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From Gaza: I Would Rather Die in Dignity Than Agree to Living in an Open-Air Prison by Mohammed Suliman | Huffington Post
Gaza is a tough place; it’s tiny, overcrowded and besieged. But the people are kind. The food is delicious, and the beach, though filthy, allows us to pretend that we’re free. The sunset at sea is a spectacular scene, despite the Israeli warships dotting the landscape. Take a stroll down the street, and you’ll meet vendors, mostly young children hawking their wares. Take a taxi, and by the time you get off, you’ll be exchanging phone numbers with your newest friend, the taxi driver.
Our markets are complete chaos, an experience for all five senses. Rush hour is when school children, dressed in UNRWA uniforms or Barcelona and Real Madrid t-shirts, finish classes and flood the streets on their way back home. It is when I realize how young Gaza’s population is. Night is as lively a time as daytime. Smoke shisha at a beach or downtown café or chill with the family. The people in Gaza, too, are humans.
But this isn’t the scene in Gaza anymore. The streets are deserted, and so is the beach. Schools have become makeshift shelters crammed with displaced people fleeing death to a supposedly safer place. The beautiful noise of life has been replaced by a horrid one of death. Drones are humming overhead, and jet fighters are roaring.
There is always shelling at a distance. Distance, however, is relative. It could be so close that your windows will be blown out as you scream your heart out. Only then will you realize you have just escaped a narrow death. But someone else must have inevitably died. This could happen numerous times a day before you force yourself to sleep in the dark in a safe corner of your house to the sound of falling bombs and missiles, in the hope that none of these missiles will know its way to you.
The people in Gaza are living through yet another Israeli assault, the third such assault in six years, with nowhere to flee. As missiles hit civilian houses, entire families are obliterated. How else could one possibly characterize the killing oftwenty-five members from one family in one strike, or the killing of another eighteen members from another family in just another strike? How can one describe the arbitrary and indiscriminate shelling of one of the most crowded and impoverished areas in Gaza City with endless barrages of missiles and mortar shells all night long while preventing ambulances and civil defense forces from entering the area to rescue and evacuate the victims?
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Kim admits to taking 1200 selfies while in Thailand.