Growing up in Gaza, by Khalil, Gaza, Palestine

Khalil Palestine (1)My city affects my life and changes every single day. You wonder how? Let’s talk history a bit. I was born in 1994 when the Palestinian authority came to power. I don’t like to talk about history that I didn’t see or experienced… so I will start from where I can truly remember. The Fatah-Hamas crisis: It all started after Hamas won the elections. I don’t know about all the reasons that led to this, but it was a years of shame for all Palestinians. That year, I saw brothers from the same country killing each other to defend a leader or a another.How do you expect a 13 years old boy to grow up with this kind of memories? Let me tell you about a specific event, I remember it like it was yesterday: I was going to school, on the way I saw armed men. I didn’t think  I will see death for the first time that day. By the time I reached my school, everything was different. People were screaming, students were running, shootings started. There was nowhere to hide. I was in the middle of the street and I didn’t know what to do. I run to an alley and waited. After 10 minutes everything got silent. I left the alley slowly to see what was happening. It was an armed fight between Hamas and Fatah. I could see on the ground the body of a boy. He was left there. Until today, no one knows which side shot him.  But both sides are guilty, and this was one of the many crisis that crushed our humanity. Was it the end?  Could we move on and live a good life? Of course! We are from Gaza! Hamas took the lead and the siege started. You know,  everything is great: no electricity, no gas, the cars start to work on food oil (TRUE STORY)! And a new slap: Gaza War 1 in 2008-2009, The war lasted 28 days. It killed around 1500, hundreds of wounded, but that’s not even the point. It changed our lives for ever.  I was a kid with no father, he passed away just a month before the war.  I was already destroyed by this event. So I did what no sane human would do during a war, I left my home everyday to go see the destruction caused by every strike that hit Gaza. I wanted to see with my eyes what was happening. even during the ground invasion I wanted to see the tanks. Why? What will it give me? Nothing! I just wanted to see them. So I went. The second war really scared me. It only lasted 8 days but they felt like years. The destruction was terrible, but it is not what affected me the most. I was a big brother.I now have all the responsibilities in my family.  During the war, I was mostly afraid for them, not for me. I was watching everything on the internet and it made me more frightened for my family. After that we had  a happy year. Everything was good. But the the “”good” of Gaza would  would be seen as “really bad”in many other countries.  After this quiet year, everything changed again.  everything we gain from the 2012 war went away and problems and conflicts started to rise again… and this led us to the toughest slap of my life and of our history: took away and we back to the first cube, the problems start to rise again and this lead to the hardest Slap! The Famous Gaza War 3. It was so hard! 51 days. 51 days of death, of destruction,  of pain,  of hope. 51 days of WAR That war took away the little hope we had left. We stopped dreaming of a future with that war. We didn’t gain anything from it. That war made us walk like dead people. It left people living in schools or caravans for over a year. That war made us wish for death so we wouldn’t see the massacre. That war changed a lot inside me. It took my belief in humanity. The world was watching in silence. The war ended, but the situations that led to it didn’t change. The war ended, but every day we see ourselves getting closer to another one. The war ended, but we don’t see the hope of a secure life anymore. Everything I say is just one drop in an ocean of painful memories that everyone in Gaza has. This is why Gaza is the city of Pain and why it changes everyone’s life.  

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