Tuesday, December 30, 2008


My older sister is on a trip to Egypt right now, visiting extended family. Below are her thoughts on Gaza and the atrocities taking place.

I can't tear myself away from the T.V. screen. News clips of people, normal people, desparate people, devastated people.

Mothers crying. People bleeding. Body parts. Running, running. Men grabbing people off the streets & rushing to the ambulances, and bringing more and more people. The news reporter tells me that there's no more room in the hospital for any more people.

Little Bodies wrapped in white cloth. A father breaks down crying next to the body of his dead child. I think of my own children, in bed asleep. Thank God. I should go in. I should sleep. I got up early . . . I wonder how long they've been up. I wonder if they will sleep tonight. If they will wake up tomorrow.

A mother is talking, her face is wet and tired. Her eyes are puffy. "They took away my children. This morning. I have 3 daughters and one son left. They took my 5 daughters this morning." Her daughter talks about this morning. She was telling her sisters "we're all going to die."

Five daughters. Five sisters. Five. Who will they mourn? How will they mourn? When will they mourn? They have to keep runningfrom the soulless, pilotless planes dropping randon bombs. But where to? Where do they run to?
"There's no safe place in Gaza, we've been told," an aid worker said.

I grab the remote. I want to see the coverage people are getting in Canada and the States. Is it like this? Do they see the suffering? Or is it watered-down, political collateral damage?

I'm searching for CNN. Finally, I find it. They're talking about Gaza, about the air-strikes. They're being sympathetic with the Palestinian people. They talk to an Islamic Aid Worker who's barricaded into his house. At first, I feel relief - 'they're acknowledging them - these poor forgotten people who's humanity is so rarely portrayed. But wait, I watch longer. No, no. They're rolling the same 5 clips over and over again while they talk about the attrocities: a burning building, people standing and shuffling in the street, ambulance workers gathered around somethng, a clip of the hospitals, people in the street. Again and again. No close-ups of people. No sadness, no tears, no children, no breakdowns. The rubble and the destruction of buildings, of overcrowded hospitals. Where are the pictures that I saw on the Arabic channels? What about the mother who lost her children? What about the little boy crying & trying to run? The look in their eyes? The fear? The loss?

"93 % of communication is non-verbal," I remember from my university days in psychology. Only 7% is the words that we hear.

I flip back to the Arabic channel. They are human beings and I must see their humanity. I don't know, after what I've seen today, how I'll sleep tonight. No. I know, deep down, that even if I stir for an hour or two, eventually, in the safety of my home, and the warmth of my blanket, and the company of my children, sleep will come.

How will they sleep, without safety, without shelter, without having had dinner, without knowing wen the next bomb will drop, without her daughters, without her husband, without his baby, without their their father? After they have seen today, how will they ever sleep?

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