The Seventh Day (They Had A Dream)


حلم 1

Najlaa Ataallh

Editor: Evelyn Teo

The sixth day passed with number of martyrs now exceeding 150 and the injured exceeding 1500. All your senses have stopped interacting with you. You can’t hear.. You can’t sleep… Your body is totally exhausted to your very last breath. Only to God you complain what is in your aching heart drown in sorrows.

Death is raining in the city, sweeping away your beloved and friends and everyone else with him, without any distinction.

Eat to stay alive.

Breath as you don’t have a choice not to.

Think and think and think all over again until you get bored and numb from thinking.

How did you live seven days ago? You were swimming in the vast ocean of hopes and dreams. This state of nothingness begins spreading like a virus, eating into this oasis of hopes and dreams. Yet, you continue dreaming.

Yes. You dream of the day that you will fly in the sky with all the victorious and joyous moments of your life. You believe that you can make a change. You greet each new day with a smile.

In this seventh day of the aggression in Gaza, there is only one thing you hold on to: The one hope, perhaps one belief of staying alive. You can’t stop thinking day and night, playing out all the scenarios that might happen to you in your head.

“Which shrapnel will take my soul away?”

“Can fear really take away my life?”

“Is fear deadly?”

“Did your heart try to cope and overcome yet another loss?”

“What if you and your family are forced to evacuate the house?”

“Would you leave all your memories behind as a result of one missile?”

“Would you leave them to snatch away the history of your birth, childhood, and youth?”


“Would your dreams rise up to heaven with the rubbles of your house that hugged the ground?”

“Will all of these really happen?”

More than 150 people have passed away. Each one with his/her own name, history, and a dream…

Each and every one of them was dreaming.

Without doubt all children were dreaming of their new clothes for Eid… The small amusement parks that they would go to every year… Swimming in the sea of Gaza despite it being polluted… The dreams of growing up and graduating from universities. Perhaps one child will see himself visiting the small village where his grandmother told him about how his mother grew up. It could be Hamama, Hirbia, Masmia, Semsim… Any of these villages has most certainly been taken away by force.

Another child might have dreamed of traveling when he heard his uncle telling him over Skype about the beauty and serenity of the city that he lives in. He was dreaming until the moment he was sent away to heaven before he can fulfill those dreams.

It could be a woman, dreaming of remodeling her small kitchen with her Eidyah (Eid bonus). She could be dreaming of seeing her daughter putting on her wedding dress after the Eid celebration. Another women might have dreamed of traveling for the Hajj pilgrimage, after waiting for five years when she finally gets  the one draw that is her chance.

All there is left is could be, could be, and could be…

A young man might be dreaming of praying at Al-Aqsa mosque, who died even before he could paint a picture of his dream.

You can’t help but replay of all these dreams in your head while you see the numbers of the death keeps getting higher and higher every hour, beyond any estimation.

Everything in you screams “Shut up!”  You don’t dare to start counting them. Yet you keep can’t help but say to yourself that more than 150 dreams have now been swept away from the ground…


About nataallh

"It is an attempt to be me"
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