|Mohanad Nabhan writes from Gaza|
'Live From Gaza Where Israel Rains Death'
By Mohanad Nabhan
Gaza, July 10, 2014
Nothing is worse than the sound of explosions in the distance, the sound of a house crumbling to ashes, the sound of drones overhead and the sound of the radio calling out the names of the fallen victims. Some of the fallen are my age, some are younger, some are mere children, women, or elderly. Yet here I stand incapable of action or even a tender whisper goodbye to the friends I have lost at the hands of this cruel war.
Yesterday would mark the first night of many that people in Gaza would spend in terror, and the World Cup would present a pleasant escape from the violence. Two of my friends, Mohammed Khalil Qanan (26 years old) and Ibrahim Khalil (29 years old), went to watch the match between Argentina and Netherlands at a café on the beach.
What they thought would be a joyous night turned into a nightmare as they were targeted by the Israeli navy which shelled the Gazan seaport last night. Nine innocent people died in that incident. Nine people died, for merely wanting to watch a game. Nine people will not come home to their family, and I will never see my friends again.
I live in an open-air prison, where there is no place to hide. Two days ago, the IDF demolished a house that is a mere 100 meters from my own. I went to see the carnage, but my mind could not comprehend what my eyes saw. All it takes is a minute. One minute you could be sitting in your living room drinking tea with your family, and the next you are screaming but no one will hear the sound.
Its been four days since Gaza has been submerged into a war with horrors your deepest nightmares could not imagine. So far, Palestinian medical officials have confirmed the death of 89 Palestinian and the injury of 630 people, and more are yet to come.
For the world, these people are just numbers, for us these people are heroes, and for others these people are fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters that they can’t imagine life without.
|Young brothers mourn those killed by the Israeli military and police. |
(Photo: Ashahed M. Muhammad)
I watch as my little brother covers his ears with his hands, trying to block out the sound of rockets raining down on neighborhoods taking away the lives of more innocent men and women. I wonder if he is trying to block out the sound of the F16, or if in his innocent mind he believes that if he cannot hear our house shaking, our windows shattering, and our doors swinging, that his heart will grow steady.
I sit on my bed and I stare at the swinging chandelier and I think of all the mothers who kiss their children good night, perhaps for the last time. I think of the husbands who hold their wives and pray for strength.
Then I pray for the children who wake up to find that they have no family left, and that the place they once called home is no more. I kiss my brother on the forehead and I pray. I can do nothing but pray.
How can I give my family comfort or peace, when my own heart is in my throat. Will I meet my maker tonight?
When I was younger, I would wake up terrified in a cold sweat from the sound. My father would stroke my hair gently and whisper, “Don’t be afraid baba. They are just fireworks”.
Out of the narrow gap of the window I can see lights twinkling in the darkness. Perhaps in ten years, I will tell my own child this lie so that they will be able to sleep. I really
wish those lights were fireworks, but they are missiles, death reapers that shower on my homeland.
Forget the innocence of youth, here our children learn of guns, drones and death before they learn to speak. What in the name of God have those children done to witness this barbarity? Why must a child become an orphan before he learns to pronounce the word mom? Here, our weddings don’t end in “Happily ever after”. Here a bride may say farewell to her husband before she has her wedding. “Wait for me” she cries, “I will see you soon”.
Yet here I stand… Still doing nothing. All I hear is that awful sound. The sound of explosions in the distance, the sound of a house crumbling to ashes, the sound of drones overhead, and the sound of the radio calling out the names of the fallen victims.