Voices from Gaza: What If I Were Her
Gaza- By Nesreen Kamal- I was about to sleep, putting my head on my red heart-shaped pillow, and covering my body with half of a blanket. The music was playing calmly when, suddenly, the beautiful harmonic tones were buried by a very high & violent sound of an Israeli air raid nearby. I almost fell down of my bed & I could hear my heart beats hitting my chest in a re-act to the bombing. I sat still on my bed for a while trying to understand what had just happened! It’s really been so long since the last time I saw my house’s walls and ceiling shaking by an air raid, I think the bombing sound became unfamiliar to me, but not anymore. I turned on the radio and listened to the reporter, “The Israeli war-planes bombarded separate areas in Gaza Strip and cause the injury of a girl in her house by the flying shrapnel of one of the air raids.” The rest of what the reporter said was not audible to me because my thoughts were much louder in my mind. The injured was a girl sitting peacefully in her place, and the bombing was near her house. It was easy for me to put myself in her shoes because our conditions were almost the same, except for the injury. I put my hands on my knees and rested my head on them, and then I closed my eyes. I saw red and blue lights sparkling in the darkness; it took me a second to understand that it was the ambulance in the middle of where the bombing happened. Then I saw the shadow of the girl who was held on the arms of some men taking the stairs to get her into the ambulance. Where was she injured exactly? Where? I tried to look deeply but the dark dirty & smelly smoke blinded my foresight. Then, all of a sudden, I was standing in front of her shocked with my eyebrows raised and my mouth and eyes open, staring at her. When was the last time she brushed her hair? The dust that covered it and the remarkable scratches on her face both made it look messier! Her slovenly hands, legs and body were all my eyes could see, but her head was lowered and I wanted to look her in the eyes! I stepped forward to get a closer look at her, and I wish I did that earlier. Now I could hear her hard breathing and crying. The amount of fear and horror she saw could be seen in her appearance; her messy hair & clothes, and her unclean arms. She put her hand in on my hand and it was the moment when I felt ashamed of my petty foresight that couldn’t notice but the girl’s outer appearance, and I was struck by the realization that it’s never easy for me to put myself in her shoes no matter how many similarities we seem to have! I felt ashamed for not feeling her pain, for not hearing her screams & appeals, for not touching the horror she felt that gave her no time at all to care for her hair or body condition! And who in the world would think about how they look like when their life’s on the edge! I put my other hand on her hand, I cried my heart out with her, I heard loud heart beats, I heard the Israeli drones and warplanes hovering over our heads, I heard a resounding explosion, I felt some pain, I saw blood shedding out of my body, I heard hard breathing, I saw the girl’s eyes as she was staring at me shocked with her eyebrows raised and mouth & eyes open, and then I was conscious again! I turned my head to the right and to the left trying to make sure that I am still safe and sound in my silent room. Everything looked the same, but different from how it looked like before my imagination weaved me the threads of that real-like story. Everything was differently the same! I could think no more! I just wanted to sleep wishing I wouldn’t wake up with my body covered with the color of my pillow.