Life in Gaza: ‘A School of Resilience’
Life in Gaza seems to many somehow disappointing. This is what most people think, but this is not what I do think. Gaza taught me that I have to work for everything I want and need. Gaza taught me how to appreciate everything I have and don’t. Gaza offered me the very opposite of what life shouldn’t be to enjoy how life has to be. Gaza showed me the beauty of simplicity through its complexities. Gaza is just a great school which voluntarily offers gratuitous lessons for those ready to stop whining and moaning.
“Are you always happy?” “How could you manage to be always so?”, the answer to such kind of questions I’m frequently asked is, why wouldn’t I be? Simply, I enjoy my life in Gaza. Yes, the same Gaza that is widely perceived as wretchedly tattered. I enjoy it even if I have every reason not to. I’ve experienced the brutal war, the hermetic siege, the sporadic power-cuts, the noisy generators, the lousy neighbors, the irritating taxi-drivers, etc. However, I’d say that Gaza isn’t the issue; we are the issue. It’s all about how differently one sees things. As Hamlet simply puts it, “there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” It’s all about choices. I choose to be either miserably unhappy or wisely happy. I shape my destiny the way I like by changing the way I think and the way I perceive things. Even if I, sometimes, feel that I can’t bear the load of getting constantly disappointed, I always have this strong conviction that the best is yet to come. This is the positive power of me, through which I have survived all the horrible things that took place in my life. This positive power of me gives me always a good appetite for life, for everything. No wonder I keep growing fatter!
There’s one thing that Gaza didn’t teach me; though, an Albanian friend, whom I met in Granada, did. He taught me that it ain’t enough to live the experience. I have to taste it and enjoy the taste, then store it in my memory to recall whenever I need to strengthen that positive power of me. He told me that, to feel always alive, I need to change something from time to time, and I have to keep it as simple as possible, for simple things have greater impact on the confused mind. Now, I have lots of good memories by which I could live happily ever-after.
So, please, my dear readers, don’t gulp down your coffee without enjoying its taste. Take a sip. Enjoy the taste. Then, dip a piece of chocolate into it. Feel the taste. Life can’t be simpler and more enjoyable. Even if you have every reason not to smile, try to push a smile. Stop feeling lifeless and enjoy your life. Dismiss all the negative thoughts that occupy your mind and try to be positive all the time. Change your lenses and see things from a different angle. See? Life ain’t that bad. Live the experience and enjoy its taste. Life is too short to waste, so start living it now. Always keep the four s’s: keep strong, safe, sound and simple. You deserve to be happy. Let’s Carpe Diem together!
I hope you understand the challenge that we, people in Gaza, have to take. Life under siege, under occupation which wants us more dead than alive, is by no means OK. Pain is deeply entrenched in my Gaza, and suffering intrudes on every aspect of life. However, through positive thinking, we can surmount all the difficulties we have to face. If we aren’t destined to have light all the time because of the constant power outages, we maybe need to enjoy darkness through which we can appreciate light. If we cannot change things on the ground like ending the Israeli occupation, the imposed siege, etc., we can change the way we perceive things. We can bravely challenge the occupation this way. And, I proudly say that Gazans are proven to be extraordinarily amazing when it comes to challenges. They never let suffering assume its control on us. We can always find a way out. The world still can learn from us. We are a school of resilience.