Writing History

Gaza, Palestine– Ever since I published my last piece, I’ve been thinking about what my next piece should be. I wondered whether my next piece, this piece, should be an elaboration on what I have experienced during Cast Lead three years ago or if it should be one of those pieces where I describe the beauty of Gaza in spite of the countless hardships the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip face on a daily basis, all year round.

I have had a raging storm of ideas inside of my head to the point where I couldn’t concentrate and didn’t know what to write on. I then realized that neither any family member of mine nor myself have been forced by the Zionists to leave our hometown, hence why I would never be able to describe how it feels to live in a place outside of my hometown, regardless of the firm belief that Palestine, all of Palestine at that, is one big home but there’s this little village your family had always lived in, or a city all your big family resided in for so long.

Because I know that my background on Palestine in any aspect isn’t enough to start discussing and writing about it, I have decided to start writing history how I see it. Simply because years from now, what happened in the years before will become but a mere memory, and if I wasn’t the one to tell my grandsons these stories, who will?

Look at it from this perspective: would you rather your grandsons read about the portion of history you yourself have lived in books? Or would you rather sit them down around you in a circle, and tell them about it yourself; the way you’ve seen it, experienced it, and felt during it?

All of what’s happening in Palestine, and all of what has happened is a systematic approach that those with the ruling stake are implementing, and you probably won’t understand it unless you experience it.

Look at the Gaza Strip for example. I remember years ago, all we ever wanted was to get rid of the Zionists. We were very happy when the Palestinian Authority came to the Gaza Strip and took the ruling stake. Little did we know; it turned out that the PA is nothing but puppets which Israel turns left and right as it pleases. About 14 years later, Hamas snatched the ruling stake from the PA after a bloody and heavily armed conflict over who is more armed and strong enough to be the ultimate governor in the Gaza Strip.

About a month later, bearded faces started invading schools, hospitals, ministries and government offices while their green flags invaded every mosque along with announcement boards on which they pinned weekly flyers showing off their army using whatever words they could use to sully, defame, and slander Fatah and its president, Mahmoud Abbas, in Ramallah.

The siege then began to tighten up on us in the Gaza Strip. It’s been getting tighter by the day for over five years now.  First was, and has always been electricity. Except it became worse, to the point where we spent up to 16 hours a day without electricity but luckily, the weather was somewhat bearable. Before that was Cast Lead, when every source of electricity was absolutely dead for twenty-eight days.

During Cast Lead, there was barely any water, no electricity, and we technically lived on pasta without any additions (boil and eat), and a transistor radio through which we spent our days and sleepless nights–which was the case almost every night.

During and in the months after Cast Lead was a bread crisis. We would stand in long queues by the bakery, waiting to buy some bread. The bakery didn’t sell to anyone more than one pack of 50 pita breads because everyone wanted to buy bread and there wasn’t enough wheat to produce continuously, thus the consumption limit.

Between one crisis and another, we have been slapped back and forth, up and down. Like a small ship in the middle of an angry ocean. And although the captain of this ship doesn’t have what it takes to lead the ship to land, we will still make it through.

Nader Elkhuzundar

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  1. […] Gaza, Palestine- Ever since I published my last piece, I’ve been thinking about what my next piece should be. I wondered whether my next piece, this piece, should be an elaboration on what I have e…  […]

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