I love the fact that you’re my mother!

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( My unique dad and mum )

"My parents and my siblings present a very precious part in my life, But my mother has a whole special part.

My 45-year-old mother works as a nurse at a UNRWA clinic in Gaza. Her work demands her much time, but she can always pay more attention to her family more than work. She gives us a lot of time listening for us, keeping our secrets , and telling us her experiences so that we can learn from her. Above all she cooks our favorite food . She is a strong woman who passed through lots of obstacles during my father’s imprisonment. Also she has a very kind heart; She is the only person who stands by my side, inspires me and makes me love to be a mother".

Two days ago , I wrote this essay for my school and decided to let my mother read it on her birthday.

Her birthday comes which is today (25 October) and she read the first sentence then she told me "please mama I don’t want to complete reading it because I will not stop crying if I read it ", But she read it and as she told me, she cried so much. I started laughing at her and asking myself why she is crying.

As I arrived home from my school, I started playing, kissing and hugging her continually while she was washing the dishes in her second room ( I mean the kitchen) without telling her Happy Birthday and giving her a lot of kisses .

During talking with her, I asked her to carry me as she used when I was baby , she smiled and replied ‘I didn’t sleep at all while your legs were broken when you were 5 years old, and I was just moving from window to another to calm you down’, I didn’t give her any expressions and preferred to stay silent.

I always think when I become a mother, I won’t be as awesome as my mother is Because simply she is the best mother I have ever seen and met.

I know that these words won’t be enough to describe my love , appreciation and respect for you. Briefly I just love the fact that you are my mother and I am your daughter.

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When to hug her son again?

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On my way to school, I was thinking of the prisoners who are still in a hunger strike and those who will be released tomorrow. I asked my sister Shahd ‘ Are you going to the sit-in tent in the Red cross’, She nodded her head.

After our lectures we went to the tent in solidarity with the prisoners and families of the prisoners. I saw Shahd running like a baby who lost his mum and looking for her. I asked shahd and looked at her eyes which are full of tears and mixed feelings’ What’s going on Shahd’ ,’I’m looking for prisoner’s family who their son will be released tomorrow’she said then she ran to continue looking for them.

I followed shahd to know what’s going on and got surprised by 75 years old blind woman who was waiting  and hoping that her son’s name will be included in the exchange deal, but sadly she knew that he is not . I couldn’t help seeing her crying and I started crying without stopping  when She said with shedding a lot of tears’ I’m an old and patient woman and  I was in the hospital last night and will never see my son who is sentenced life long imprisonment .

Gazing at the old women’s face.  My grandmother’s face came to my mind immediately,  I imagined her moving from prison to another hoping to see her sons and to hug them strongly. My father was one of her sons held in the Israeli dark jails.

I went back home and told my mother what happened with me during the day and the story of the old woman , She commented’ While your father was in the prison, I was counting the seconds,minutes,hours, days, and years and I felt the day without your father is like 300 years’ .

This old woman who has a lot of stories in every wrinkle in her weak face. However, she will never lose the hope to hug her son again.

By:Tamam Abusalama

For the Living Martyrs

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I was born a year after my father was released from the Israeli prison. In my early years I was not aware enough to understand how my father’s imprisonment and what he was subjected to; such as torture, solitary confinement, denial of family visits and many other human rights violations against prisoners will not stop me thinking of our awful situation. I was going through my sister Shahd’s drawings and listening to Fairouz and thinking why we can’t go to our homeland and our capital? Remembering how could my father stay between 4 walls for 15 years, and imagining what would have happened to him if he stayed more than 15 years or even for his entire life?

A lot of questions arise in my mind but I can’t find even one answer to any of them whatsoever.

Yesterday while we were talking about several subjects, my eldest brother Majed jumped in: “Dad, tell us some stories of torture while you were in prison,” asking my father. “We suffered a lot and no one could imagine our suffering and struggle,” my father replied with much strength, and went on telling us this story. “I remember one time when we were hunger striking, and the Israeli jailer tried hard to break our hunger strike and used very dangerous ways to feed us; for example, they would put a tube through our throat into our stomach and feed us forcibly while we were tied down.”

If everyone put himself in the place of prisoners or prisoners’ families, he would know what it feels to be through the torturous conditions they are forced to endure.

Today my friends, who are addict to travel but they have never been outside of Gaza, and I were talking about traveling. They asked me: “Have you ever traveled?” “I (traveled) to Jerusalem,” I replied with a broken heart. Then, I kept asking myself if going to Jerusalem is considered a travel and felt strangled. But when I think about the prisoners who sometimes are kept in isolation for years without feeling weak such as the prisoner Ahmed Sadaat who has been in the solitary confinement since 2009 with very difficult conditions in the jail, being banned from having an o’clock in order keep track of the time, It makes me stronger.

It is true that a real man is born out of the womb of suffering, and I’m so proud of being a great man’s daughter.

Everyone needs to know the truth, so let’s all speak up loudly and demand the Palestinian rights and prisoners in particular.