Flu season is here, and it’s going around. As I nurse a light case of it, through that haze of a throbbing head, congestion, and fever, I realize that am grateful for a number of things:
-that I have a roof and walls, without craters from shelling, without leaks through bomb-cracked walls, with blankets and adequate protection from the cold nights
-that I have the money to go to a pharmacy and buy meds
-that it is only the flu, not a serious or chronic illness and that there are some light medications available, as opposed to desperately needed medecines and treatments which are denied Palestinians in Gaza under the siege
-that every Palestinian I know who hears I’m not feeling 100% offers a ‘salamtek’ (basically, ‘get well’) and home remedies (which are grounded in good sense and are quite effective)
-that chamomile can be bought in bulk for next to nothing
I’m also grateful to Gaza, that the pulse of life continues to defy Israel and the international community’s attempts to smother Palestinians. There are still beautiful things to notice in Gaza, be they the celebration of another wedding (despite all financial obstacles) or an unseen bit of old Gaza, as I noticed today.
The building, off the main east-west street in Gaza city, Omar Mukthar, shares the characteristic old arched windows and doors as those of occupied Jerusalem, Nablus, and all over Palestine.
It’s sad, of course, that the windows are boarded and the building likely vacant… but the history is there, hasn’t been erased, just as the spirit I see daily. Sometimes it’s behind a dirty grey wall, or under a layer of frustration, but the pulse still beats.