Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Forty Days: A Woman in Gaza shares her experience during Israel's "Defensive Edge"

June 27, 2014


Me: Does Ramadan begin tonight for you?

Her: We do not know yet, we'll know tonight through the moon, al helal. I'm so excited for Ramadan!

Me: I'm sure! It's a wonderful holiday, I love the lights strung around the town. And breaking fast with family must be so lovely.

Her: Yeah, it is, ya rohi. Wish you were here with us. You'll like the atmosphere, and you like Arabian food too!

Me: Kanafeh!

Her: Hahaha! You have a big place in my heart.

Me: Have a Happy Ramadan. Bahebek! (Bahebek means "I love you")

June 27th, 6:08pm MT:

Me: Habibti, tell me you are safe. I worry so for you and your family. Insh'allah you are safe on the first night of Ramadan. Bahebek, Ya rohe.

Her: Ya rohi. Yes we are .. don't be worried. I heard the sounds of bombs. It was loud but far.

Me: Is it done, yet?

Her: Yes, I think so.

Me: Alhamdulillah.

June 28th:

Her: (She sends a photo of my favorite Arabic dessert, kanafeh)
Ya rohe, I love you. When I ate it at iftar, I remembered you.

Me: Shokran, Ya rohe. I am tasting it now! Ramadan kareem!

Her: Habibti.

June 30th:

Me: Insh'allah, I pray you are safe this night. Bahebek.

Her: Habibti, we are fine, thank God, we thought it was the war, but it wasn't, Alhamdulillah.

July 2:

Me: This night, please, Insh'allah, be safe. Bahebek, Ya rohe.

Her: I'm safe, ya rohe. A lot of bombs yesterday. Strong bombs. Terrible.

July 4th:

Me: I'm praying that in spite of bombs, no electricity and fear, that you are having a blessed Ramadan, enjoying your family and good food (kanafeh!). I love you dear friend.

Her: I love you, too, ya rohe.

July 7th:

Me: Insh'allah, you are whole and well. I pray every moment that you are safe, Ya rohe. I hate this for you.

July 8th:

Her: Terrible situation. Still pray, it's really awful. Bombs bombs bombs...blood...death.

Me: Today, I only care that you and your family are well.

Her: Till now, we are okay. But it is really miserable. I hate to be in this.

Me: I know it was close to you...and all over.

Her: It's too much.

Me: It's been too much for too long. If I could trade places, dear habibti, I would in a second. I know it's started up again. I'm on Twitter getting minute by minute information.My dear friend, there are no words other than to say I love you, bahebek. Be safe, Insh'allah. I'm praying constantly for you and your family.

Her: Ya rohe, your words encourage me and make me more strong. Bahebek.

Me:
I want you to know how deeply I adore you. You are an amazing woman, with so many talents and more strength than anyone I've ever known. I am screaming to my government. Screaming! I'm so angry and weary for Gazawi.

Her: Tears come to my eyes. It is like you are saying goodbye to me.

Me: No, never, habibti! Helping you remember why you need to live!!

Her: Ya rohe.

Me: You need to live! You need to marry, love, be loved, enjoy a child, a grandchild...

Her: Insh'allah, ya rohe.

Me: I feel so close to you, it's as though I'm at your side. Imagine that I am and maybe we'll both feel better.

Her: Your words make me really happy and strong.

Me: I am with you, my spirit is in Gaza. Not one person deserves this life in Gaza. Not one. Except maybe Netanyahu. Hahaha!

Her: Hahaha! Alhamdulillah for everything. We are fasting. I am thirsty and a little scared. Can't watch television because the martyrs are in parts. Martyrs martyrs martyrs. I'm scared.

Me: I know, ya omri, I know.

July 8th:

Her: I want to practice my humanity. I want to sleep. Can't eat even though I was fasting.

Me: You must try some broth or something easy on your stomach.

