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    Posted August 24, 2014 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    New violence in Israel and West Bank

    A mournful song of Palestine – A home that one can’t come back

    This story was written by a Taiwanese, and I translated it from Chinese to English. The original website is http://fairyseyes.blogspot.tw/2014/08/blog-post_14.html


    In 1996, a Palestine friend of mine, Mohammed, moved to West Bank from Gaza. Because it was illegal for him to stay there, he couldn’t get a legal identity in West Bank.

    Because of Israeli occupation, Palestinians are not free to migrate. As a result, it is hard for Mohammed not only to visit his family, but also move to other cities. He once told me that his biggest hope was spending a honeymoon with his wife, and bringing his three daughters to see the different parts of the world, no matter where they are.

    In April this year, Mohammed’s father went to Tel Aviv-Yafo from Gaza to have a heart surgery. It was the first time for Mohammed to get a legal identification, so he could meet his sick father.

    It was the first time for Mohammed to see his father after 18 years passed, but also the last time. Mohammed’s father died of illness by the end of June.

    In June, Mohammed went back to Gaza, the homeland where he grew up, with his father’s remains. 18 years has passed since he left here. His mother has become old, and he has become an adult, but he just lay in his mother’s arms in the house he grew up in, as if he were still the boy who stayed here 18 years ago.

    In the morning on July 6, Mohammed left Gaza, his family, and his homeland.

    At that night, the war began.

    The next time he saw his family was in the news clips. The people interviewed in the video were his siblings. The ruins being bombed into pieces was his home, the place where he lay in his mother’s arms.

    Mohammed’s younger sister, Ahlam, had a full-term pregnancy when the war came, and went to the hospital to deliver the baby. One hour later, the people in the hospital asked her to leave since there were too many patients. There weren’t extra space for her to rest.

    After ten hours passed, there is an air raid alert. It was said that their home would be bombed.

    In a rush, she brought her baby and escaped without bringing anything.

    At least she was still alive.

    But Mohammed’s brother’s two sons died in the air raid.

    Mohammed’s sister and her baby then were settled in the UNRWA school in Jabaliya refugee camp in north Gaza, being homeless.

    This is not the worst thing. They can’t bring anything when they left in a hurry. The refugee camp was short of food and water. They can only take a shower one time in several days, and they have no clothes to change. Seventy years old grandmother and one day old baby were starving together.

    The percent of unemployment in Gaza is 60 percent, which is very high. People who have jobs can buy some food and clothes, but Mohammed’s family was the small part of 60 percent unemployed people.

    This is the story of my friend Mohammed and his family.

    This is the story of Palestinians.

    Although Mohammed knew that I can’t speak Arabic, he kept conveying the news clips to me, and repeatedly telling those tragedies hopelessly as if held a floating wood in the ocean.

    I saw the clip in which he had a TV interview. Though I can’t understand any word he said, I can feel he was sorrow, anxious and at a loss about the situation.

    In a phone call with him, he said that he didn’t know when the war would end. He just hoped that he could help his family. He wanted to send them some money, food, and clothes to let his old mother feel comfortable, sister live easily, and little crying nephew stop crying. I don’t know what the future would be to a baby born in Gaza in conflicts.

    I was at a loss about the things I heard, listening to the silence in the phone.

    Before finishing the phone call, he said” Insha'Allah... (If this is what Allah arranged…) ”

    This is the story of my friend Mohammed and his family.

    This is the story of Palestinians.
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