Trapped in Gaza

Lara Aburamadan writes: I don’t know how the story ends.

What I know is that this all started on a quiet day with my friends, as we sat down to watch the initial movie in a series that was supposed to be part of a “Nordic Film Festival” — the first of its kind in Gaza. The main character’s name was Sebbe, a Swedish boy five years my junior.

But halfway in, just as Sebbe’s story began to arc, the reel stopped, just as surely as the world around me.

A festival organizer interrupted the film and relayed the news: The Israelis, we were told, had just assassinated someone. There was already word of retaliatory rockets fired from Gaza. Things were going to get bad quickly, and we had better get home, where it would be safer.

But it hasn’t been. In the last 48 hours, my mother and I have kept vigil by my siblings’ side — my twin, an adolescent brother and a sister within earshot of her high school valediction. We sit together, my mother and I, in an inner room without a view, watching the furrowed brows of my brother and two sisters straining to sleep.

And all the while, we hear bombs. Bombs that bear autumn’s scent and winter’s chill. Bombs that batter. Bombs that kill. I still have waking nightmares of the bombs that tore through our sky nearly four years ago, when a classmate, Maha, lost her mother in an Israeli strike. And a childhood friend, Hanan, who saw her mother’s leg severed under the rubble from another strike. [Continue reading…]

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