Her: It hasn't stopped yet. Bombs all the day. I'll try to eat but I feel that I want to vomit because I'm a little scared. That's why I can't eat or drink anything.

Me: Then vomit. Get the fear out of your stomach.

Her: It's empty. I'll try, insh'allah. When you are here I feel better because your spirit is always with me.

Me: When can you get out of Gaza? Can't you go to Rafah with your passport?

Her: We are waiting for the fucking Rafah borders to open.

Me: You just swore. I know you're upset, now.

Her: I'm sorry for my words, but I am very upset. This is not a human's life...

Me: (later)Did you eat or sleep?

Her: I ate, ya rohe, and I'll try to sleep now. But they are still bombing. I'll talk to you tomorrow because I'm so tired. Bahebek.

Me: Tell your family a crazy American lady loves them dearly and prays for their safety. Rest well, dear one. Bahebek.

July 9th:

Me: Habibti, tell me you are okay. Bahebek!

Her: I'm okay, ya rohe. After we talked yesterday, I ate and went to sleep. And I slept well. As you know they still bomb, but we are okay, alhamdulillah. I hope this will stop soon. Do you have news about the stop of this war?

Me: No news.

Her: We are preparing iftar to distract ourselves from the news and sounds.

Me: Iftar is a wonderful distraction. As you eat dessert, think of me, habibti.

Her: Hahaha! I always do! Today I'm better. I had a shower and wore new clothes and perfume. I am trying to feel as normal as I can.

Me: Look good, feel good! No reason not live as normally as possible. THAT is resistance!

Her: Your words yesterday gave me hope.

Me: To exist is to resist! There is always hope. Always.

Her: One of my friends told me she wants to die with a smile. I liked that idea. So, if it's a must...we have to smile.

Me: That's right. If those bastards are going to get you, do it smelling and looking like a fucking movie star! Fuck them all! Smile...because you will live to be an old woman, happy, with great grandchildren at your feet.

July 9th:

Me: Tell me you are okay, habibti.

Her: Terrible. Terrible. Ya rab.

Me: Close to you, ya rohe, wrapping my soul around you. Are you okay? I feel your fear.

Her: Aimless shelling...and STRONG! Ya Raaaaab! Ya Allaaaaaah! Something I can't describe.

Me: I'm sure you can't...

Her: Pray pray pray. We need prayers. A lot. I'm totally exhausted.

Me:(later)How was iftar?

Her: Not bad. They made attack by tanks. An incursion. I'm sleepy and can't sleep. Boooooombs.

Me: Have you gotten any sleep at all?

Her: Yeah. sure I'm trying, but once I grab sleep, they attack. Stay praying. I hate incursions.

Me: I pray that not one hair on your head falls out. Bahebek, habibti. Do they bomb less in daylight? Maybe you can rest then.

Her: No. The idea is that in daylight I become so exhausted I don't pay attention to the sounds.

Me: I pray for you to find rest. And I hope that you ate. While you looked and smelled fabulous.

Her: Hahahahaha! Ya rohe. I did, but only a little because my stomach hurts me. So I can't eat a lot.

Me: You smiled.

Her: I did.

July 10th:

Me: Tell me you are okay, Insh'allah.

Her: Yes, I'm okay, ya rohe. I slept from 6am tp 12 pm and I'm better, alhamdulillah.

Me: Rafah is open! Can you get out?

Her: Haha! No, it is only for injuries.

Me: Damn!

July11th:

Me: Checking in on you. Are you safe?

Her: Yes, we are still alive, alhamdulillah.

Me: Have you eaten or slept?

Her: I slept two hours. But I didn't eat. The situation is miserable.

Me: Habibti, you must eat to keep up your strength. Your siblings are watching you.

Her: Yes, I know. The bombs haven't stopped at all.

Me: If you get a drone "tap" on your building, RUN!

Her: I pretend to be strong in front of them, but actually I can't handle it anymore.

Me: I know you are hurting, but you must eat, even broth. And you CAN handle it. You must be strong like so many Palestinian women before you.

