There were a few thoughts running through my head yesterday afternoon as I strolled down the streets of Ramallah to meet my family for lunch. Why can’t these people move any faster? Orientation was a success. Walking is good. Move it people. Don’t stare at my big sunglasses; I like them. However, my mind moved away from these thoughts, and my brain focused my ears on the closing doors of shops. Why is everything closing? Why are the shop owners outside of their shops? What I saw were people outside of shops and in cars. What I heard were keys locking the doors to their shops.
“Three men…” I heard two men say as I walked past them. “Police are…” Those were the only phrases I caught.
I thought it was only the street I was walking through, but the farther down I walked, I realized more and more stores were closing and more and more shop owners were standing outside of their shops. I pulled my cellphone out of my purse and called my friend.
“Hash, why’s everything closing?” She asked.
“That’s what I called to ask you.”
“I was about to call you, too. I’ll go call and ask my mom. I’ll call you back,” she said.
My eyes continued to wander behind my large sunglasses, and I felt a feeling that I remember having felt thirteen years ago. It was a feeling of worry, and it started from the pit of my stomach. I knew everything was all right with my family and friends, but I felt panic rise as I did that time, years ago.
I continued walking, and besides the pervert comments made by low-life idiots, the atmosphere seemed to be filled with a lot of questioning.
I hung up, and in two minutes she called again. “It’s because three men were killed in Kalandia,” she informed me.
Damn, I thought. Clashes with Occupier* soldiers. Apparently, the soldiers went in to arrest a man, clashes occurred, and as a result, three men were killed and others were injured.
Thirteen years ago, a similar scenario happened except I was much younger, it was only one man that was martyred, and it was near my home. We were walking back from the park with family when everything started closing, and I felt the panic and worry fill the pit of my stomach.
I am not going to ask when will all of this will stop, when will we stop hearing bad news, etc., etc. They don’t have meaning anymore.
What should be asked is why on Earth are “we” still sitting on the negotiation table asking for promises to be made when they break the next day?
Hope for a ‘better’ future, maybe?
*Refer to blogpost from August 2012.