Where Time Stood Still: Gaza five years since Cast Lead

Five years have passed since Israel’s brutal assault on Gaza codenamed Cast Lead and not much has changed. Still Israel’s bombs continue to fall even now as I make this blog entry and its siege and blockade continue to strangle Gaza’s 1.8 million trapped inhabitants. I wrote this poem four years ago. Sadly it still is relevant today.

Where Time Stood Still

Don’t tell us a year has passed…

We don’t measure our lives by a calendar

Time has stood still for us so long ago

Punctuated only by loss and grief

And in between moments of quiet and reprieve

We don’t count on Christmas, nor Eid for cheer

We don’t fool ourselves with “happy new year”

No occasion is ever taken for granted

When it comes to tomorrow,

There are no certainties

Our yesterday is our today

Time is frozen here

And one calendar year

Cannot contain our lives

Our collective misery

Our yearning for humanity

So don’t tell us a year has passed

Our clock stopped ticking when justice collapsed

Eclipsed by decades of repression

Hush… don’t speak of time

We have endured the absence of time

We don’t measure our lives by days like you,

We measure our lives by the number of embraces

Our worth by a lover’s heartbeat

Our existence by our persistence

So, don’t tell us a year has passed…

Samah Sabawi. December 2009 Melbourne Australia. Written on the 1st anniversary of operation Cast Lead