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What it is like to be under the blockade for five years....

Living in the Gaza Strip in the last five years is exactly like being trapped in place where you can not see beyond its walls, you walk in the same streets and allays of the destiny camps, you speak with the same people, you see the same faces, and you discuss the same issues everyday. Your mind starts to react automatically to events, actions, faces and situations. You even start guessing what is the next question expected in a certain situation... funny life... isn't it!... Away from the Israeli operations which added some changes-though very painful to our life-, our life in Gaza was reduced into cues in all it's aspects, cues in front of the petrol stations, in front of the bakeries, in front of the electricity company, in front of hospitals, in front of every where,.....a life of 5 million Palestine refugees translated into cues!!!!

Our dreams became so limited; the best is to make sure that ones can afford his family the cooking Gas, fuel for the electricity generator, good picnic to the beach, and nothing more than this, absolutely nothing…

Our children, the most affected, poor ones, have not the chance to see beyond Gaza borders; even the borders themselves are unimaginable for them… They can not think of what is it like to be in an airplane, or what is like to live a normal life like many other children in the world… their entire world is only Gaza…watching TV, or even all the high-tech. around them do not give them the real taste of freedom, the freedom of leaving their place whenever they wanted to… After more than five years of blockade, Gaza is now a big graveyard, its people will be born, live, die and buried at the same place...

For me personally, living in the besieged Gaza is having no chance to plan for the future of my children, or even encouraging them to have their own high expectations, since I am not sure whether they will have the chance to meet these expectations or not. It is witnessing the death of my parents without having the opportunity of seeing their homeland, and most importantly, seeing their two sons who choose to experience other worlds, other lives outside Gaza….

It is the refusal of my brothers to come and live in Gaza since Gaza with its limited resources will not give them the opportunities of a better life, a better education, and a better health care for their children…

It is seeing a complete helpless, careless young generation that is not even willing to think of tomorrow or of a bright future since the horizon in Gaza is so limited ….

It is hearing the horrifying stories of losing aim, and turning to drugs, or committing suicide. It is the fears of falling seriously sick, and not being able to receive a proper treatment for lack of medications and professional workforce… and waiting to die in silence adding a new number on the list This is what and how it is to live in a sealed place..... Such as Gaza!!!

Najwa Sheikh
2,190 days of blockade

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