By Yara Jouda, Gaza, We Are Not Numbers
I am a girl who has no dreams and maybe no future. In a blink of an eye, I could be without hands, heart and soul.
I am a girl who lives under a roof which is under a sky occupied by thousands of planes full of rockets, who is surrounded by land without anyone to work it, because everyone is afraid of being killed by soldiers in the watch towers, hidden but ready to fire at any time—without caring who they target and how their families will survive without them.
Beyond that, there is a sea that, as much as we love it, terrifies us, because it carries huge and creepy ships that can kill us as well.
Shall I also tell you about the beautiful park turned into scarred, barren land? Shall I tell you I would love to fly on a plane, but it I am so scared of being killed by one? Shall I tell you that I am scared to look at the sky and count the stars, because maybe they will suddenly turn into the lights that kill?
I can't even write about these things that threaten my life without fearing I will die as a result.
They took our childhood and happiness from us, and then tell us we are the terrorists. Sorry, but I don't remember raising a weapon in your face to kill you, unless you consider the games we played to be terrorism.
Do you know how much we wanted and fought in those games to be the police officer who defended the poor kids and protected them from the Israeli soldiers? What do you expect children to do, when we are still so young but we can't erase the sounds of bombs, or the pain of losing the ones we loved when a rocket fell on their house and they didn't do anything to deserve such a death? And let us not forget the closing of the crossings, making it impossible to travel. And even when we can, it’s as if our names on our IDs have a red line under them, just because we are Palestinian – people treat us differently, they are “careful,” like we are all terrorists.
I am a girl who, in parts of the world where the people “matter,” would be considered too young to ask such things, much less know anything about them.
I am a girl who is forced to be an old woman at the age of 15.
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