By Samah Abu Aushiba
Do u know how is it like to be called a refugee in your own country, to struggle and fight for a thing which is supposed to be your right already. This is what happens here and this is my story.
I won't be saying that I grew up as a princess, but I was feeling like one with a loving family and an amazing neighborhood. I remember how my grandmother used to invite all of our old ladies’ neighbors to have tea at our home, or to bake their bread here. I remember how amazing the smell and how big my grandma's smile was. Laughs were everywhere while my brothers and I used to annoy my uncles to wake up early in the weekends.
I also remember how eagerly we used to wait my dad to come back from work at exact 5 PM, we used to count the seconds for him to come back with our favorite candy in his pockets. My father have never punished anyone of us, he left this for mom while he filled our life with love. Well my mom was a little bit strict when it comes to our endless naughty behaviors, but she was the best at rewarding us when we behave. She used to make us an amazing orange cake as a reward, we've never asked for anything more. At night, grandpa used to tell us some stories about them before (Nakba). He was a teenager back then, so his stories were full of excitements like an action movie.
The best part was the weekend days, where we (me and my Brothers) spend the day annoying my big uncle to take us for a ride in his car, he always ends up buying us ice cream or candies after the ride is over.
At night and after watching Tom and Jerry with Dad, we used to sleep at 9 or daddy will be sad. My young uncle used to play football with us at home, I used to take his team where winning is granted. I also remember that I used to think that my aunts hate us, because they've never visited our home. We used to talk to them on phone only.
Life was almost perfect until the catastrophe happened. I was at school when the first airstrike hit Gaza, I remember it was an Arabic class. We all shouted, but all I cared about is who'll clean the broken glass of the class's window. it was a terrifying day after reaching home in the mid of fire. Can't describe how much I cried that day, and how calm I was the next day when we were informed about the loss of my dad and uncles. The worst moment was after the end of the funeral and the war as well, when I had to go to school facing everyone who looked at me as a poor orphan girl. I guess I hit 2 girls that day, don't know why.
From a loss to another I became stronger, so the second war came. At 2012 we had to leave home for a day, because our neighbor's home was threatened to be destroyed. It was one of the worst days in my life, because I hate leaving home. After We came back the second day, the house wasn't destroyed yet. Mom said we won't go anywhere and will stay at our home, though the house, which is supposed to be destroyed, was very close to our home. That day we slept all at the same room, "if we'll die we should die together " That was my mom's decision. Thank god we didn't die that day . Although the house was hit by the airstrikes, but God saved us.
Then comes my last experience with wars at 2014, this was a long period but I didn't feel afraid at all. It feels like I had immunity against it. Over 50 days of continuous death ,the only day I felt pain was the day of Eid
Ramadan and Eid were wasted at war, so we lost a part of our year's joy. My young brother's leg was broken that time, so he used to feel scared (what if we had to run from home and leave him because he can't run) . I used to babysit him and my young sister to make them feel better, while knowing that nothing will become better so soon. Lucky him the war was over and we hadn't left home without him.
Now I'm 3 wars old , the daughter of losses.
I know that father have never punished us because he knew he'll leave so soon, so he was making good memories. I know that these old ladies stopped visiting grandma ,because their houses were destroyed so they've either moved or died. I know that grandma stopped to smile because she can't bare smiling without her sons. I know that my old uncle have never said no to us, in order to show us some of the life's joys before leaving. I know that my young uncle have never lost the match, in order to teach us determination. I know that my aunts loves us, but they've never came here because they can't cross the border to us. Grandpa stopped telling us stories, because his grief caused him Alzheimer so he barely remember who he is. I know that my mom became more strict, because she wants us to be stronger after to loss of our father.
This is a normal story of us, this is Gaza.