I was planting some flower seedlings, in preparation for Eid al-Fitr, when my husband called me and said to me: Leave the house quickly, for the near horizon is a harbinger of war!
I knew at that time that the conditions of Jerusalem were very bad, and I also know for sure that if Jerusalem called Gaza, Gaza must respond to the call.
I met some of my important needs, and what bothered me the most was who would feed my cat and her young, my chickens, and my plants?! Especially if the war was prolonged, God forbid, so I put a lot of food and water in anticipation of those circumstances, and I went out with the Lord of the worlds entrusted to the house, including what is in it, and what is around it.
3 previous wars that passed through the Gaza Strip, engraved in my mind the details of pain and fear of losing loved ones and property, and the familiar scene of disappointment from the world standing by our side, and our fairness.
3 previous painful wars passed on the Gaza Strip, but this war was the most painful and the most painful, in which the occupation used its latest military equipment, planes, and missiles, which transformed a 10-storey residential tower that required several years to be built into rubble in a few seconds!
I was trying by all means to control my nerves, and to show that I was not afraid of the terrifying and sudden sounds of missiles in the stillness of the night, even stronger than my sisters, brothers and their young ones around me, and I had taken my computer to my family’s house.
My heart was scattered with fear, afraid for my little daughter, who has been living with the family of her martyred father since 2003, and throughout the days of the war she used to call in panic from the sounds of missiles that do not distinguish between a civilian and a military, nor between an apartment building or a military headquarters! Everyone is a permissible target for those missiles at any moment of the day or night!
In those difficult circumstances, I had to keep my brush drawing the daily caricature that was published in the local newspaper, Al-Resala, the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper, and my personal page on Facebook and Twitter, which documented the crimes of the occupation, and I could see the fear in the eyes of those around me, of the consequences of being me and home. Vulnerable to bombing, because of those fees!
The cartoons received great interaction and sympathy, especially as I draw and tweet from Gaza itself, and the news and scenes of the destruction of towers and residential buildings, including properties and neighborhoods, hurt me greatly, and increased my fear for my home and my family’s home from the oppression of the occupation, which wants to silence the voice of everyone who defends his homeland and his people!
Entering the evening meant fear, panic, screaming children, and shaking the house, as if a missile had killed him. Personally, I was wearing my hijab and my robes all night, and I surrendered to praying to God to protect our homes and ourselves from any harm, and throughout the days of the war I did not sleep until after the dawn prayer, As I rejoice in the light of day even if the bombing continues
The funny thing is that since the first day of the war, my family has banned my Facebook page, so that they do not see the drawings I post on it, so that their fear and apprehension does not increase from my presence among them!
How painful it was to feel oppressed and I was afraid of freedom of expression, my human right to scream when pain .. It is an occupation that wants to kill us silently, and it wants the world to watch and applaud for that without the slightest condemnation!
How painful it was to find the Facebook administration identifying itself with the occupation, restricting the publication of Palestinian content, and sometimes executing digitally. It personally restricted my account from live broadcasting or advertising for two consecutive months, under the pretext of violating publishing standards!
The war lasted 11 days, like 11 months, during which I thought that the house had been destroyed, and that if the cat did not die under the rubble, it would have fled with its young in search of food, and that my chickens would inevitably die, because the hen was closed to them, and if hunger did not kill them They were quenched by thirst! And that my bushes and flowers have become fragile plant structures, after we have exhausted them with thirst, which were daily pampered by watering!
On the evening of May 20, the signs of getting rid of the nightmare of war appeared, and the cartoons that I did not publish on that day intensified until after the news of the armistice was confirmed and the war stopped.
I thanked God a lot for my safe exit, me, my family, my daughter and my husband, and I kept counting the hours until dawn to go to my house and check what was in it.
At ten in the morning of the first day of the armistice, I drove to my house, and I was crying all the way for two reasons: happiness because God saved me and my loved ones, and sadness at what I saw of the brutal, massive destruction of many homes and public facilities!
And as soon as I opened the door of the house, my cat rushed with her young towards me in a crazy way, and she and her young were at the height of hunger and emaciation! She quickly opened some cans of sardines stored, and put water to drink. I found some minor damage to my house, as a result of the bombing of neighboring houses. Trees and flowers almost died of thirst, so I rushed to help them with water, while the small flower seedlings died completely!
As for the chickens, God has decreed safety for them, even though stones from the bombing of the neighboring houses had penetrated the fence of the kennel! The water left in the big bucket of water was barely enough for the next few hours! Even a chicken I found was lying on top of the pile of eggs that had been collected during the days of the war!
The house remained unharmed, the plants lived, and they grew up again, and the cats returned to their splendor and health, but I remained for days afraid of evening and sleeping, and I suffered like my daughter from hair loss, and pain in the feet and hands! The war, with its ugliness, continued to haunt us, attack our dreams, and steal the pleasure of sleep from the eyes of our children! Those dark days will remind us that there is still an unjust world that views the executioner as the victim, and the oppressed and the holder of the right as a terrorist whose blood, money and honor are wasted! But it will also make us feel proud and proud that we belong to Gaza, this very small spot on the globe, which possesses a resistance that valiantly defended its people and its sanctities, in the same month (May) in which seven powerful Arab armies were unable to confront the same occupation forces, 73 years ago!