“Writing is the anchor I use to keep me from drowning inside myself”. This is how 20-year-old Dalia al-Najjar presents her blog, a diary of life in Gaza. “I decided to devote my life to telling the story of our suffering because I felt that having survived I owe something to the martyrs.”
At least 1,900 Palestinians have been killed, more than 10,000 injured, and 450,000 displaced since Israel launched a massive offensive called Protective Edge against the 40-kilometer-long coastal strip on July 8.
Excessive restrictions from Israel in the Palestinian territories of Gaza and the West Bank further aggravate the situation in what most of the world and the United Nations considers territory occupied by Israel. This is Israel's third military operation in Gaza in six years.
Despite the tragic reality she lives in, Dalia’s blog is a hymn to life. Her narration of events goes from reactions to the bombing of her university to a recount of the cleaning patrols organized to start rebuilding the city from the rubble. Soaked in dark humor, her writing takes us to the horror of witnessing relentless explosions shake Gaza.
I sat on the couch hugging myself, leaning my head against my drawn-up knees watching my siblings sleeping around me. The scary thing about staying alive is that you keep waiting for death, you can hear the voice of the rocket flying over you before it hits its target.. each time I hear the sound, I shut my eyes, my shoulders go up and my neck sinks in, waiting it to blow me to pieces.. after hearing the explosion, I breath saying ”woah that was close!” ..that happened over a hundred times all night long. I can’t describe the panicky, fears and pain I feel, my hair is falling, I’m pretty sure I’ll be wearing a wig after this nightmare, if I survived.
Dalia also introduces us to her family and closest circle:
My sister, Sara, was already up. I asked her about the news I missed while sleeping for 3 hours.
”You really don’t want to hear about it” she said with a sad voice.
”What happened?” I violently asked.
“They targeted our university”
“What, when, how WHY WHY WHY !!” I yelled
”I tried to call Mr. Netanyahu to know why, but he’s not picking up”
Follow Dalia al-Najjar‘s blog for a beautifully-written recount of life and death in Gaza and read about her visit to a crowded make-shift shelter during another 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire under the supermoon here.