18 November 2005

Another day in my life...

My life in Gaza pretty much goes up and down. The good news is that I feel that our efforts during the first months are finally paying off. The other day walking my son back from school I saw some newly planted flowers by one of the apartment buildings. They made me very happy for two reasons. First of all because they ment somebody had taken the time and effort to plant them, and also because I noticed them! They woke me up from my usual depressed, homesick, kicking-around-carbage, mutterung kind of mood.

I cannot really describe in words how much this experience, although it is extremly difficult at times, has improved my life. To see things from a different perspective, to be "forced" to walk in somebody elses shoes is life changing. Clearly I'm at a turning point in my life. I am realizing many things about myself and my life and I feel that I finally see things clearly. A wise TV-personality, ms Oprah, say that you should be best at being you. Those words are deeper than they seem, at least for me. Be best at being you!

That's where I'm at right now. I often compare the life to a puzzle and as years goes by the bits fall into place. Coming to and living in Gaza has contributed with so many bits of my puzzle that it is overwelming. I'm struggling to hold on to each single bit, trying to understand them and apply them.

The bad news is that there are still difficulties at my son's school. I am preparing a separate post on that, God willing. We tackle them as they come along, but it's getting old.

It's also getting cold. You might think that I, coming from the North, would handle cold weather very well. Here however the houses are also cold, so we are freezing 24seven. On that subject a friend of mine in Sweden said to me "The winter might not be that much fun for you" to which I replied that if the summer had not been that much fun, the winter would sure not be that much fun. Misery needs to be laughed at.

Life goes on. But there is not a day that goes by without questioning our existence here. I got many comments on my previous post, all of them worth thinking about. As to what the hell I'm doing here, I would like to quote myslef (from an earlier post);

"Coming to Gaza has turned my life upside down. Some might wonder if I am naive and simply stupid for even thinking of Gaza as The place to raise a family, and until now I'm not sure if I have any satisfying answer to that. Perhaps I was naive and stupid."

It is still an ongoing process for me. Even though I of course see many benefits of our stay here, for me and my children as well, there is also a limit to how much we can take for those benefits. And where to draw the line?

But I would like to turn the attention from my choice of living here to the other mothers with children who are forced to live here under these circumstances. The children who are the same age as my son have never seen anything else than the effects of the occupation. They don't have the possibility to draw the line.


Judy said...

I hope you can keep those newly planted flowers in your mind, Imaan...

You write so touchingly and honestly of your situation.

Daphna said...

I realize that you may not believe it when the comment is coming from the other side of the fence, but we immigrants to Israel experience a lot of the same feelings you do. Somehow, around here, everything seems to be harder--like swimming in mud. Yes, there are some who throw in the towel and leave, but there are others who do find that the place grows on them. (And for all that I bitch and moan, I am one of them). In particular, is it not lovely to live in a country where much of life runs according to your clock, as opposed to the Christian one? Without any intention of Christian bashing, I cannot tell you how much more deeply spiritual and enjoyable the holidays are here, when a good chunk of the country is celebrating with me! For that matter, on Fridays I can wish people a Shabbat Shalom, and even the most secular person will respond in kind. You may find the same to be true.

Hang in there, and know that you have at least one fan (and probably far more than that) on the other side of the fence; I hope that someday the situation will be such that I am not dependent on the internet to learn about my neighbors! Peace, and Shabbat Shalom!

Abu Sinan said...

Moving and being away from what is you know is hard in the best of circumstances. I admire you for your ability to see the situation from another's standpoint.

Savtadotty said...

My studies about systems (including social systems) is that an outsider has a lot more leverage to effect change, if s/he knows how to use it. If you do manage to stay where you are, you may gather the resources to make it more the way you think it should be. Or may begin to feel more comfortable with the way it is. But never at the cost of your own well-being. The world needs honest writers, no matter where they live.

Writing from Israel, I've been changed more than I expected in the last 17 years.

Salaam and Shalom