Sarah Algherbawi is a Palestinian citizen who was born in Saudi Arabia in 1991 and now lives in the Gaza Strip. She finished her BBA degree in Business Administration at the Islamic University of Gaza, and now works as a media project coordinator.
The killing and bombing is finally done. Yet I don’t think we in Gaza will feel like the war is truly over for a long period of time, if we ever can.
The killing is over but the pain of the missing dead is not.
The killing is over but the injures are not healed.
The killing is over but the houses are no longer standing.
The killing is over but our souls are not yet cured.
This is the third war I have witnessed in the last five years of my life. I wish I had never had to experience this, but it just happened, and all I can do now is to deal with the pain…once again.
My first experience with war was in my last year of high school, the year that is critical to anyone’s future. It wasn’t easy to go back to school and study again, it wasn’t easy to throw all the pains and bad memories behind my back and continue life normally. It took so long…but I did it, and I passed that year with satisfactory results.
The second war, I was a university student; I faced the same dilemma of not being able to get back to university and study. It needs an awakened brain to do so, and mine was not! It was full of dark thoughts and the constant question, ‘how could I survive again?’
This third war has been the most difficult. Now, I’m an employee. I have to deal with things faster to best do my job. I grew up, and realized that every time it only gets more and more difficult to accept and deal with such situations. This time, I think it will take too long for me to get back to life.
It takes too long to get used to the city’s new face, to not feel guilt every time we laugh, to not fear the sound of a door slamming…to dream of things other than death!
I write this, and I didn’t experience the loss of any loved ones, thanks to god, and I’m in a good health…but I can’t stop thinking of those who lost. Some lost everything and everyone, others lost their beauty, their vision, the ability to hear, and parts of themselves that can never be returned. They lost a life that they will never have again.
The war is over but to the survivors it has merely begun. I was jailed in my house for 50 days, it feels strange to deal with people again, to carry out the routine work we used to do…the simplest aspects of life are the most difficult now.
I didn’t experience death. But now, I have the belief that many things can be more painful than death.
For someone who is homeless, who lost the ability to walk, to hold a pen, to see the light, to hear the voices, to live with their love…for those and others, death would be mercy.
All we can do, all we have to do, is to try to continue, to heal our injuries, to heal our souls, our brains, and hearts…to heal the broken…and try to live, once again!