March 30, 2019
Gaza City, Palestine
Me and my 9-month old daughter Mirna woke up early in the morning at 6 a.m., together before her mother, my wife Kholoud. Today I was the one who made the breakfast because she was really tired and did not get well sleep at night. I made falafel, hummus, olives and two large cups of tea and a small cup of milk for little Mirna. I made Mirna “attack” her mother in bed to wake her up. I do that all the time so Kholoud can wake up with a smile in her face.
It was about 7 a.m. so we only had 30 minutes for both of us to get ready for work. We live upstairs in a separated flat above my extended family’s flat. As every day, we have to leave little Mirna with her grandmother Ayeda. Me and Kholoud hear her crying from outside the house but what we can do? She will be fine. My wife works five days a week, six hours a day as a secretary in a private sector company. She gets the same pay I do. I work as an accountant at a private steel company, six days a week, 10-13 hours daily.
We both get to work different ways. She works in the north of the city in a place called Jabaiya. I work in the south of the city in a place called Nusirat Camp. When I got to work I found time to call my mother to ask about little Mirna. She said she was okay, like always, but I think she lies sometimes so I can focus in my job. At 2:30 p.m., which is my break time and the time that my wife arrives home, I called my wife and talked to her and Mirna, telling them some jokes and getting to know small things about my wife’s day. I make this call at the same time all my working days and the call lasts for about 10 – 15 minutes, which are the best minutes in my working hours. I get extra energy and power to continue my day.
The rest of the day, I did online marketing and at the same time I entered data into the company program. I gave a daily report about profits and expenses to the general manager in the company, too. My city has more than 60 percent unemployment rate so I am very lucky me and my wife have jobs and salaries, even if they are small paying.
The working hours depend on the customers and the certain situations of the company, like if we have goods we have to wait until night to enter. But today I left at 7:00 p.m. I got a taxi home that took about 30 minutes. I called my wife once again to see if she needed anything. At work I just had coffee; I refuse to eat outside the house, it’s my wife orders. My wife makes me angry about eating time. She always waits for me to get home then start eating with me and I always tell her to eat when she arrives home, especially that she has a kid she needs to feed. But she never listens so neither of us eat until late.
It was 8:15 p.m. when I got home. It was eating time, though I don’t know if it was lunch or dinner. This time we had chicken pizza sandwiches with black olives and soda. Mirna was attacking the soda cups, she loves it. Most of the time the electricity here cuts out at night and we have shortage in power. I told my wife to get ready and we’d go for a walk to the beach that night when it got dark. She and Mirna wore heavy clothes. We took chips, chocolates and biscuits, and walked to the beach to sit at a table at a café. We always order a black coffee to eat it with the chocolate. I ordered shisha beside the coffee, which is like hookah, a kind of segart. When it was 11:00 p.m. we got up to go home by taxi so we could sleep well and go to work in the next morning.