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Gaza, my city, Fears Another Horrible War

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Hello people,


As a Palestinian and a Gazan in particular, I would like to tell you a short story. A real one; not to 
entertain you nor to make you sleep fast!

This short story, I am writing while attacks are near my house, is to tell you a part of our daily life.


It started when a too loud explosion wake me up as I used to sleep after spending a long day at University attending classes. I get out of the bed so fast freaking out and crying : " the kids! the kids!". I mean my little nephews whose dad is abroad doing his MA; one is three years old and the other is a year and a half. Not only me in the house who was worried about the kids but all my brothers and my mom and their mom, of course. We all huged them; the three-year- old nephew named Mahmoud was very frightened while the younger, thanks God, did not understand what was going on out there. 

This was only the start! We prepared ourselves for a very hot night. Explosions were too many to count. The house was shaking countless times. Thus, we did not sleep all night except one or two hours. I was updating my friends on Facebook with what happened with us in northern Gaza. I wanted to show the world the inhumanity of Israel. I tried at least to get benefits of Facebook!

Pause! Forgive me for not arranging the events chronologically since attacks, at this very moment, are near our house. And guess what? I am using my PC right now and my nephew, Mahmoud, is between my arms watching his favorite cartoon movie. I am trying to distract his attention from the explosions we hear every now and then. Yet most of the cases I could not. I could not. I only could feel his heart beating so fast. 

What I can say now is that we, Gazans, are living a critical, dangerous situation. But let me tell you something before I end this endless story. I get afraid whenever I hear an explosion. I am a 20-year-old girl getting afraid of these violent explosions. How about those little kids? But this is not the thing. The thing is that I have to pretend to be strong so my nephews will not be frightened. We, Gazans, are human feeling happiness, sadness, losses, love, hatred and so many feelings. 

Let's come to the comic part! My nephew, Mahmoud, thinks that '' the strike'' is a man. He told me after hearing a violent explosion near our house that he will hit " the strike" with a " stick". I laughed! Despit all of this violence, I laughed. I thought of how kids think of things they go through. 


Actually, there are so many things to tell you. Yet the attacks hit northen Gaza, where I live, prevent me from doing so. Oh, I forgot to tell one final thing. Gazans fear another war by Israel. The 2008 war was unbearable. If you want to know more about it, google " Cast Lead operation", as Israel called it.


Thanks for IOPS for giving me the chance to spread my sufferance. Please pray for us to survive this.

Discussion 26 Comments

  • Lambert Meertens 15th Nov 2012

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us. Reading this (and before Verena's blogs) makes me feel so powerless. How much worse must you feel. But it is good to be reminded, again and again.

    • Alaa Radwan 15th Nov 2012

      I even feel speechless and wordless to express my feelings toward this. Thanks for your support.

  • Verena Stresing 15th Nov 2012

    Hi Alaa, Hi Lambert
    it is great to know that more people are sharing in this.
    I can't tell you how much my visit to Gaza has changed my life. Even though I knew about the situation before, having been there has changed it all! The experience of hearing an F16 bomber cruising above your head, the constant noise of drones, the machine gun fire at night... I wish everyone could share this experience. And I am very happy about every voice I hear speaking out!
    And to think that we were there during a "quiet" week.
    Alaa, I can't imagine what you are living through. And I also can't tell you how much I admire your spirit, and that of all your friends. My admiration is endless. Stay strong!

  • 15th Nov 2012

    I would like to post your story on my facebook, if that's ok, so that people live in constant fear...and why!

  • Will Henry Lapinel 15th Nov 2012

    Alaa, thanks very much for sharing.

  • Will Henry Lapinel 15th Nov 2012

    Alaa, I was wondering - do you know of an Arabic translation of the IOPS website? Or at least, an Arabic translation of the name of our organization? I am heading out to an Arabic-speaking country soon.

    • Alaa Radwan 16th Nov 2012

      Tell more about this project. I heard about it but still don't know the details. The Arabic translation of our organization is " International Organization for a Participatory Society"

      " المنظمة العالمية لمجمتع تعاوني "

  • Verena Stresing 15th Nov 2012

    Alaa just messaged me on facebook! She has lost access to IOPS (problems with computer, twitter has been shut down, too!)
    She told me to tell you all to share her blog on facebook if you'd like to! I already did!

  • Verena Stresing 15th Nov 2012

    Right now, I am receiving constant messages of people in Gaza telling me they are under attack!
    It is absolutely horrible. My thoughts are with the people of Gaza tonight!

  • Gerry Conroy 15th Nov 2012

    Also posted on the Media Lens message board:


    There is a great deal of material on the Gaza situation being posted there at the moment - mostly to do with the pro-Israeli propaganda from the western media. However, for anyone wanting to post a message, it's not possible to post on the board at night at the moment, as it can't be supervised. There are hostile individuals trying to post material which could enable charges of libel against the editors.

  • Peter Lach-Newinsky 15th Nov 2012

    Yes, thank you so much for sharing this with us, Alaa. This is just terrible, and the Israeli blockade as well as the outright attacks are a war crime. The corporate and government media here in Australia are always dominated by well-schooled Israeli PR people so it is good for you to be able to cut through all that bullshit and show us the real face of Gazan suffering. In solidarity.

  • Candace Moore 16th Nov 2012

    From Israel: I live in Israel, and I want to say Gazans do not have a monopoly on misery in this war. In all honesty the cartoon above makes me uneasy because I feel it plays on this whole blood libel myth.
    As a Haifa resident I have so far been spared any alarms. I do remember however that in the last Gaza war the north got bombed, and I expect we will see this again. Last night near the Arab-Jewish co-existance center protestors from different side protested across the street from each other peacefully. At one point Arab-Israelis sympathizing with Gaza, and communists were yelling "The people demand peace!" while nationalist right wing Jews were yelling "The people demand quiet in the south!"(which is to say stop the rocketing of southern residents). We all want to see an end to this violence.

