The Role of Women in the American Literature; Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

It might be credible to say that the old generation in any Muslim society is very feminist. In other words, they respect women, personally speaking. Yet, the West seems to have a different direction. Huckleberry Finn is one of the American masterpieces, as Hemingway said, where Mark Twain tried to focus on the American society and how women were treated in the 19th century. Yet, do the issues Mark Twain have tackled related to sexism in a way or another? Does this novel consider as a powerful one as it is dealing with such heated and striking topics like “racial prejudice”? Do these topics go naturally and normally or they are more than this? Can the reader say that Mark Twain is anti-feminist?

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Throughout the western history, women have been subject to gender bias based on being the physically frailer fraction of any society. This always leads to a harmful sight of women. In The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, deliberately, there is no exception to this disgrace and stigma on women. Through society’s views, it is flagrant to observe the women in the novel are nothing unique. They appear very typical and dependent  The society expects them to do so much; after all they merely do what they are told to do.

Back to the writer’s life, his wife, Olivia Clemens, is very much reliant on her husband. She serves with no other true spot in life than to look after her unhealthy children and to run a house. She is always sick and attempts to hinder her husband’s ability as a writer. So did Twain place women purposely in such a bad situation or is it the society who inculcates this stigma and renders him into this style of writing? Throughout the novel, the most appeared women character, Miss Watson, plays into society’s system and policy. “Miss Watson, a tolerable slim old maid, with goggles on, had just come to live with her, and took a set at me now, with a spelling book. She worked on me middling hard for about an hour… I couldn’t stand her much longer.” (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain, page 2). “Once the thankless task of spinning cloth had been pushed off to unmarried women as a way to earn their keep in the home, the word spinster came into common use during the early 19th century Miss Watson is the image of everything an old maid stands for.” (O’Brien, 1973).

Personally speaking, Miss Watson is judged as a communal outsider surviving in the shadow of others. She makes others around her uncomfortable including Huck and Jim. The single stereotype of the downgrading of the individual to the role of caretaker is shown in her character. As unmarried woman stayed at home, she was expected to take care of elderly or ill relatives. It is no more than all her life and work. Miss Watson fits into society’s view of an old maid and Twain shows Miss Watson as a typical old maid of that time. Twain’s use of words brings up a psychological picture of feeble, frumpy, middle-aged woman who is somewhat dejected, and her desire to be like other “ordinary” women.

Miss Watson is not the only character mentioned in the novel. Her widow, Douglas, is no more than a caretaker of Huck. In this role, she represents the society. She is kind in her sight when civilizing Huck and making him a religious man. Nothing else could be expected out of a woman, especially a widow; she has no man for her. For her role in civilizing Huck, he respects her. So it has to be mutual? The one who commenced respect is women. If they respect, men will be respectful, in my point of view. As Douglas is a gentle woman, Twain shows through her that men like a woman with a kind hand. Yet, is this the reason why Miss Watson was an old maid while Widow Douglas was married? It might be. Widow Douglas gains her respect by people around her especially Huck. He always attempts to avoid all misdemeanors as he always worries of she gets disappointed of his behaviors.

Another example of women is Sally Phelps, the aunt of Tom Sawyer and the wife of Silas Phelps, who is a typical housewife and is totally dependent upon her husband. She has the same function of civilizing Huck. She does all the things any common wife has to do. In a way or another, she depicts what an average married woman has to do. The society gives her no right and she is helpless in her relationship. As an inferior creature, she is completely controlled by men and the society. Twain uses women to demonstrate how easily they can be taken.

