The Invincibility of Love by Aya, Palestine (Gaza)

I’m afraid. There’s bombing outside, is it a fourth war in Gaza? I hate wars! I used to be brave but not anymore. You know why? Because in the 2014 war a friend of mine suffered a big loss. She has a shocking and tragic story that happened right in front of our eyes. It is based on a real love story, that happened right here, in Gaza.

Love always starts with a look, a smile, or even a word, but in this story, it began during childhood. The prince and the princess had met in their game room when they were children and played together. Omar and Maryam were always together, year by year they grew up, and the childhood love they shared grew in Omar’s heart. Eventually, they stopped playing together, meeting each other around once a year. Despite all that, the only thing that was conflicted in his love for her was his love of his country. Omar told his mother that he loves Maryam, but he said: “Marry her or be a martyr”. He told Maryam’s father that he loved her but she was young then, and her father told him: “If you want until she finishes school, you can marry her”, and Omar promised that he will wait.

Maryam finished school and got engaged to Omar. She loved him as her big brother and childhood friend, she didn’t expect that one day he will be the love of her life. Before they got married, the 2008 war in Gaza started. Maryam was thinking about him a lot, she was afraid because he was that Palestinian guy who loves his country and doesn’t mind if he will die for it or not, but he promised her that he will save, keep, and be with her, forever. They stayed together, and the war ended.

The following year they got married. Years later, in 2012, the second war in Gaza began. Maryam was pregnant, and during the war they had a gorgeous girl. They were a wonderful family; an amazing couple with their amazing daughter. But Maryam’s fear increased, she was thinking about them a lot and was afraid to lose them. The war ended, and they were safe, and their beautiful daughter grew.

Two years later, in 2014, another war began. What a miserable life we live! During this war, Maryam was pregnant again. This war was the worst one we’ve ever lived! Unexpectedly, in the middle of the war, Omar told Maryam, “I’m gonna tell you something, but please promise me that you won’t forbid me” She was scared, but said: “I promise you.” Omar told her that he felt he had to go fight for his country. Maryam stayed speechless for a while then she said: “Go and do it, you can! God protect and bless you, my hero.” She let him go despite her fear, and she kept praying. The war had intensified, he stopped calling her like they used to, and no one knew anything about him. Maryam and her family left their house and went to her aunt’s house, and Maryam believed that he will come back soon.

One day Maryam was in her room with her daughter, and there was a knock on the door. Her father opened it, and it was Omar’s friend. Her father asked him about Omar, but there were no answers. Maryam’s father realized that Omar was not okay, and he shouted: “Tell me what happened to him!” His friend responded with an unclear voice: “Omar passed away” and he left. Omar’s mother and Maryam’s family started crying, then Maryam came, she asked: “What’s going on?” Her father hugged her, and she realized that Omar had died. She shouted and said: “No, it’s just a nightmare!”

The war ended, and life went on, but their love is still strong. Nothing can end love, not years, not pain, and not death. This is what the story had proved.

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