Gaza City, Palestine
November 13, 2018
I have stomach problems, so I prefer to not eat much except when my wife Kholoud prepares food. I love to eat the food she makes. At this time in the morning, she and my little baby girl Mirna, who’s six months old, are still sleeping peacefully. I don’t make my wife wake up that early because my girl doesn’t let her sleep well at night. It’s because Mirna is still young. The beginnings are hard, as always.
It’s now 7:40 a.m., time to leave the house and head to work. I work as an accountant for a private sector company specialized in steel products. I usually take the bus to work but I was late so I had to take a taxi. It takes 30 minutes to get to my office, which is on a main street in Gaza, Salah al-Din. This street is the lifeline of Gaza City. It’s always crowded and full of buses and trucks full of goods, which enter Gaza through its only border.
I work from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. without making any overtime money. This is not allowed in my country, to work that much without being paid any extra money, but I have to be silent about it because in my city the economy is collapsed and we have more than a 60 percent unemployment rate.
There were a lot of invoices to enter into the program at work, but I was free after about three hours and I decided to continue reading my book, which is called The Secret of Marna. It’s about a girl called Marna who loves a guy from Gaza in secret and it’s a really good story. I started where I had stopped on pg. 42.
At 3 p.m. I was working again when suddenly we heard a bomb sound. People in Gaza are okay with these sounds, since we’ve lived under occupation for more than 60 years. But it was not okay this time, because we kept hearing the bombs more and more and I felt like they were getting close to us.
The manager said that all employees needed to leave the office because he was expecting things to get worse in the next few hours. I got in a taxi and headed home. I decided to call my wife to check on her. On the phone my wife said that she was okay and that she heard bombs but they sounded far away from the house. Outside of the taxi I saw the flaming of bombs going down and rockets launching from the ground up to the sky. There were very loud sounds that you could not ignore. I made it home at 3:40.
We turned the TV onto the news channel to see what was going on. It was a fighting round again between Israel and Hamas. Hamas is a military group that has ruled Gaza for more than 11 years and Israel is laying siege to them. They make fighting rounds from time to time due to political problems between them. By 5 p.m. my wife and I were still hearing bomb sounds here and there. My little baby Mirna didn’t know what was going on. She sometimes laughed and sometimes cried and me and my wife tried to hide the bombing sounds by singing and turning the TV to cartoon channels.
I decided to let people know what was happening in Gaza. It was 7 p.m. and already dark. I started a live video on the Periscope app, which streamed on Twitter too. I got more than 100 views without saying a word. After about five minutes I started to talk and describe where I live and what me and my people’s life is like and what we need and what we miss in our daily lives. Also, I talked a little bit about my daily life and my job.
I decided to let my baby girl be with me on the live video. She started laughing at the likes that were appearing on the phone screen. I talked about the bombing. A lot of viewers were respectful but not all of them. There were Israeli commenters on the livestream who told me that me and my daughter deserve what is happening to us right now. I felt a little down so I decided to end the video and to turn the TV to the news station. They were talking about a ceasefire between the two groups and we felt happy to hear that news.
At 9:40 p.m. the bombing stopped. I decided to go out on the street to check on my neighbors. One of my neighbors’ windows had broken from the air pressure of the bombs, but except for that, everything was okay. I got back to my house and then tried to make my girl to go sleep. She could not sleep for awhile. She was scared, I could tell. She cannot talk but I could see that in her eyes. After awhile, she slept and I stayed awake.