With start Israeli aggression In the Gaza Strip, international channels, agencies, and activists began documenting the suffering of people Gaza The war of extermination and forced displacement they are exposed to in light of the continuous Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip for 113 days.
But there are stories that are not documented by photographers’ lenses, so their owners write them down through their accounts on social media platforms, writing their diaries about their new life in displacement, and the suffering they are experiencing in their new home.
This time, Nour wrote the story of her friend Shaima. She began her tweet by saying: “My friend Shaima from the displacement camps wrote,” and Nour recounted her friend’s suffering during her displacement journey and what she feels on very cold, rainy stormy nights, until the first ray of sunshine appears in her new residence, “the tent,” in the place of her displacement in Rafah.
Shaimaa describes her first hours, with the onset of night and sunset, by saying: “We spend long hours of the night in a dark and narrow place. I sit in the corner of the tent after I spread out whatever covers I can that do not protect against the cold, and in my arms are my two young children, trying to warm their small bodies, after… We spent a long, difficult day in the displacement camp, which lacks the basic necessities of life.”
So Shaima is a mother of two children, and like any mother, she is trying to make their new life easier for them, which they were not familiar with before. Shaima says: “My two children test my patience with their repeated questions to which I have no answers. Where is our house? What happened to it? Why was it targeted? Are our toys left? When will we return and why are we here? I make it easy for their little hearts, and even for myself, that what is coming is better.”
My friend Shaima from the displacement camps writes:
Stormy, rainy nights, very cold and even blacker.
As soon as the sun sets, everyone takes refuge in their designated place to spend the night until the first ray of sunrise.
We spend long hours of the night in a dark and narrow place. I sit in the corner of the tent after spreading out whatever covers I can… pic.twitter.com/ku3CIEKC4H
— Noor Ashour (@NoorMAshour) January 27, 2024
One of the simplest rights of a child is to go to school and play with his friends, but this normal life has become a thing of the past and memories for Anas bin Shaima Al-Akbar. The mother said in her diary: “My son Anas begins to recount the memories that he had in his mind before October 7 of last year. His friends, his school, our trips together. He recounts and follows them by saying (Do you remember, Mama?) I remember, my child, and how can I I forget! At a time when the children wish to have a new toy or go to the amusement park, Anas asks me, “Mama, Amana, when the war is over, I want a tray of chicken with vegetables that you used to make for me.”
The conversation between the mother and her son continues about the past, the memories, and the beautiful life they lived in their home in the northern Gaza Strip, but there is a small voice that interrupts their conversation. It is the voice of her youngest son, Amir, who is exhausted by the cold, as he tells her that he feels cold by saying: “Mama Bardan.” Here Amir returns his mother to the harsh life of displacement and the bitter reality in a tent that does not protect them from the cold winter. Shaima says: “Here I start rubbing his cold feet until he warms up and sleeps,” meaning Amir. She continues: “I apologize to you, my child, on behalf of everyone who let us down and conspired against us. I apologize to you for everything you lived through. I apologize for every painful memory that was imprinted on your memory. I apologize because I stood helpless in the face of everything that was happening. It is your fault only that you are from a geographical area that cannot be seen.” No one hears her voice. Shaima continues her story during the night of displacement and says: “My two young children are sleeping and I cannot fall asleep.”
After the two children sleep, Shaima sits with herself, holding her phone in her hand, which takes her back to the life she lived with her family and friends before October 7. She flips through the pictures, and says: “I spend time flipping through the pictures on the phone, staring at each picture, and tears flow from me.” Longing, sadness, and pain, my thoughts are mixed between a past of which nothing remains and an unknown future whose secrets I do not know, after everything I was striving for stopped.”
Shaima continues in writing her memories of displacement by saying: “The harshness of life was not new to us, but now we are discovering new dimensions of misery. We are now doing what we never imagined we would do before. We are rapidly descending to where all that remains is the instinct to survive at any cost. I And others in this afflicted city are helpless and we cannot do anything, but I am certain that if the entire world ignores us, God will not waste us or forget us, and that God’s relief and victory are near and His compensation is great and great.”
Shaima concludes her message, which was conveyed by Nour Ashour, by asking: Who cares about our condition? She answers: “We are still alive, but everything has died in us! By God, whoever died lives and whoever survives dies.”
This is a story written by a displaced woman from Gaza who was forcibly displaced by the Israeli occupation from her home, to a tent she lives in that does not provide her and her two children with the minimum requirements for a decent life.