what if it were you?


A hypothetical situation, based on reality in Gaza:

You’re born into a camp. Since birth all you’ve known are tight corridors, overcrowded rooms, and the raids and invasions of the occupation. You’ve done what you can to develop yourself. Every summer, you’ve taken leadership courses and, as a teen, have volunteered with youths, teaching them arts skills or counseling in summer camps.

You’ve taken language and computer skills courses, participated in programs for democratic development, have worked with the disabled, have done well in your undergraduate university degree (and long to complete graduate studies in a place where that is possible), have apprenticed and then gotten work in your field.

And you had ambitions, of working in your community, of nurturing the next generation and helping them to develop beyond the walls of their camps.

But you live in a place where nothing is possible, everything is closed, and your own work cannot pay you. You have no chance to use the skills you’ve so meticulously enhanced. You have no prospect of gaining better work. You have no prospect of leaving your area to study, to taste the food of another country and see how the sunsets are elsewhere.

And today your relative has just killed themselves because of debts, because of walls and gates and suffocated dreams.

Would you find the world a beautiful place still? How? From where would you get the faith to believe that things will work out, that dreams are possible?


*Deir el Baleh camp: mazes of narrow, crowded lanes [photo: Emad Badwan]

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