No one aged less than 67 years has lived in peace in Gaza
“What does it mean, to live in peace?” Jala had asked that question innumerable times, starting when she was only only three. “Perhaps you will understand when you are older,” her loving parents had explained.
When she was nine her loving parent were shredded by an Israeli DIME bomb as Jala watched with ever widening, tearful, unbelieving eyes.
“What does it mean, to live in peace?” Jala asked the distant relative. “You will go to Germany”, came the reply.
At one on a cloudy, moonless night when even the stars refused to bear witness, Jala was lifted on to the back of a truck, squeezed in with 50 others. “What does it mean to live in peace?” she asked, but none replied.
Jala was pulled from the black rubber dinghy on to a rusty, greasy, vomit smelling deck that pitched violently in the choppy seas. It took three attempts as both dinghy and boat rose and fell. “What does it mean, to live in peace?” she asked the sailor who grunted and reached for the next passenger.
Two hours later there was silence. Not the silence of the shrieking wind, nor the silence of the crashing waves that foamed over boat and passengers, nor the silence of the prayers offered to Allah in his mercy.
Just the silence of an engine that no longer throbbed, the silence of a propeller that no longer screamed when out of the water. Just the silence of drowning people.
“What does it mean, to live in peace?” Jala thought as the salty water poured through her throat and into her lungs when she finally gasped for non-existent breath.
Her chest stopped its violent heaving, her mind darkened, her struggles weakened.
“This is what it means, to live in peace,” Jala smiled, as she died.