Gaza In Black
By: Hala Alsafadi
I stood at the window looking outside to come across a black blanket wrapping the whole panorama in front of my eyes touching the horizon line far away from my window. I checked my cell phone to know what time it was. The first though that came up to my mind was that there has been no electricity for the past 8 hours so far! It went off at 3:00 pm, according to the “electricity schedule” we still have some more hours to fill up with time-killers before we let the black blanket slip.
Although black is my much-loved color, I didn’t get pleasure from that black scene not even a bit. It made me feel like Gaza is drowning in its sea. The sea that has witnessed all the Israeli crimes against the innocent Gaza throughout the history. The sea that enfolded the tears of the gloomy sky. None but that sea has cared for those tears which have been falling for a long time now. The sky that recorded in her own diary the history of every blood drop, mothers’ cry, fathers’ concealed tears, and land stealing whilst the voices of those who call for the human rights were kept silent.
The raucous sound of the generator, which I am lucky enough to have, successfully turned my attention back to the light in my house. I got to admit that I cherish the guy who invented the generators but I believe he could have found a better alternative for the gas used to switch it on since gas is a PROBLEM right now in Gaza. If you are wondering why is it so, here is the answer. To make a long story short, most of the gas in Gaza comes from Egypt. Egypt is dealing with its own problems at the moment. Therefore, no tunnels and borders are closed. No Egypt. No Gas. No gas = No electricity. And guess what? People in Gaza have to deal with that one too. It doesn’t surprise me that we are off the news those days and no one cares for or even knows about the crisis happening in Gaza right for the reason that Egypt is under the spot light.
Anyways, I started considering stuff I need to do to kill the time. Ummmm my to-do list looked more like “ write something to publish in my blog, talk to my mom, talk to my mom, more talking to my mom, my mom goes to bed, talk to myself, more talking to myself, crash in bed and wake up tomorrow to start a new day with a new “electricity schedule”. I really wanted to watch some TV to catch up with the news in Egypt but the generator allows us to switch on one TV only, that would certainly be the one occupied by my dad in the room on the roof which is full of hookah smoke clouds. Trust me, I would enjoy the black blanket scene more that the scene in that room. Just saying!
It is unbelievable how humans stepped on the moon, invented Skype, traveled from east to west and vice versa, manufactured laptops and cell phones, and built Titanic (regardless of the fact that it sank) and even huger cruises while we, in Gaza, do not have electricity 24-7! For God’s sake, it is 2011 and electricity maintains one hell of a problem to people in Gaza!!!!!
I believe this would be “ breaking news” if it ever happens : “ Electricity went off in New York City for an hour today.” “ People in Washington DC freak out due to electricity cut for 30 minutes today.” That might sound convincing for some people who are actually living a normal life, nevertheless, that would sound like a real retarded joke for a little boy living in Gaza since the “ no- electricity schedule” in my area goes as the following:
Day one: 3:00 pm – 12:00 am
Day two: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
And so on.
On the other hand, living in Gaza does certainly train me on “looking at the full half of the glass rather than the empty one.” I mean, I bet you a million dollars if you can ever find a girl in her twenties who can spend 10 hours straight sitting with her mom talking about anything in life on a daily basis anywhere but in Gaza. Well. Thanks for “ No electricity!”. Whenever the electricity goes off, it is family time. We all sit and start talking about every trivial event in our lives. We talk about the university, the work, the grades, the news, updates and anything that can pop up to our minds. Moreover, having no electricity encourages people to go to bed early, therefore, waking up early; applying the proverb “ early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” It also help us build a content personality. If you are to tell us that electricity would be cut for only 3 hours a day, we will be glad about such “great” news!! See what I mean?
I just hope that Gazans would at least enjoy the “bless” of having electricity without having to worry about the food in the refrigerators that would spoil with no electricity, or having to study right beside a candle, or handling all the other issues that require electricity, or even having to worry about getting gas for the generators. If I am lucky enough to have a generator, most of the people in Gaza DO NOT! I don’t really want to start talking about their misery now. I am pretty sure you can imagine! Most of the people in Gaza would buy some bread to feed their hungry families rather than buy gas for a generator, if they have one in the first place.
By the way, It is already 12 : 20 am and the electricity is not back on. It seems like whenever I think I got my hand on a stable schedule, it changes to the worse with no doubts. :S
What Do Gazans use when there is no electricity?
2) Kerosene lamps
3) Generators ( If there is Gas)
I don’t know about you but personally speaking, I have not seen any of those being used DAILY anywhere but in Gaza so far.