Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Too tired for coherent sentences on Ghaza. I've been waking up right before the dawn prayers, against my will, for the last few days. I hear the cacophony of the prayer calls, starting seconds apart from each other, some voices beautiful, others whiney. I wonder if anyone is calling out for prayer from a minerat in Ghaza. The only mention of mosques I've heard is of them being blown up. Do prayer calls continue in times like this?

A few minutes after the singing has quieted, I hear the sound of the gardener's hose outside, trying to bring our yard to life. I think of uprooted land, turned on top of itself, trees blown up, the loss of livelihood and beauty and the right to both. Of land, eaten up with greed, evil, myopic greed, self-righteous greed, god-given greed. Taken, stolen, renamed.

I hear the sound of an airplane, which is uncommon in our neighborhood and I wonder what the deal is. It occurs to me that this isn't the first time the sound has triggered fear in me, an irrational idea that Cairo has suddenly joined the list of other cities, those which are no worse but are just less fortunate than it, existing on a part of the map that is either more or less important to all the wrong people. Beirut, Baghdad, Ghaza City. Ancient, reconstructed, invisible, forgotten. Part of a region that can't get its shit together, because above its grounds it is so old, so crowded, and underneath it is cursed with a poisonous gift. Because it is where texts were written and nations imagined on cocktail napkins and god reinvented time and time, and time, again.

And I remember that I happen to be in a country that is bordered by two genocides, one to the south, the other to the east. One might as well just walk into the Mediterranean and be done with it all, be washed over by water that saw its own ancient battles but at least the ships on both sides had weapons, at least back then there was no New York Times or CNN to take the lives of thousands people, PEOPLE, REMEMBER, which have been transformed into narratives of terror and loss and unspeakable indignities, and lie about and reduce and insult and exploit them for their own greed, their own tunnel vision for millions of people in the "free world" to swallow and digest and produce shit out the other end about "self-defense" and = that most harmful of words of this century - "terrorism".

Over 30% of the casualties so far are children. 292 children. 292 pairs of eyes (but what would they see?). Feet (but where would they run to?). Hands (but what would they do? what would they make? what would they touch?). 292 mouths emitting aborted laughter, sentences, cries, garbled syllables on their way to learning to speak. And it's disgusting, that if, before they were silenced forever by phosphorus bombs and 18-year-old recruits, those mouths had said "mom" and "dad" instead of "mama" and "baba" and "3ammo" and "teita" (or is it "sitto"?) and "ma sha allah", more people with bigger bank accounts and Security Council vetoes and industrialization and government offices would be outraged, would talk about it, would see it. Disgusting that I have to point that out.

And so on.