23. Mahmud Bala’wi

Born 1995

Ash Shati' Camp

I want to write the most beautiful words about Gaza but I can’t. I can’t not see the poverty, siege and famine, especially when all Gaza city flooded into Al-Areesh and emptied it from all goods in two hours. I can’t not see the deprivation in every house, the fear and the sickness. What do you want me to say about Gaza?

From when I became aware of it, I was sad about everything inside it. Especially the kids and even the adults, youth, women, girls, animals, stones and trees, everything in it is crying… I’m looking for nice words to say and I can’t find them.

The sea is the only thing that helps me dream. When I stand on the shore I can imagine Cyprus, travel to Paris, fly to Rome, all while standing in the same spot. I go around the whole world and in the end I land on my bed in our house, in the middle of the refugee camp. I go back to the reality of Gaza, the dirty market, overflowing sewage, the carts, and what’s on top of the carts, the suffocating smell, and the silent people who can’t speak.

When I look at the clock and it’s 11:55 I start shaking and my heart beats faster, I feel that the war started again. Not only the clock scares me – everything that flies does, even the flies. I can’t tell anyone about my fear so they don’t call me a wimp or a sissy. I’m most scared for my older brothers. When a fly lands on any of them, I feel it’s going to kill him, I start shouting and I run away from the place.

That’s why I’m now escaping outside the house all the time, because of the many flies.

Made for The Gaza Monologues - Ashtar Theatre - ‘A Film in Solidarity with The Palestinian People’ initiated by Baesianz + Street Soundsystem.

Link to all films made for the program

Link to Full Monologues

Narration - Angelina Nonaj
Video - christopher tym