If You Have A Roof…

Our kitchen is flaming hot in the summer and harshly cold in the winter. It’s something the family has come to notice in the years living here in Occupia*. 

I stuck my head in the pots and pans cabinet and tried to feel my way around for a certain saucepan that my mother needed. It was still four-thirty in the afternoon, but the gray clouds outside along with the showers of rain and whistling wind made it seem like it was already past a young child’s bedtime. To top that off, the electricity was out. 

Nope, that’s not it, I kept thinking as I searched in the dark cabinet made darker with no light until my hand caught ahold of the one I was looking for. It was at that precise moment that a strange image came to my head – strange in the sense that I wasn’t thinking of anything having to do with it. The image was that of a little girl I learned about in the eighth grade – Anne Frank. For a brief moment, I saw her and other faces with her that went into hiding, and I imagined if she were looking for something in the dark, it would be like this – except I could easily go get my brother’s iPhone and turn on that attached flashlight, and I wasn’t in hiding. 

Nor am I refugee or prisoner. Nor am I without a roof. I’m just in the dark because the place I live in isn’t prepared for such weather troubles. 

Then, the thoughts rushed through my mind in tiny clips because what else does one do trapped in his home waiting for a blizzard to come except reflect on things? 

I thought of Wajih Al-Ramahi, who wasn’t buried that long ago, and the snow that must have fallen on his grave when he could have been playing in the snow with all the other fifteen-year-olds. I thought of the refugee camps where the houses aren’t build for this sort of weather, and those refugees that are on borders of countries in tents…tents…and here, we think the wind is so powerful, it may even blow our houses over. There’s even this one bedouin tent that we pass by in our car with my father that I can’t shake out of my head. The tent lies there in the middle of a mountain (sometimes, my brother and I even think we see the light of a television flicker), and I wonder what they are doing now in this blizzard in that tent…a tent! I just read a headline on a news channel saying that the Occupiers are not allowing any family members to bring imprisoned members anything for winter, and I thought of how I didn’t want to imagine how those prisoners are “living” right now. 

All these clips of images from here and there replaced my feelings of cold with gratefulness. 

I was no longer cold, remembering that I had a roof over my home. I was warm. 


*Occupia is what I refer to as Palestine and “Israel.” 



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