Other young female characters have other functions of looking pretty for young boys like Huck. The mentioned three sisters in the novel carelessly give their father’s fortune to the men without any hesitation that these are their British uncles. Not only does Twain explicate how the female gender can be tricked, but how they must also be rescued.To conclude, Twain describes the situation in which women have been treated in the 19th century. Women can be described as individuals, such as the Aunts, Miss Watson, and Widow Douglas. They can be self-contained and hard working women, and well-educated. None of them could effortlessly be scammed; even though Aunt Sally is misled more than once. They do truly care about the boys and ill-relatives. As shown in Aunt Polly’s character. Yet, this is what they have to do. Women should be creative in other fields. It is not only taking care of children and ill-people. Instead, they have to empower themselves with information and date of distinguished and peculiar fields as politics and journalism, in my opinion.

 

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A Painful-Joy Experience Near Borders

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April, 26th 2013

Today I, along with some of my best friends from Scotland, Egypt, and Tunis, knew what painful joy could mean.

Through our tour, two places I “like” the most; the former is Young Journalist Radio Station. I just fully appreciated how the whole place is led by children under 15; the latter is when we went together to what-so-called Israeli borders (the green line). That moment I saw many guys who are only 10 square meters far from the Israeli tanks. They spoke directly with soldiers and their innocent voices spoke up and told everyone around that Palestine is our land and one day we will be free.

One of the Zionist soldiers did not like what the 17-year old child said about his own country. He got nervous. He took his gun and shot him in his leg. I was about to go where the kid is fallen down after being shot to shout on the soldier’s face and repeated the same sentence he has said. “Palestine will be free.” I am sad. I can’t be sadder. Yet, those heroes gave me indescribable strength. They are still teaching me life.

#اليوم كنت ع حدود #جباليا مع وفد اسكتلندى وكان فى مجموعة مواطنين وفجأة #جندى اطلق النار على شاب #فلسطينى برجله أمام عيونا.. #يوم_دامى بس حلو

Samer Issawi; The Story of Jerusalem

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The first moments @Samer’s house after the news about his victory 

167 days and Samer Issawi will be free.
Unbelievable moments. I felt speechless. More than 24 hours of losing the ability of writing down a paragraph or two to express how happy and jubilant I was. Time used to be a quite terrible the last eight months. Yet, it can be changed at any time.

“It has been for more than 277 day since Samer Issawi, a Palestinian prisoner held by Israel, has agreed to end his continuous hunger strike in exchange for an early release in December 23rd”, said by his lawyer, Jawad Bolous.

In April 22nd, Samer has seen his family twice. I just do love this day and all its corners. Samer’s triumph taught us how we should be ready for any sacrifice as we are hungry for nothing more than freedom even if it costs us our lives. He is a symbol of liberty, love, life, hope, and Palestine. Samer has not ever surrendered striving for his goal of freedom and this is why his dream has come true.

The accord with Samer is on his own terms. “He will spend an additional 8 months to end all his military court charges without any other legal actions against him regarding his former case and he is going to be released un-conditionally.” His Lawyers added “We got the “agree” from the Israeli Military court and from Samer. As Samer accepts this, he has resumed his supplements as of “midnight April 22nd. He has also ended his strike by April 23rd afternoon.

According to the lawyer, “Issawi sends thanks for every single person and organization that has stood by his side and supported his fight for freedom. He has insisted all along that he would not agree to be exiled, like other released prisoners had Going back to Samer’s case in Israeli jails, he has spent 10 years in jails.

Israel freed Samer in 2011 along with more than 1,000 Palestinian detainees in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in October 18th, 2011. He was re-arrested last July after Israel said that he violated the conditions of his release by crossing from his native East Jerusalem to the West Bank, both majority-Palestinian areas, and ordered him to stay in jail until 2029 – his original sentence.

It is important to mention that “Israel holds some 4,800 Palestinians in its dirty dark small cells and 207 Palestinian detainees have died in Israeli jails since 1948.” Palestinian officials said. After Samer’s freedom, the Palestinians will continue to be committed to the cause of all political prisoners which is fundamental to the fairness of Palestine and the return of our refugees.

