still bleeding after all these days


Mas’oud was in great pain today. The nurse had been explaining how two large tubes inserted into his chest were still draining blood from the internal bleeding caused by his bullet wound injury. In a hospital context, things like marker-sized tubes protruding from a chest can seem normal somehow.

But Amin, the nurse, emphasized that it wasn’t easy to push those tubes in, and it was certainly not easy for Mas’oud to bear them. “Every time he moves, every time we even shift the container attached to the tubes, he can feel it. It’s exceptionally painful.”

Mas’oud’s screams were testimony enough of his agony. He tried lying down, sitting up, sitting sideways, but the pain just worsened, his screams louder. The worst of it lasted 10 minutes, subsiding only slowly after a pain killer injection.

Sharing his room, a youngish man with good English and many questions and observations. And the young Sari, paralyzed for life after Israeli soldiers shot he and his cousin repeatedly three years ago.

Amazingly, as I repeatedly see here in Palestine, what began as a morose visit, disheartened by Mas’oud pain and the crushed life of Sari, ended in conversation and laughter, temporarily distracting all from worries always present.

Two pleasant elderly women and their comments led to a more light-heartened, hek iddinya (that’s life), saber (patience) feel.

Amidst the grinding, Israeli siege and attacks (both of which have devastated Gaza’s industries)-manufactured poverty of Palestinians in Gaza, to the life-changing disabilities and amputations inflicted by Israeli acts of terrorism, the will to live is strong, even if happiness is on hold.


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