Her: It's not easy, I swear.

Me: Allah has you in His hands.

Her: Yes. Ya rab.

Me: I could never imagine how hard this must be for you.

Her: I can't imagine the moment between the rocket and death.

Me: But your younger siblings need to see you be strong, so that they can be strong, and happy and unafraid. And grow up to lead Palestine to a better time.

Her: Ya rab.

Me: Don't imagine that moment with rockets. Just live and smile. Or those fuckers have already won.

Her: I wish to stay alive.

Me: You will stay alive. You will see grandchildren on your knee.

Her: I promise you I will eat after the fast. Two more hours.

Me: OK, but at iftar you must eat! That is a command!

Her: Hahahaha, you still draw a smile to my face, and this smile makes me cry.

Me: I'm glad you can smile in the face of terror.

Her: I LOVE YOU! But sometimes I can't draw a smile because people are dying in front of our eyes. Did you see the bodies?!

Me: Yes. I am posting on FB and Twitter.

Her: I miss talking to you without these terrible circumstances.

Me: Wearing my keffiyeh today at a Solidarity protest.

Her: I have to go, habibti, because they are bombing. I'll (at this point she goes silent mid-sentence. I wait hours..)

Me: Please tell me you're okay as soon as you can. That mid sentence stop in conversation has scared me for you. Bahebek.

Her: I am okay, insh'allah.

Me: Ok, go have iftar and EAT!

Her: I will, we will talk, ya rohe, don't be worried. Shall I send you a word each hour to be sure you are not worried? I will, each hour.

Me: No, that's not neccessary. I'm a worrier.

Her: I'm sorry habibti. There were a lot of bombings.

Me: Have any buildings in your immediate area been hit?

Her: Yes. They were shaking the buildings. Yesterday our apartment was shaking and dancing. Ya rohe don't be worried, please. Are you crying? Tell me.

Me: Yes, I was.

Her: Do they arrest people at the protests?

Me: Yes, sometimes.

Her: (later in the evening) Habiti, it was a hooooot night. They are still bombing. They shelled a disabled community. Five martyrs. DISABLED! They shelled a hospital, too, and mosques.

Me: I'm so sorry. There aren't words.

Her. Ya rohe.

Me: (later) Getting ready to sleep, checking in on you. Hope you enjoyed iftar and actually ate. Bahebek, ya rohe. Bahebek.

July 12th:

Her: Ya rohe, it was an awful night. But alhamdulillah, we are safe.

Me: My check in for the night. I love you, I keep praying for you. Keep smiling, ya omri, this will end quickly and you will be safe from harm, Insh'allah.

Her: It was a black night. Thank Allah we are still alive. Really, this will end? I hope so. I am so tired. And I need a therapist.

Me: Are there therapists to see in Gaza, aside from the ones for children? I have dealt quite a bit with people with post traumatic stress. Each person copes differently, but similarly. What is bothering you the most? What thought keeps coming to mind?

Her: The killed children. I don't like to sit with my family at iftar. I feel bad things. I am scared to lose any one of them. That's why I don't sit with them, these days.

Me: If you stay away, you lose those moments of happiness. Honey, those moments are all we have!

Her: If they are the last moments, I prefer to be with them in Heaven, insh'allah. Habibti, can we talk later, if I'm still alive? My cell battery is dying and there is no electricty now.

Me: Kiss your family for me. Bahebek!

July 13th:

Her: I'm okay, ya rohe, alhamdulillah.

Me: Alhamdulilah! How are the children? Did you enjoy iftar with them?

Her: Yes, we had iftar. I tried to sit with my family, but there was bombing, and I can't eat while people are dying at the same time. I postponed eating for an hour, but I did eat.

Me: I wish I had words to comfort you.

Her: The manager of the biggest hospital, Al Shifa, they bombed his house.

Me: Are you speaking with your sweetie in Dubai?