  • Ashutosh Namdeo 16th Nov 2012

    i also would like to share it on facebook ..please allow me ......When we will understand the human values and humanity ????? When we will understand that human is human ???????? By the violence we are only creating a other kind of violence which will come out as revenge..This is the way we are setting example to our future generation ?????? I dont know how to stop it ?? How we will stop this ???where is the solution ????

  • Alaa Radwan 16th Nov 2012

    Sorry for not replying earlier since we had a very hot night. I will reply in details later. Please do share the story on Facebook and If you like, you can add me on Facebook to keep you updated with what's going on in Gaza. This is the link


  • Jane Johnson 16th Nov 2012

    Yes, thank you Alaa for sharing your story, I admire your courage and spirit. Please keep us updated with what's going on in Gaza, I do hope the situation improves. In solidarity.

  • 16th Nov 2012

    Rallies in France, in support of Gaza
    nov 15
    Lannion Nantes Rouen
    nov 17
    Annecy Aubenas Bordeaux Boulogne sur Mer Belfort Châ­teauroux Evry Le Havre Lyon Marseille
    Montélimar Mont­pellier Nîmes Orléans Paris Pau Perpignan Poitiers Strasbourg Tarbes Toulouse
    Angers Clermont-​​Ferrand Montauban Romans

  • martin faherty 16th Nov 2012

    Candace. You mention the Gaza 'war' and your feelings of unease regarding the above cartoon. Did the fact that during Operation Cast Lead the population of Gaza were not allowed flee their open air prison, one of the world's most densely populated areas, whilst Israel slaughtered 1,387 of them, the vast majority civilians, including hundreds of children, not make you feel considerably more uneasy? Do you presently feel at ease on a moral and an intellectual level equating the experience of an Israeli in Haifa with a Palestinian in Gaza?

    • Alaa Radwan 17th Nov 2012

      Dear Martin,

      While reading your powerful words and questions, I could feel what you exactly feel towards Gazans. Thank you for supporting us and our FAIR case. Just keep in mind what Gazans have and what Israeis have! See the difference between the number of dead people and injures in both sides!

  • Mark Evans 16th Nov 2012

    Hi Alaa - you asked me to comment on your blob. I actually commented on Candace's blog but it mentions you and is relevant to you both - I think / hope. Here is what I wrote -

    Hi Candace - you end your blog by saying "So in my humble opinion, concerned global citizens should focus less on vilifying one side or the other, and more on how to make a solution happen."

    I couldn't agree more and this is exactly what IOPS is about. Unlike most left organisations vision is central to iops and vision is about solutions.

    At the moment we have two blog posts on the IOPS top page giving personal accounts of the situation in Israel / Palestine - one from you and one from Alaa. I assume that, as members of IOPS, you both share the same vision (as sketched-out in the key documents) for a participatory society.

    I think that this share vision is very important in overcoming the vilifying you talk about and also in terms of how you might work together in order to "make a solution happen".

    It would be very interesting and exciting to see you and Alaa form an IOPS project where members from your part of the world could discuss and develop participatory vision and strategy for your region.

    In particular I would be very interested to know what you and Alaa (and others members from your part of the world) think of Steve Shalom's parpolity which is a model and long term vision for a participatory political system that was conceptualised to complement the participatory economic model - parecon.

    • Alaa Radwan 17th Nov 2012

      I appreciate your suggestions Mark. I will reply yo by a short quotation: " War does not determine who is right... only who is left."

    • Mark Evans 18th Nov 2012

      Sorry Alaa - I don't understand your reply.

      Do you think the vision you share with Candace is significant or not - or at least could become significant if you and others act on it?

  • David Jones 16th Nov 2012

    Alaa wrote on her facebook page a few hours ago:

    "My parents are now in a very dangerous critical situation. Too many strikes hit that area. The family is seperated :( "

    That sounds bad :-( Really hope everything works out okay for Alaa and her family. Has anyone had contact since? (this message was posted 5 hours ago via mobile). Verena, have you heard anything since?

    • Alaa Radwan 17th Nov 2012

      Dear David,

      You can't imagine how strong your words made me! Thanks for being worried about me. I am still alive! I will try to write another blog. Follow me here.

  • Verena Stresing 17th Nov 2012

    Hi Alaa,
    I think your blog is really really important. Please continue writing.
    @Candace: I just like to make this very clear: nobody should die in a war. Not on your side, not on the Palestinian side. No innocent child should die anywhere.
    And I very much agree with Mark that this is precisely what IOPS is all about: to work for a solution without vilifying one side or the other.

    However, one should also be very aware that right now what happens in the media is precisely the vilification of one side over the other. Just look at the mainstream corporate media and the vocabulary they use to describe the war. And this is the first thing that has to be overcome, so that we can proceed and work for a solution.

    I do feel for the victims on both sides. But it is also true that the people of Israel have a resonsibility to make it clear that they do not agree with the current policy of their government. And actually, there are many who do speak out.

    Right now, this is not a "two-sided" conflict or a "tit-for-tat" bombing going on. As much as I mourn EVERY innocent civilian, the numbers are very clear: so far, (and I am taking this as latest data from Al Jazeera):
    39 Gazans have been killed and 345 wounded since Israel launched the aerial campaign on the Palestinian enclave on Wednesday.

    In the same period, three Israeli civilians have been killed.

    • Alaa Radwan 17th Nov 2012

      Dear Verena,

      I can't really thank you enough for your powerful words. you are describing the situation much better than I am! All Gazans thank you. I'll try to keep writing

  • Tasner Curran 4th Jun 2013

    Thank you for sharing Alaa