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What it means to die every single day from powerlessness

What it means to die every single day from powerlessness

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Opinion Marginalized Groups The Truth

Tuesday 14 November 202305:49 pm
إقرأ باللغة العربية:

معنى أن تموت كلّ يوم ألف مرّة من العجز


Hello, I hope you're well, because we are not.

My name is Islam Masoud and I am a Palestinian from Gaza studying medicine. I was able to flee to Egypt on the third day of the Israeli offensive, right before the bombardment of the Rafah crossing, but how I wish I hadn't done so. I wish I was still there, with my family, among my people, fearing their fear, crying shared tears and facing the same fate.

I was able to flee to Egypt on the third day of the Israeli offensive, right before the Rafah crossing was bombed, but how I wish I hadn't. I wish I was still there with my family, among my people, fearing their fear, crying shared tears and facing the same fate

The situation in Gaza is terrifying, horrifying even. I can’t even find the words to describe it. I wish I had the eloquence to tell you what’s happening there, but even if I did, it wouldn’t be enough. I thought for a second that I had gotten used to the horrors we are facing, but every time, it hits differently. I thought that after five wars, I would be used to it, but this time is different. This time, we are witnessing a full ethnic cleansing.

Gaza is facing death, in every way, in every aspect: no water, no food, no electricity, and no internet. Those not killed by the bombing will die from famine or lack of healthcare, or from despair at the world's silence and our Arab brothers' indifference.

I thought that I had gotten used to it, to the horrors we keep facing, but every time it hits differently. I thought that after five wars, I would get used to it, but this time is different. This time we are witnessing a full ethnic cleansing

On some days, I don't know if my family and friends are alive. I avoid social media and the news, out of fear of seeing images or news of their deaths. My hands shake every time I pick up my phone, as I imagine a thousand images of the horrors in Gaza.

I think about the sick; the children with cancer receiving treatment outside Gaza. I think about diabetes patients, and what they will do when insulin runs out. And the patients with high blood pressure and heart disease: they have already been sentenced to death. Should I only think about the physically healthy, and pray that they survive the bombing?

On Facebook, I saw a friend’s post. He shared that he is mourning the life of a relative or friend. The very next day, I saw his picture. We say he is a martyr before God, and pray that God gives his family strength.

I think about my father, who has a chronic lung condition requiring daily use of an inhaler. Has his medication run out? How will he breathe? If complications arise, will he be able to reach a hospital? And even if he does, most are out of service, and those that aren’t, are filled with casualties. Will the hospital be bombed?

On Facebook, I saw a friend’s post. He shared that he is mourning a relative or friend. The very next day, I saw his picture. We say he is a martyr before God, and pray that God gives his family strength.

For those trapped in Gaza, death is just a matter of time. It has become inevitable. The massacres and ethnic cleansing of Gaza are being broadcasted live on television for the world to see. The world observes in silence on their screens as though watching a TV series where the occupier is the hero, and occupied children of Gaza are villains, melted into nothing by white phosphorus bombs.

Some days, I don't know if my family and friends are alive. I avoid social media and the news, out of fear of seeing images or news of their deaths. My hands shake every time I pick up my phone, as I imagine a thousand images of the horrors in Gaza

Yes, 'melted' by white phosphorus, an internationally banned chemical weapon that burns the human body, leaving behind nothing but its bones. It draws moisture from the air and living tissue it comes into contact with, forming phosphoric acid. It has the lethal ability to dissolve in fat and rapidly spread inside the affected body. It generates a heat so high that cells, tissue and organs burn, before it reaches the bones. Even inhaling it can result in oral injuries and fractures in the jawbones.

I have never before written an article in Arabic, and I never thought I would have to write about Gaza for an Arab audience. What can I write, when my fellow Arabs are already well versed in the Palestinian cause? Don’t they know about the blockade, the killings, and the displacement of Gazans over the past 17 years? Don’t they not know about the illegal use of white phosphorus? Don’t they watch Al-Jazeera and see the body bags with ‘body of [child's name]’ written across them? Don’t they study alongside Palestinians at university, and see when they receive news of the massacre of their entire family? How can I ask for my Arab brothers’ solidarity, when my cause is already your cause?

In Gaza, they die from the bombings and the hunger, while over here, I am killed by my feelings of helplessness.

In Gaza, they die from the bombings and the hunger, while over here, I am killed by my feelings of helplessness.

I feel completely helpless, desperate and frustrated at every piece of news, at the neutrality of our Arab leaders, at the collusion of major global powers and their unwavering support for the Israeli occupation, with some of these regimes even preventing expressions of solidarity with Palestinians. Do you think that Gaza is Superman, that it doesn't need anyone?

Trust me, when a rocket explodes beside a building in Gaza, it crumbles to pieces, and Gazans die when their bodies are hit by shrapnel. They fear for themselves and for their children. Gaza is a small, impoverished city in resistance. As you read this, Gaza is taking its last breaths.



* The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Raseef22



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