Her: Yes. He says "Please don't die, I want to marry you. Just be alive for me."

Me: You won't die. You will live to be an old woman.

Her: It's better for me to die than to be injured. I don't want to lose any of my parts.

Me: Don't say such things, you will grow old and have grandchilden on your knee.

Her: Ya rohe, Insh'allah. Do you think they will stop all of this, soon?

Me: I don't know. We're all working for freedom for Palestine.

Her: I hope they will stop this soon, because I no longer have energy. I'm powerless. Drones and F-16's never leave the sky. I tried to sleep last night, each time I fell aslep, they bombed, so I slept just two hours and those separated.

Me: Can you stuff cotton in your ears?

Her: I can't, I should be ready for anything. Really. Here is a picture of the graves they prepared for one family. 18 people. They were killed yesterday. This is not easy at all.

Me: Find your inner strength! Where is the rebel in you?Fuck the Occuaption!

Her: Hahaha. You know, my little sister plays cards with her friends. She is brave, more than myself. She loves life. She wants Ice cream in the head of shelling. Hahaha! She is crazy. I like how strong she is during daylight, but at night she starts to worry and sometimes cries.

Me: Yes, children feel your fear, but they are strong.

Her: For seven days, I've only seen people killed and injuries. Life is a blessing from Allah.

Me: You must not focus on these things. Focus on your family and friends now. They will get you through, if you let them. And yes, life is indeed a blessing. So enjoy it and quit hiding. To exist is to resist. Get angry! Don't let the oppressors get your spirit. Tell your family that 200 people protested in my town.

Her: You know what makes me laugh? That in Gaza there are no ground shelters. At all.

Me: Nowhere to run. Being outside in dangerous, being inside is dangerous. I know habibti, it's all very ironic. You need that dark, twisted Gaza sense of humor going. Like the Irish...hahaha.

Her: Yes. No place to go, all of Gaza is dangerous.

Me: Do you know what I'd do if I was in Gaza?

Her: No, what?

Me: I go stand on the beach and stick both of my middle fingers up at those goddamned war boats. And then...have some kanafeh.

Her: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Me: I'm so glad you're laughing.

Her: I'm trying to visualize the situation. You in your motorcycle gear and tattoos.

Her: (later) Sorry, ya rohe, there were bombs. I'm exhausted with a very tired soul. Ya rab, ya rab. I think we are about to die. I can't handle it! I'm tired itred tiiiiiiiired!

Me: No God , no. Be safe, please, habibti. Don't think like that.

Her: Ya rab. Ya Allah!

Me: Allahu Akbar, trust in Allah, dear friend. Bahebek.

Her: Allahu Akbar.

Me: (later) Are you safe habibti?

Her: No. I'm not okay. I'm not. They hit very near to our buidling. We are alive. We're still alive.

Me: Please, honey, don't cry, don't be afraid. I know that sounds impossible. I'm praying and praying.

July 14th:

Her: Where are you? I heard America was changing their thoughts about us. I hope there is a solution soon.

Me: Did you get any rest?

Her: I got some. But my head is about to explode from the noise and my nervousness. In the last half hour, they attacked a Professor's house. I want RUN out of Gaza. It's like a nightmare. It's something that cant be described in words. It hurts my soul, my body, each cell in me. I just want to scream and shout! My head, back and legs hurt from the noise.

(I ask her to send me photos of her younger siblings playing, to remind her that they watch her.)

Me: Your little sister seems silly and fun! I love her spirit!

Her: She is silly and fun. She adores life.

Me: I love these photos, normal life, eating, playing, living.

Her: They are strong, they don't understand.

Me: So are you, you just don't know it yet.

Her: They think nothing bad will happen.

Me: Let them be innocent. (I send her the song & lyrics to "Timshel", by Mumford and Sons.) "Death is at your doorstep, and it will steal your innocence, but it will not steal your substance. You are not alone in this. As Brothers we will stand and we'll hold your hand, hold your hand."