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Maysara Abu Hamdiya, a 64-year-old Palestinian detainee from Hebron, is sentenced to life imprisonment in Israeli jails. As a result of the torture he was subjected to during his detention, he is currently suffering cancer and his condition is worsening very quickly. The Israeli prison administration started providing him chemotherapy after he was diagnosed as suffering from laryngeal cancer.

Abu Hamdiya has been arrested several times in the period between 1969-1975. His current detention has been since 2002. The Israeli Prison Forces has deliberately refused to give him the necessary treatment, which has aggravated his health.

In an interview with Ahmed Abu Taha, the Head of Kaser Al-Qeed Organization, he said, “Abu Hamdiya is in an urgent need for the immediate release to be able to continue his treatment abroad.” He asserted that the continuation of his detention will aggravate his serious illness.
“He is suffering from stomach ulcer and high blood pressure and swelling in the neck area and inflation in the thyroid gland. He is also subjected to medical negligence deliberately and he might lose his life in any time.” Abu Taha added.

Human Rights Institutions also demanded the immediate release of Abu Hamdiya to enable him receive proper treatment. Moreover, Minister of detainees and ex-detainees, Dr. Attallah Abu Subbah, appealed to all free people of the world to immediately intervene to save the life of the Maysara, especially after the deterioration of his health.

A week ago, Maysara’s lawyer visited him in Eshel prison where he has been held and she was told that the prisoner could not come for the visit due to his difficult condition. ”After an hour of waiting, Maysara came to the visit with the help of another prisoner.” She added that Abu Hamdiya could not sit upright and had his head lowered all the time. He could not speak either. She added, “The prison administration only offered him sedatives medicine. He was once taken to Soroka hospital, which is described as a very painful trip by prisoner themselves.”

It is worth mentioning that Samer Issawi is also a Palestinian detainee from Jerusalem. He is on hunger strike for more than 255 days and there is no charge against him.

My First Journey Abroad

Spending one day in Gaza is nothing like the fifteen days I have spent in three other countries around the world; Egypt, Thailand, and Malaysia. Indescribable feelings I have in every inch of my body. The smell of the Palestinian sand is beyond description. Remembering what first happened; I kneeled to the ground and thanked Allah for bringing me back home safe and healthy. ddOn that day, my whole life flashed before me.

Before traveling

I am a refugee, a Palestinian one. Being a refugee, originally from Jaffa and born during the first Intifada, for me means I can never give up my right to return home. My grandma used to tell me stories about our land; whenever she told me about the orange trees, it filled me with a sense of longing. I used to always say, “I want to see them.” She seemed to always have the same reply: “Malaka, do not give up. Fight. Be strong and do your best to have your right back.” She taught me not to be silent when I see others abusing our rights. My grandma died, God bless her soul. Yet, she is still alive within us, within her children and grandchildren. 
Since birth, I have witnessed destruction, ruins, and violations of human rights. I have seen phosphorus bombs with my own eyes. What I witnessed and experienced is beyond words. Sometimes, I have sleepless nights; at other times, I lack the ability to focus and study. As I live at Al-Shijaeyah, to the east of Gaza, the closest area to the Israeli border, this place will likely be Israel’s first target during any invasion or escalation. We also suffer power-cuts on a daily basis. 
My dear granny, I wish you were alive now so I could share with you my first experience of traveling. It was quite a surprise, and I got so excited already merely thinking of being abroad. I found myself leaving from my Gaza, to different places where I will not smell or see any sign of occupation. I still remember how all the males in my group were deported to the Egyptian airport and my friend and I were forced to enter Egypt alone. We did it, though it was really hard for two girls to travel alone in Sinai Desert. After a long 7-hour journey, we reached the hotel. I had the chance to live in the Grand Pyramids Hotel in Egypt for two days. One of the best moments was when we went to the Pyramids and held banners for Samer Issawi, the Palestinian hunger striker, everywhere. The reason is that many people there started asking who Samer Issawi is. I loved when we spoke out about his issue among many foreigners. After that, I put the banners on some high spots on the pyramids and many started taking photos beside them.

