Last night we had the local Palestinian community visit us. They live in the nearby refugee camp & come from all over Palestine; Ramallah, Bethlehem, Jaffa, Gaza... There were so many & they were all over us that it was uncomfortable. Where're you from, what's your name, how old are you? And on and on. The open display of affection too was overwhelming; hugs, kisses, hand shakes.
I was scheming my escape when a young girl I had spoken to earlier asked if I was happy.The question threw me off. And I asked "Happy?" She asked again, "Are you happy you are going to Gaza?"
"Insha Allah, if we get to Gaza, I'll be very happy," to which she said, "that's my dream. You are making my dream come true."
What else could I say right? I felt my eyes welling with tears & silently chided myself for my earlier thoughts. That what we're doing will in all likelihood remain an unfulfilled dream to many of these people before me was humbling indeed.
And today Azura & I were out looking for a pair of sandals at the shops at the nearby Palestinian refugee camp. We walked into a store & while trying the sandals out, a young boy whispered something into the owner's ears & when asked how much, he refused to take any money. The young boy had told him we were on our way to Gaza. Once again my emotions were threatening to get the better of me & I hastened my exit, lest I burst into tears.
Simple acts, simple words that bring it all sharply back into focus. This is not about us & how far we've travelled or how tired we are or what we feel. Its about them & that the whole lot of us are living their dreams.