White page – MESSAGES FROM GAZA NOW – October 2023 – March 2024

15 March 2024

White Page

Opening my laptop, opening a Word document, trying to write something about our frozen life, a life that is limited to looking for a food parcel or waiting for some news about a ceasefire.

The thoughts in my head are scattered, I am unable to concentrate on one idea or one subject. My dog lays his head in my lap, making the writing difficult. Poor dog, for two days, he has not been feeling good. He has a stomach pain, it is stomach pollution, the doctor said. The food we eat is not healthy. What alternatives do we have? None. I took my medication and tried to sleep. My mother, in the other room, does not stop whining in pain too. She gets worse and her health is deteriorating fast. Nothing can be done. Helplessness is killing!

All talk is about invading Rafah, making the subject the most talked-about by everybody. They are terrified. Where to go? How to survive under the continuous bombing? Every day there is a targeted bombing or a random bombing, people are killed and injured without a stop.

The two little girls living with us (the daughters of Abeer’s sister) are much quieter than usual, they look very sad, most of time sitting doing nothing. What children of 14 and 8 can stay still doing nothing for hours? There is no playing, no going out, no school, no friends, no relatives visiting, no walking in the market, no going to the beach. Just staying at home doing nothing. Nothingness is a slow killer; it kills the spirit and the soul first. What can I do? I brought them some toys, some paper, and colours. Then what?

I received a call from a colleague in one of the shelters, about another unaccompanied child, a 14-year-old girl. She said that she escaped from Gaza, she was 3 days in the street. She is afraid and knows nothing about her family. She wanted to go back to Deir El Balah, where she has relatives, but she could not name them. I called the Ministry of Social Development and SoS. I don’t want to go, it is only heartbreaking, and I can provide nothing. Helplessness is killing!

A mother is carrying a little child, a few months old, holding another child of 3 with her hand. Behind her is another child of 6, begging, asking for food. She is very dirty, and her children too. They look very poor, very skinny, what will a few Shekels do for them? I give her 5, which means almost zero. Helplessness killing!

This page is not white anymore, there are many words in black. I hate black, next time I will use another colour, maybe it will help me feel better.

Good night