.
In Gaza we are living the war, and between war and war. Nothing is happening, just waiting for the coming war.
You know what is most dangerous about this nothingness???
In the nothing, you can expect nothing but can you live without expectation?!
They put us in a status of waiting for death to come, to live with no hope, to lose the meaning of being alive, what is the point???
People have even lost the ability to revolt, or even complain or express themselves.
If you are in Gaza now days, 90% of what people are talking about is: electricity on, electricity off. 6 hours, no 8 hours, no less than 5 hours! What a subject to talk about most of the time??!!!
Nothing, my dear, nothing is happening.