How I became involved

I had heard about the Malaysian-Palestinian Youth Committee (MPYM), and was among the 600 who applied for the opportunity to travel there. Being the youngest applicant, 22, I was a little bit frightened that I might not be selected, and my dream might not be achieved. Also, on the date of my interview, I was very busy leading the international campaign to release Samer Issawi. Still, I was sure I could do it, and I passed with flying colors as I got the highest grade among females and the second highest grade among males.

The flight

I remember so much about that first flight on Egyptian Airlines, especially after having watched the film of our Earth. I was sitting beside a window and spending the whole 13 hours looking at those beautiful scenes. For the first time, I stayed for a long time in the same seat, enjoying the nearness of the clouds. I slept a lot, ate 3 meals, watched films, read books, talked to my mates, and enjoyed the whole trip. I had expected it to perhaps be a difficult experience, and that I might get severe headaches, but none of that materialized. As I neared the end of my long flight, I looked out of the window and watched Thailand’s endless green forests from the sky.

Thailand

We had to leave the plane and wait in Bangkok Airport for two and a half hours. I stepped out of the plane and into the tropical humidity of the beautiful city. It was almost like a balloon filled with hot liquid air, yet I still liked it. I strolled around the airport, visited some shops, tried to get to know a bit more about their products and culture, met with Thai people, and spent these hours talking with friends from Thailand about Samer Issawi, and how we should all work together for his release.  In those few hours, I felt I learned quite a bit about this beautiful country.

Towards Kuala Lumpur (KL)

We went back to the plane heading towards Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. The moment we reached, we drove through the hot and humid city to have dinner in a big and moderately run down Malaysian restaurant. I found a piece of beef – which I didn’t appreciate, because I am a vegetarian! – and some appetizers on my plate. I chose various curries and salads to go with the rice. The place may have been unpretentious, but the food was more than incredible, especially the beef that was more like sweets than like a meat dish. I used to imagine Malaysia as being not so clean or modern, but turned out to be quite the opposite.

Transportation

Though it was the first time I traveled abroad, Kuala Lumpur itself did not impress me, but you do not know the taste of freedom from occupation until you have lived both. Transportation in Malaysia is mostly focused on buses and cars, but I did get a chance to try out the Malaysian train. It was both wonderful and awful. The seats were okay, and the scenery of green hills covered in a carpet of jungle trees was amazing, and really made us aware that we were in a foreign land. In contrast, in the centre of the city, high buildings and landmarks alongside narrow roads and streets are all you get to see.

In the streets of KL, many people are carrying umbrellas to protect their skin from the extremely hot weather. More than once, I was walking and enjoying the sun, suddenly being caught by surprise by heavy rainfall all around me. I was reminded of the walls in Gaza, since many carried images and words written with colorful sprays, in support of Palestine. “Stop Israelis” is one of the phrases I have seen written on a wall just beside KLCC towers, the highest two buildings in Malaysia.
I tried to explore the streets on foot, but crossing the busy roads was terrifying as there were no pedestrian crossings so you had to wait for the rare opportunity to cross quickly, which happens only once every half hour – and you get only 5 seconds to try to make it. We went to the massive transportation factory in KL and entered the exhibition to see its products, and even tried to drive cars and motor bicycles. The founder of the factory started thirty years ago under a tree and now his company is one of the biggest in the world.

