The Fourth day

غزة تحت النار

Najlaa Ataallh
Editor: Evelyn Teo

How do we get used to all this devastation, How do our eyes stand witnessing one gruesome scene after another, day after day, on our way to work and school… used to all this

Yes, we have the innate instinct to cope with the forces of nature but what’s in front of our eyes is beyond a human’s threshold. Body parts are strewn in all directions… Pools of blood are mixing up, tying one human to another…

The numbers and pictures that spread across the social networking pages… Where can we preserve and earn the value of human dignity…

On the fourth day, suddenly, you start to ask yourself how the four days passed. You can’t even feel it, nor tell the time. The truth is, you are thrown out of the cycle of this universe. You are pushed into a tiny corner, smaller than a dot on the map of the world.

After the forth day, the number of martyrs exceeded 80 and the number of the injured exceeded 600.

Swallow your saliva not of fear. It will never be out of fear. Rather, for the belief in having the right to feeling fear. Fear engulfs you nevertheless when you read through the numbers of martyrs, just as others feel.

Searching on the Internet for news (when you have electricity), you begin to say, “This is Ahmed. This is Mahmoud, Khaled, …”. Then you gasp in disbelief, “This is a woman. Oh God! All the family members had passed away!” And next you find yourself screaming, “Oh God! They are all children!”.

You continue searching tirelessly, eager to find your hope and at one minute, you thank and praise God. Sadness doesn’t hit your heart directly as you don’t know any one of the martyrs. You will feel a small breeze in your chest. A moment of peace surrounds you.

All of a sudden, you hear a loud noise. Is the house dancing? No. The house is trembling and shaking. Don’t judge him. The truth is that the house is afraid. He is afraid of losing its long rooted history by one missile strike.

Running and rushing towards your mother, you said, “What’s happening?!?!”. You stopped breathing for seconds trying to process what you just heard. You reconfirmed in shock, “Did you say Houda including her parents are in the house?!”.

You fall down on your knees instantly. You lost your ground in disbelief. You don’t know whether it’s out of shock, fear, or panic…

Moments later, one sound scratched your ear drums while another is cheering. People are trying to take a peek out the window. Looking up, you see a simple rocket made out of a fistful of dollars flying in the sky, in hope of successfully intercepting the rocket that came out of the F-16 fighter jets. Keep your eyes on the ground and listen to what’s hovering in your heart when the rocket intercepted by the Iron Dome.

Down on your knees and keep your ears to the ground. The sound of silence is broken by the tamping of airstrike and artillery cross fires competing with the sound coming out of the television announcing, “Haifa hit by a R-160 rocket.”

Rejoicing, your heart is dancing while sadness descent on others’ faces while you say: Haifa.


About nataallh

"It is an attempt to be me"
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