I can’t believe that I am living through this for the third time; one assault per decade. But I am a grown up now, neither the 9 year old girl of 1982, nor the enthusiast of 1996. I am 33 and I should know what to do. I should know the answers and all the magic tricks that would get us out of this, the same way I believed my mother did when she was my age. I blamed her though for allowing war to happen to me, I thought that is one thing she should have known better not to permit. She should be able to change the world, after all that is what mothers are capable of. At 33 I am relieved not to be a mother myself, because despite all my good intentions, I still haven’t learnt the magic tricks to get any child out of the agony of war.
The most frustrating side of all of this is that I am a believer in nonviolence, with an MA in peacebuilding. It is funny that the posters with the call of applications for the “3rd Annual Summer School for Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding” still hang in the streets of the city and on the walls of NGOs we are spending our war times in. I was supposed to be assisting in that training. I would have told the participating youth about the difference between positions and interests, effective communication and some about empathy. I would have taught them nothing though on how to save the life of at least one child in the time of war, maybe because I don’t know how to do it myself.
I spent the past three days today listening to one story after another from people who lived a horrible week in the south. Hundreds trapped in a tiny shelter for 6 days, dead bodies still under the rubble, and 150 people walking for hours in hopes of reaching safety. I heard stories of the displaced; mothers with no water to bath their children and diabetes patients loosing limbs because they were without their medication for days.
The toll of the stories is too heavy, especially when I hear the usual question: “so you think what you are doing could be effective?” They are all giving me their stories, handing it on a plate of hope and trust, and I struggle with it all. I have no promises that I could keep to give in return.
Through the years, all promises of peace with dignity have betrayed them, those people whose stories I have heard. All the way from the
My friends, too, force me to be accountable to this same set of believes. Teasing me and placing bets that I would eventually hold arms if the IDF invades and reaches
I struggle with it, I want to be true to the people with the stories; I want to be true to myself and my own need for dignity too. And yes, I am still a believer in nonviolence, through a belonging more humanistic than national, but I need results. I need at least one small miracle, at least one kept promise.