Places engraved in my mind

Our hotel was in the near vicinity of KLCC towers. All I could eat there were fruits for breakfast, and there were some shopping malls that I could easily reach on foot, to buy some snacks or drink some juice. Our first step after going to the hotel was to relax in one of the central parks where I saw a greenish lake. I enjoyed the scene for a short while, until suddenly a magnificent army of strange-looking bugs invaded our personal space, and we had to spend the rest of the time hitting ourselves to force them to leave us.
On that same day, despite being sleepy and tired, I decided to go and visit the fountains beside the KLCC towers. I wandered for around 2 hours, but suddenly my legs almost gave way. It was embarrassing to watch old ladies walk past me full of energy and balance! After this tour on the first day, I returned to Duta Vista Hotel and I saw monkeys playing around the place, something I had never seen before. It was truly relaxing to watch them and other kinds of wild animals playing in the treetops of the surrounding jungle.
On March 5th, we headed to the Central Vocational Training Building in KL and to the Malaysian Youth Parliament. The meetings we had there were very fruitful, as we obtained no less than 44 scholarships for Palestinians from Gaza to be trained in the principles of vocational education rules in Malaysia, for 6 months.

The Best Day in KL

On Saturday March 2nd, I toured around Kuala Lumpur to feed the homeless, along with my best Malaysian friends. It was a long journey to the border, so we stopped to have dinner in one of the public restaurants, where I saw food being cooked in traditional ways on open high fires. This may sound romantic and fun, but the reality is one of daily hard work, where food takes hours to cook and homes are filled with toxic smoke which causes severe diseases and eye infections. I met with more than 60 of the voluntary workers including a Palestinian guy from Hebron who is studying his PHD in Florida and came to spend his holiday in KL.  He, unfortunately, missed the Palestinian meal I brought from Gaza as he left us for some urgent issues. Knowing how to tease him, when seeing him again, I said, “You missed a lot. We have eaten some dishes from Gaza.” Believe me, he was almost about to cry, since it had been a long time since he has eaten any Palestinian food.  How cruel is that?

Some things I learned

On Sunday March 3rd, we went to Limkokwing University, the place of innovation, where we met with many Palestinian refugees representing our cause in good ways. I was amazed that many there knew me and said, “Are you Malaka Mohammed, the leader of Samer Issawi campaign?” I felt truly blessed.

Entering the university, my eyes fell upon an epigram with an ancient adage: “A journey of thousand miles begins with a single step.” They really know how to stimulate creativity; any student who comes up with a novel idea or an effective campaign gets his work featured by the university in the central exhibition hall, so that all visitors get see it before entering the campus. I have learnt that willingness to share is one of the most important principles of success. If we want to change our strategy, we should start with internal support and strength as the main steps to help improve ourselves. It should also be very important for us to develop ideas on how to use this power.

We need to collect data if we want to make a plan; we should then identify the objectives of our study, and define who may be against it, and who could prevent us from accomplishing our goals. It is important to be brave, knowledgeable, and focused. We should also learn how to identify our problems, and develop ways to solve them. Sometimes we have to copy the ways of successful people, since it is not always the best idea to spend time on developing original solutions.

To be continued…

Samer Issawi is like an olive tree; his head reaches the sky and nobody can uproot him

Akram Rikhawi was supposed to be free last 25th of January but he wasn’t released. Now there are promises about releasing him today and we’ll see what happens.

Samer Issawi living his last hours

Most Recent Update: The detainee’s minister in the PA, Issa Qaraqe’, says that the Palestinian hunger striker Samer Issawi is living his last hours inside the Israeli prison hospitals after 195 days on hunger strike for freedom.
Being illegally detained without charges or given a fair trial since July 7th 2012, Samer Issawi is still placed in solitary confinement with plastic doors so that no one can hear his calls for help. Issawi is on his 195th day of an open-ended hunger strike demanding justice and his freedom. There have been many more Palestinian hunger strikers before Issawi. Khader Adnan, Hana’ Shalabi, and Mahmoud Sarsak are among the few.
Hunger strikes have proven to be an effective means for Palestinian Political prisoners’ voices to be heard. These prisoners are protesting the inhumane conditions they live in. These non-violent hunger strikers had a rippling effect on all Palestinian prisoners. Their movement has commenced many mass hunger strikes inside Israeli jails leading to many detainees passing away and others gaining their freedom.
Samer lost many family members who were murdered by the Israeli Occupation through out the years.  Fadi Issawi, Samer’s brother, was shot dead by the Israeli killing machines. In 1989 his grandmother, Fatima, was also shot by the Israeli Occupation Forces. Osama Issawi, Samer’s uncle, was not the last family member murdered by the Israeli Occupation Forces.

