I really don't know how to start... Perhaps I'll just get straight to the point.
I am going home. We are returning to Sweden. There is a million things I would like to tell you about why and what has been going on in my mind. But how can I?
Here are the main reasons: I am convinced that this invironment is not healthy (in any way) for children to grow up in. My children managed by living an isolated life between family and friends during this time and got to taste the positive things of living here. Getting to know their father's family and learning arabic (all my children are more or less fluent in arabic by now). Getting to know the palestinian culture and way of life will surely be a invaluable asset as they grow up and create their own individual characters.
We were supposed to stay one year. And then see. But the other reason that we are leaving, and leaving earlier, is that my son's school is not living up to their promises. He is not happy. Staying would change him in a negative way, not in a positive way.
Do you remeber this comment:
You are a mother. Your responsibility is to grant your children the best and brightest future possible. Right now you are floundering and failing at your sacred duty as a mother. Something has eroded your maternal instinct and common sense - just look around you! How did you convince yourself to move there?
13 November, 2005 20:28
I would like to address it again. To some extent I agree with jd. To chose Gaza is not wise. And as I said in the beginning there is a million reasons for that. And what I am about to say now is not simply to defend myself, but to show another side to it.
Each person have a destiny. I married a palestinian man from Gaza. My children are half Gazans. Our family and our childrens identity needed this stay. We have learned immensly from it and have grow as a family and as individuals. We came here to try. We tried.
At this point we are enjoying our life. However that is possible only beacuse I have learned over the months that they only way to survive here is to close your eyes and ears (and nose) to the outside world. The world outside my window and the world outside Gaza. You have to become selfish. And I don't want to live my life like that. Seemes like for each good thing there is a bad thing, but also that for each bad thing there is another way to look at it. There is understanding.
At this point I LOVE GAZA, for better or for worse. I love that when I prepare breakfast in the morning my neighbour's birds are singing happily into my kitchen from my open balcony door. I love the noise and the sandy streets. I love the farmer coming to sell fruits and vegetables with his cart and donkey outside our building. I love the busy markets (yesterday I bought jeans to my girls for 10 shekels each (around 2 dollars)!). I love all the fantastic and creative ways the women wear hijab, niqab, abaya, jilbab. I love the men in muslim clothes and beard. I love the polite taxidriver who call me "sister" when I get in the taxi (that he drives like a lunatic is something else - as I said: for each good thing is a bad thing). I love my relatives tasty food. I love going down to my kind neigbour for arabic coffea. I love eating fresh, warm falafel-sandwich with salad in the morning, that my son bought for me from our street this morning for one shekel before he went to school, and eating it while I'm writing this post.
This makes me think of a famous swedish fotball-player from the 80's, Torbjorn Nilsson. Me and my mother used to love watching fotball games on TV together and I have a vivid memory (not only of my mother screaming loudly on every goalchance, but...) of his last game. He said something that stuck with me for the rest of my life, explaining why he left the world of fotball when he was at his peak, Sweden's most famous and popular fotball-player; "You should stop while you are at your best".
PS. Of course I wont be able to give up my new addiction. I'll continue blogging living in Stockholm :-) so please follow me there. And stay tuned for my last month in Gaza.