“We’re OK in Gaza”


“We’re OK in Gaza. We’re just scrabbling for life amid the death that spreads wider & wider each day. The death which stalks every corner, snatches up souls from every alley, attacks every building, every street, every home. It doesn’t distinguish between old & young, between man or woman, between a child in its mother’s womb & an old man soon headed for the grave. It has become a common language among us, this death. We do not fear death per se, just the way it arrives—its cruel closing in, its ineffable descent, the painful impact when it tears us to shreds. Did this hand belong to that man, or to the man or the women who died next to him? That’s the cruelty we fear, that’s what we don’t want. As for death itself, each of us feels we’ve eluded death already, when every previous war failed to finish us off. We fear death coming painfully like an act of fate—we want it to come softly, like a gentle spell. Death itself is welcome, for every life has its pathways and endings that we have no control over. We just want to live out the life nature has in store for us, like other humans. Just like our children want to be like other ordinary children—like the ones who appear on their television screens. It’s as if there is a life for other people, and a separate life for us.”

(From “We’re OK in Gaza” by Atef Abu Saif in Guernica magazine, August 8th 2014)

(Photo is children in Rafah, Gaza by Flickr user Giles)

Leave a Reply