His Latest Release

In October 2011, Issawi was released as part of the Shalit prisoners exchange deal. Per Shireen Issawi, Samer’s sister, the Egyptian ambassador in Tel Aviv visited the prisoners who were included in the exchange and informed them that there will be no restriction on their movement. Nonetheless, breaching the agreement, eight months after his release, Issawi was re-arrested in Hizma. Israel claims that he broke the terms of his release by leaving Jerusalem; nevertheless Israel’s own maps show that Hizma is within the borders of the municipality of Jerusalem. This proves Israel never abides by any agreement or treaty and ignores all international laws. Samer is not the only one that this happened to, Israel has re-arrested a countless number of the Palestinians released under the prisoner exchange agreements.

Egypt’s Role

 
Samer Issawi is dying for freedom and the world’s leaders’ silence is deafening. As a guarantor of the prisoners exchange deal, why has Egypt not interfered until now? What has been done to protect the Deal?
Knowing that Israel is breaching the agreement and violating international law, the UN, the United States, European countries, and human rights organizations are silent as well. These countries and organization are very well aware that if they pressure Israel, innocent mens’ lives can be saved. Yet, there silence echoes loudly.
Samer Issawi, whose life is threatened and is in a real danger, is not seeking death, nor does he want it, but he defends his freedom and his humanity in every way possible and he is ready to pay his life as a price.

Medical Condition

Samer’s family has seen him only once during a court appearance on Thursday December 13th, 2012. His family saw him turning into a skeleton covered with a human wrap after losing more than 80 lbs, all that remains is a skin covering bones. Per his advocate, Samer suffers from increasing pain all over his body including his head, kidney, eyes, nerves, abdomen, hands, arthritis, and muscles. His life is in eminent risk as he has a slow and erratic heartbeat and cannot stand or move on his own. Also, Samer’s vision is worsening; he loses consciousness several times during the day; and his body is covered with bruises. Moreover, the pain in his head is like an electrical shock. Furthermore, he has continuous diarrhea due to the fluids they give him in prisons’ hospitals, and he has blood in his urine and still has an acute vitamin B12 deficiency. In addition, Issawi has gradual damages in his nervous system. Besides, his body continues to eat his muscles and nerves. What’s more, he has lost control of his limbs due to the malfunction of his nerves, and he is vomiting blood and can hardly breathe. On January 18th, 2012 due to his deteriorating health, Samer was transferred to Asaf Harofeh hospital from Ramleh prison. While being transferred, the Israeli Prison Services handcuffed Samer’s hands and feet.

Bab Al Shams and More Challenges

The house of Issawi is near the village of Bab Al Shams “Gate of the Sun” in which hundreds of young Palestinians set up tents in a civilized manner to non-violently fight against the Israeli settlements that threaten the peace process in the region as a whole. When solidarity campaigns are held to support Samer and the other hunger strikers, Israeli authorities pressure and attack his family and the people of his village. In addition, Israeli NGO Physicians for Human Rights and the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) have been denied access to Samer.

The life of the other Palestinian prisoners require an urgent call for emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution to force Israel to preserve the lives of prisoners in its custody. There are over 4500 prisoners in Israeli jails including women, kids, and patients. Israel has to cancel its unjust procedures of keeping detainees without trial and charge under administrative detention i.e. a procedure allowing the Israeli Military to hold prisoners indefinitely on secret information without charging them or allowing them to stand trial. Haim Shapira, the former Israeli Minister of Justice, described it when he was arrested by the British Mandate forces, “It only represents the law of jungle”.