Her: I love you. You always give me hope.

Me: And you give me purpose.

Her: Waiting for peace. Ya rab, Say prayers. A lot of prayers. I'm waiting for that bomb. I pray that all of this will end soon. Ya rab.

Me: Darling friend, you must try to live as normally as possible. Don't let them get in your head and change you.

Her: That's why I pray. I would like to live! To breathe the air. I'm better now.

July 15th:

Me: Just waking up to check on you. Has it been quieter?

Her: No, it's worse than before! It's closer and Israel keeps threatening and then killing! We have nothing we can do. I just want all of this to STOP! I just want out of Gaza!

Me: (later)Are you okay, habibti? I know they are very close to you.

Her: No tanks, yet. We're ok. It's a dark night and they are bombing. I can't do this at all!

Me: There is no way out, ya omri, only through.

Her: The only way out is the grave.

Me: You must hold onto hope, ya rohe.

Her: Ya rohe, they bomb A LOT!

Me: I'm so sorry.

Her: Don't be sorry. It's our fate. Alhamdulillah.

Me: Don't accept death. Don't wait for it. Look it in the face and tell it FUCK YOU!

Her: The hardest night ever...do you think this will end soon? Do you have good news?

July 16th:

Me: Just waking up and checking in. How are you, habibti?

Her: I'm okay, ya rohe, it was a hard one, but alhamdulillah we are okay. I post words of hope on FB and check my friends to see if they are okay.

July 17th:

Me: How is my favorte Gazawi today?

Her: There was a ceasefire today from 10am to 3pm, but it is finished now.

Me: They started again, already? I was hoping for more quiet for you.

Her: Hahahaha, I called it, "the killing hope".

Me: Bahebek a thousand times!

July 18th:

Me: Habibti, I know they're are reports of no power and everyone afraid to use cell phones. Just know that I'm thinking of you constantly, begging Allah for your family's lives. Praying. Praying. Praying. Bahebek, ya rohe. I love you.

Her: We are fine. Power came on for two hours, but still pray!

Me: Oh, thank God! Have you needed to evacuate?

Her: No, but if they come close....we may. I'm afraid they will attack shelters, though.

Me: UN reported they used sarin and white phosphorus. Do you have gas masks?

Her: No, we don't have those.

Me: Prepare by wetting scarves and putting them over your face if you smell ANYTHING strange. Sarin has no smell and stays on clothes. Please, Insh'allah, stay safe, be smart. I'm praying for your safety. Bahebek, ya omri.

White phosphorus they use to light up the sky, but leaves chunks that burn through flesh. You know this, I'm sure. If ANY gas is sent your way, wet scarves over face, change clothes as soon as possible.

July 19th:

Her: Sorry, ya rohe, for not replying. We had no electricity. It has just come on.

Me: Is it safe in your area?

Her: No area is safe, ya rohe, but areas near borders have a very terrible situation.

July 20th:

Me: Are you safe? Have you eaten? I miss our normal conversations about English and potential fiancees.

Her: Haha! I miss normal, too. I'm fine, ya rohe. Yesterday was the most cruel night. Actually, my health is not good. I don't sleep at all. I vomit what I eat and have a stomach ache because of this war.

I miss asking you questions about English and talking to you normally and hearing your news. I do miss life , I do miss Gaza without blood. I do miss streets , my work, my life and all of the small details.

I want to tell you about each single moment in this war .. but I find myself speechless. It smashed my spirit, it stole my smile and my life. When I sleep only one hour, I have nightmares,and then when I wake up it is still a more terrible nightmare. I can't handle it at all. I cant descibe it in words.

If you came to Gaza, you would hate humanity: how all of the people are suffering and the world does not move to help. People...there are injuries and they die because no ambulances can reach them for all the shelling. They bleed till they die. They die while they hug each other. This world is full of injustice.

I hear the sounds of bombs, now....

