Life In Palestine Is Not Easy

New York, United States – One bomb drops, two bombs drop, ten bombs drop. The ground beneath us begins to growl, and the buildings fall one by one; I count them like I count the stars with my father every night. People from every direction run in scattered paths. It reminds me of when you throw a pebble into a fish tank, and the innocent fish swim away in utter confusion and fear. At this moment, children become orphans, parents are buried under the rubble and dust, and olive trees are uprooted; the only things we have to defend ourselves from these illegal attacks are the rocks in our hands and resistance in our eyes. This is the life of a Palestinian. The only things we fight for are peace, freedom and equality.

We have come to the point where we can distinguish the difference between an F-16, an AK-47 and every other machine that kills anything that moves. As the Israelis bombard the soil the Palestinians gave life to, we stand with full determination that this is the land we shall return to, and the only fear we have is the fear of God. Missiles replace birds and warplanes replace the sun, but is it really a war when only one side is oppressed? Is it really a war when only the Palestinians have to suffocate behind a 400-mile apartheid wall? This is the absolute opposite of a war; it is an occupation, a bloody occupation that the world must learn about. The world must see the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, pure repetition of history with a dash of hypocrisy. If my brother, my own flesh and blood, took away my land, my rights and my home, I would fight him. It is only normal to stand your ground until what is rightfully yours returns. To exist is to resist. As thousands more Palestinians, particularly women and children are shoved into unsanitary refugee camps with contaminated food and isolated rooms, I try to cover the ears of the children when bombs are yet again dropped like rain and keep a smile to conceal the pain within and teach them to be brave.

Life in Palestine is not easy, but each day we grow stronger. Walking down the street with a rock in one hand, the flag in the other and the kuffiya nestled around our necks, we walk with our heads held high and are determined the day of freedom is near. When the world sleeps, we are still awake, making sure everyone is safe before the candles are blown off for one more night, not sure if we will be given electricity the following day. We fear our house might fall apart one more time. I hold a basket made out of weaved branches, walk through the marvelous olives groves and pluck each olive off its branch, gently, like holding pearls between my fingers. These olives were plucked by my great-grandmother once, before Israel ripped the trees out of their roots, not knowing that they were really ripping her heart out. She planted these groves with her own hands, she gave the soil life, and Israel does not know the significance of an olive tree or the story behind it. Despite it all, it does not stop us. Life goes on, and so do we. Patience and resistance are wrapped around veins, waiting for the day in which this horrific occupation will end, warplanes will seize, families will reunite and apartheid will crumble to the ground.

Nihal Qawasmi 

Nihal is a Palestinian residing in New York, A high-school student with a passion for writing, she believes in the power of words and their impact on the reader in raising awareness, in the future she wishes to become a humanitarian advocate and a journalist. Nihal blogs here and tweets here.


  1. Reblogged this on Rob's Writing Page.

  2. Huong Pham says:

    Thanks for sharing, I seems to feel your pain.


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