G4S & Samer

In a message from Issawi’s family to the people who have demonstrated and called for Samer’s release on the last Friday in London, at G4S HQ, “Love and respect to all of you, brother and sister, who are fighting for Samer whose battle of the empty stomach [hunger strike] is now for 193 consecutive days. You tell the whole world that Samer is not alone. Samer’s fight is of every free man rejecting injustice. Samer is suffering greatly in the so-called hospital, Asaf Harofeh; he is suffering from medical neglect and is left shackled to his bed day and night without any regard for his critical condition and the importance of treating humanely.. We greet the demonstrators against G4S that provides equipment for the prison administration. G4S realizes that they are used in non-humanitarian ways against Palestinian prisoners. Deliver the voice of the oppressed prisoners and hold this company G4S accountable for its responsibility towards these prisoners and its partnership to the occupation in its inhumane practices. It must stop providing these supplies to the occupation…”

Other Hunger Strikers

Samer is not the only prisoner on hunger strike. Ayman Sharawna, has been on hunger strike for more than 180 days. He has been released in the Prisoner’s Deal. Jafar Azzidine, Tarek Qa’adan, and Yousef Yassin have been striking for around 98 days now, in protest of their administrative detention orders

Samer is like an olive tree; his head reaches the sky and nobody can uproot him. Samer teaches us what it means to be Palestinians; he gives us lessons in how to love and live. When looking into his eyes, I see The Sun shines; I notice hope rises; and I know pessimism scatters. Samer, you are not alone; you are our brother. It is a message to the people of consciousness who have hearts, to those who belong to humanity, to the free people – rescue Samer. If you take action, we can save his life; he can return to Jerusalem a free man, and hopefully alive, God willing. He has the right to live. Why cebto die without a charge

A Nightly Morning

Yesterday morning was just like every night, black and closed. Birds are not singing anymore. I could not see children playing football in my street. Even students were not going to their schools. It was a strongly bizarre morning.

I still remembered the night before. The electricity was off and there was not enough solar to turn our generator, or even our neighbor’s on. We chose to sleep but our neighbor’s children had some homework to do prior to sleeping. Their mother turned on candles so they could see their books and pencils. They could study and did their homework.  They did. Yet, it was the last deed ever. It is the last night and the last homework. No more mornings. They will sleep eternally. The still up-candles run over their tiny bodies and burned them. It was only a moment when the fire came all around the house and its details.

 Under the black blockade against Gaza, death, I mean collective death, is now possible. You might lose your family in a minute. Your house might be burnt in a blink of an eye.

Four children and their parents; six they are.

I missed them. They used to come to my house and visited my room. They always smiled despite the unbearable condition they lived in; despite poverty and all kinds of suffering.  They usually came to my house to play with my siblings. Whenever returning from university, I saw them playing football with my brothers.

The 7-year-old Reem is my lovely girl; my life she is. We used to play with each other all kinds of games. She used my computer to play “Happy Garden Game”. She told me once, “I hope I can have my own computer. ” I promised that I will buy you one when I get my first salary.” She died. She still has a dream. We still dream.

The youngest girl’s name is “Qamar”. It means “The Moon”. Her parents named her so because they dreamed of brightness to lighten their dark life.  Qamar was still two months. She will not grow up though.

 They lost their lives; the light of their lives. I still could not imagine it. I woke up on people screaming and shouting everywhere. I could not see them due to the black lines of clouds. Fire was still going up and up. After minutes, I could recognize four of them and the other two corpses for their parents were removed from the house one-by-one. So, it is the whole family. A lonely life and a small world; it is the end where I am a lone without they six.

Still, I could see them running here and there asking me to play with them. They will not be a memory; they must be here; I will wait for them tomorrow; I am sure they will come and visit me. I see them coming and I prepare the chocolate they like.

A dream. It could not be but a dream. Six they are. The whole family went.