Nagham Mohanna: During the siege, all you can do is remain hopeful

View from Gaza: Because of the international silence, we've learnt how to deal with our issues by ourselves and protect our rights without waiting for anybody else
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The Independent Online

People in Gaza were happy when they learnt about the flotilla because it meant they felt they were not alone and there were people who cared about them. They came with their countries' messages and they left their homes and families to show solidarity with us.

This step was enough to let us know that the world realised that there's a horrible situation in Gaza, where Israel is trying to make us lose our dignity. They can't lift the blockade but it gives a big lift to the people here.

We were so happy with this solidarity shown by international supporters because we felt that we were not facing the big monster alone. But when the hand of this monster came and cut every hope, it had a bad impact on the people of Gaza. There is a feeling of loneliness on our streets. The hopes of a new morning have gone with the wind.

The television news did its job in covering the incident. People did not leave the news. It was ambiguous at first, then we saw the first images. But what did really happen?

The siege here is very tough and everything is now on the black market. The tunnels are destroying Gaza because it's not a solution to our problems. There are not enough medical supplies, there are no building supplies, no spare parts and not any electricity.

There is no chance of achieving your dreams with scholarships. There's no hope and the siege limits our ability to imagine the future in Gaza.

We have to struggle and stay alive. What you need to keep is hope in your life. If you don't have this, then you're a loser in Gaza, and you're just counting the days of your life.

Because of the international silence, we've learnt how to deal with our issues by ourselves and protect our rights without waiting for anybody else, whether that be an international or Arab movement.

I love Gaza, I love the smell of its morning. But we want to have comfortable lives and the guarantee of a future. I want the right to have children who can live like other children in safety and enjoy calm nights.

I want the right to fulfil my ambitions – and not to limit them. I know there's a beautiful world outside of Gaza and I would like to discover it. But with the situation we face, it's really difficult.

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