Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Lying there by Amra Amra

Written in January 2009
Lying there. Not knowing what to expect. What was going on? Where was I? The last thing I remember was...Oh yes. There was a siege in my city, my home, my prison; Gaza. That explained the deafening airplanes sounds that were roaring above my head. Why was there so much dust? I couldn't breathe. It was so dark. I'm scared of the dark. Don't tell anyone though. I have to be strong for my younger sisters. You see in Gaza, the electricity is always cut off. So I couldn't be scared. I had to be their role model. Their rock. Their shoulder to cry on. I couldn't show them I was afraid. I had to be strong for them.

What is that on top of me? It's crushing my chest. Am I dreaming? I probably am. Or am I awake? I'm still not sure yet. I have to open my eyes. "Come on you could do it!" my conscience was telling me. I hear my older sister calling my name. "Samar!" she yells. "SAMAR. DENA! JAWAHER! IKRAM! TAHRIR!" Why weren't my siblings answering my older sister? I finally have the strength to open my eyes. Finally, I think to myself. But everything around me is dark. I can't even move. Why am I glued to the floor? Why is the roof on top of me? I don't understand. The last thing I remember was my parents tucking me in for bedtime. Where were they? "Mama, Baba!!!" I yell. No one answers. I can't take it anymore. I could hardly breathe now. It was too hard. It felt like a thousand tons on top of my chest.

I call for my siblings. No one answers. Maybe they were already rescued. I hoped they were. I prayed they were safe and not in this disaster. I try calling. At this point, the concrete above me shakes and rumbles from another missile that was hit next door. It felt like an earthquake. Everything was on top of me now. I feel the rubble crush my body and bones. I feel and taste the blood trickle down my face and other parts of my body. It was too painful. I couldn't move. Even if I wanted to, it was too hard. I would give anything to be anywhere but here. Anywhere. I wanted to escape. I wanted a better life. A life where children were allowed to play with no worries. A place where I wouldn't be scared to sleep and never wake up. A place where bombs were never heard. Was there such a place? Even if there was, I wouldn't know. Because I am child; a child of Gaza.

Things were getting easier now. I couldn't feel pain anymore. My body was feeling lighter. Was I giving up? I wasn't giving up! Don't think I gave up! I was strong for 12 years. 12 years of my life living in Gaza. I was strong! Strong like the men of Gaza; like the women of Gaza; the children of Gaza! Unfortunately, I can't be strong forever. Even though I desperately want to, I can't.

In my last moments I spend here in Gaza; lying here helpless, paralyzed, suffocated by the dust all around me, with my house crumbled on top of me covering me like a monstrous blanket. I lie here thinking. Why? What did I do to deserve this? Am I just one of the numbers of the 313 children who were killed by the aggressive acts of the Israeli occupation forces? Is there anyone listening to hear my cries, my hopes, my rights? No child deserves this to happen to them. No human must endure this. My last cries are for help, even though no one is there to hear me. The helicopters sounds are drowning my last desperate calls for help. Maybe I am going to a better place, I convince myself. A place where I am allowed to live. But I don't want to leave my family, my home, my life. Unfortunately that is not up to me. It is in the hands of my occupiers. THEY are in control of my destiny. It has been cut short as you can see. I was given the chance to live 12 years. 12 short years, although these years were filled with experiences that make life appear black. Pitch black like the days I spent in Gaza with no electricity. Pitch black as it is now, lying here helpless in my final moments.

Dedicated to the Palestinian child who was killed in Gaza December 29, 2008
Dena Bal'ousha 12 years old
May her cries be heard…

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