July 21st:

Me: Please tell me you're okay, ya rohe.

Her: I'm ok. It's close, I breathe pain...

July 22nd:

Her: We still hear F-16s and bombs. Isreali airport closed and when Isreal is angry it attacks us more, kills more. They don't want to stop. They don't want to break the siege of Gaza. I want this to end soon. Gaza's demands are not miracles. It's our simple right TO LIVE!

The issue is to die gradually or to die quickly. Gaza is a prison.

We've missed Ramadan. It hurts me. We fast, but we miss the spiritual atmosphere of it. You know what my biggest dream right now is? To sleep in my own bed.

I sleep on the floor with my mom and siblings to stay away from the windows. I saw an apartment building bombed. This shocked me so much, and I was afraid. A lot. I hope tanks do not come to my area because that would be terrible.

This is what I think of every day: What will I do?

I always want to take my little sister and mom...oh nightmare!!!

They attack UNWRA. They'll attack Rafah. They've attacked a hospital and another mosque.

(later) They have just attacked a UNWRA school now.

They have stopped using drone taps, no warnings, they attack with F-16's directly, so there is no chance to run.

Me: If tanks come...RUN!

Her: We can't run at night, planes attack anything moving in the street. I'm hearing a song right now about how the heart of the people died. It made me cry. I need to cry a lot. I want to shout a lot.

Me: I pray that is not so. Gaza can't give up. But, crying is healing. Let your tears fall. You are only human, habibti.

Her: (later) It is so much worse. I'm fine, but I'm speechless. Things became so much worse. They are doing in Khan Younis what they did in Shegaiaa. People are calling for help and rescue.

July 23rd:

Her: I need to hug you. I'm tired. I neeeeeeed to hug you. I need to cry in your arms. I need to shout!

Is there any news of a ceasefire? They haved raped my city, stolen our land! Israel says they may widen the incursion. They should let us live, at least!

Me: How is your family? I hate your new profile picture. It makes me feel you are giving up.

Her: They are okay, alhamdulillah. I hate it, too! Hahahaha!

Me: We have a sick sense of humor. Irish & Gazans very much alike. Hard life gives you that.

Her: Hahaha!

Me: Life is short and hard. Enjoy the fuck out of it while you have it!

Her: I love life.

Me: Then don't let this war steal your love for life. My fiancee and I cried at dinner last night. Told me we take life for granted. This is when I told you I feel guilty for living normal life...Crying now, habibti. I would do anything to save you and your family.

Her: I'll tell you something:I slept for one hour and I dreamed I bought something for my lover as a gift, and I smiled in the dream. Then I woke up to find myself in a real nightmare. This made me cry. You know why? Because people wake up from nightmares to life, not life to nighmares. It was the worst moment I've ever had.

I have to go help mum for iftar meal. Please let me know any good news,

Me: They have 200 people trapped in a tower in Khan Younis, and they targeted Al Jazeera offices.

Her: Oh my God. I guess your source is talking about Khoza'aa.

Me: Are F-16's over you?

Her: Yes, all the time, the drones never leave at all. At. All. 24 hours a day, the music of death. There is no progress to this ceasefire and this drives me mad. I guess it will take a long time to make it stop. This makes me frustrated! I want this to end soon!

One cannot compare Hamas rocket to Israeli bombs, because there is no comparison. I hate the killing of civilians. There is no hope for this nightmare to end. It keeps becoming more complicated. I hate this!

I want to sleep! I would like to sleep!

My mother wants to see me as a bride someday. I told her Insh'allah, if I'm still alive. I'm sorry to be so pessimistic, but this war has totally ruined by body and driven me crazy.

Me: You will be a beautiful bride, habibti. The envy of Gaza.

July 24th:

Her: They have just attacked a school. 15 people killed and 150 injured.

Me: I'm ashamed to say that I don't know what to say, habibti. Where is humanity? Are you and your family alright?

Her: Yes, we are fine, but there was shelling all around us. It was very loud. Once I went to sleep, they attacked. When I woke up, I thought my heart would stop. Three days with no sleep.

Me: Oh, habibti, you must try to sleep during the day when it's quieter.

Her: I always try, but in vain. We are preparing iftar now. I've lost 7 kilos since all of this started.

Me: (Anonymous's) family died in the shelling yesterday. He was injured. Did you know him?

Her: No. But it's sad.

July 25th:

Me: Habibti, I feel like I miss you. Why is this?

Her: Maybe because I'm about to die. Are you there?

July 26th:

Me: I'm sorry, habibti, I was asleep. Are you okay?

Her: Yes, ya rohe, I'm okay. Now it's a ceasefire till 8 o'clock, then they will start again.

I went to the street for five minutes. I saw rigid faces, pale streets,pale Gaza.

I slept for four hours, waiting for sunset to eat iftar. I'm afraid they will destroy my area like they have other areas.

July 27th:

Me: Habibti, where are you? I haven't heard from you in so long. I'm terrified for you. Bahebek!

Her: Yes, ya rohe, I'm okay, alhamdulillah. Sorry I had a bad connection and problems with electricity.

You know today is the first day of Eid?

Me: I do. And I think Allah should let Palestine have Ramadan after this ends. It is a bleak Eid. I know. But, it is a celebration of life, of being human. And you are both.

Find the beauty in your life, your siblings, your sweet mother. Your beautiful home. The flowers, the beach, the smiles of Gaza. This is what you must hold on to. Hold onto your dreams of teaching, marriage, babies...

July 28th:

Me: Don't answer, just open my messsage so I know you're alive.

Her: They attacked my area in tanks. They throw lightening bombs also, it burns when it falls.

Me: Yes, White Phosphorus. Stay away from that and keep children away. It burns and never goes out. I love you! Bahebek! Stay safe!

Her: Ya rohe, the worst night ever. We are still alive. It's like a miracle.

July 29th:

Me: Are you still with me, habibti? I'm praying every second. Just look at my message so I know you are alive.

(I checked in 6 times with her, no response)

July 30th:

Me: I know you have no power, but I feel my kessages reach your heart, even if you don't see them. Don't give up hope!

(Seven more messages from me that day of prayers, still no word.)

Come to me in my dreams and we can share a hug.

July 31st:

Her: I'm alive, ya rohe. Power disaster and worse situations. I feel speechless. What should I say? What can I say? There is nothing to say except alhamdulillah.

Bahebek. I'm still alive, but the situation is really dangerous. There is no electricity at all in Gaza. We are using a generator for electricity. We are out of water.

My friend, I have nothing else to say, but that I'm tired tired tired.

(later)

My skin is irritating me from gasses they threw. What should I do? Don't be worried, I'm okay, but what should I do for this irritation?

( I give her instructions to treat chemical burns and to protect oneself from chemical gasses.)

August 1st:

Her: Gasses again! Ya rab!

Me: I can't stop thinking of you. I didn't sleep after your messages about the gas last night. How is your skin today?

Her: It's better, alhamdulillah. I think it's more comfortable in the sky. People who passed away must be in a safe harbour.

Me: They are, of course, but you must not lose hope and wish for death!

Her: No words can imagine how I feel.

Me: I know what you suffer now is worse than death...it's a living death...

Her: I'm speechless. Yes, it's a living death.

Me: But, you are alive. Allah has spared you for His reasons. Allahu Akbar.

Her: Allahu Akbar. What kills me inside, is that people watch us, they don't deny what is happening.

August 2nd:

Her: I do miss you. I'm okay.

Me: I wish you were more than okay.

August 3rd:

Ya rohe, I'm fine, I'm still alive. Seems like this nightmare won't end. I have pain in my ears . Bad health. Afraid I'll have a heart attack from the sounds. My heart can't handle it anymore. Do you think this will ever end? I still have hope, even with living death all around me.

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