Gaza Commentary

Gaza Commentary

The bloggers I read have either focused on Gaza, avoided the subject, or remained silent altogether. What can anyone say that hasn’t already been said? What can anyone do that shouldn’t have already been done by people in stronger positions to do it? 

I don’t know. I cannot address the issue with authority or experience. A repetition of condemnation seems redundant, and an appeal to Allah seems inadequate. Our words of condemnation may soothe us for a time, but they don’t prevent a single innocent life from being sacrificed for naught, nor do we control Allah, and our prayers are not always answered simply because we say them with enthusiasm and in the knowledge that the situation in Gaza is a black hole of evil, a cesspool of suffering, a renewal of man’s inhumanity to man. 

This blog is a place for me to record my experiences in Riyadh. Other subjects intersperse themselves, and I trust they add a spark. This subject of Gaza, however, cries for a comment, even an insipid one, even one that contributes nothing.

Could I offer anything worth reading, anything that doesn’t merely spit in the wind?

I’m out of my league here– intellectually, religiously, politically, or any other kind of way. The TV reports and blog posts with gory pictures could as easily be fictional, for all the effect they’ve had upon my life. However, something on the subject churns between my brain and my stomach. Something needs to be expressed. I don’t know what, and I don’t know why, but it’s in there.

I’d better get on with it.


About Marahm

At first glance, I may appear to be a middle-aged American woman with kids, grandkids, retired from a job in a hospital, gratefully relieved from the responsibilities that come with all of that. Behind the image, which is true enough, I am fairly unhinged from much of American mainstream living, having spent twelve years in Saudi Arabia, years that sprung me from societal and familial impositions, and narrow bands of truth. I have learned to embrace my identity as a seeker, an artist, and a writer. I study Arabic and Italian language, because I love them, and I love their people. I still dream of spending more time in the Middle East and Italy, though the dreaming now seems more real than the possibilities. I am a photographer. I write, and sometimes publish, flash memoir, and now a blog or two.
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14 Responses to Gaza Commentary

  1. Chiara says:

    I think the blogs which have raised it, like yours, give us a much needed place to share our feelings safely; and the blogs or posts that don’t remind us that there is other life going on–ultimately a benefit to ourselves and the Palestinians when things settle.

  2. Marahm says:

    Wise words, Chiara.

  3. iMuslim says:

    I understand completely…

  4. ~W~ says:

    I have mixed thoughts and feelings about Gaza. Thank you for your honesty and insight, Marahm.

  5. Solace says:

    I know what you mean. I have also not written on my blog about Gaza, I simply don’t know what to write. I follow the news daily, but I feel inadequate to write about it.

  6. Aafke says:

    I didn’t want to write about it altogether, My blog is about silly nonsense and my own thoughts,and so not about politics. However, my thoughts were such that I had to put up something. But I also don’t agree with the notion some people have that one hás to write about conflicts? not every blog is internet journalism? A blog is like a book, you choose the subject your book is about, you choose yourself what you want to write about.
    I like what you write about, you decide which thoughts you want to share, and which you want to keep for yourself.

  7. susanne430 says:

    I agree with Aafke. Blogs are personal and I don’t judge one from another. If some choose to write about Gaza, great. If others don’t, fine with me.

    We’ve written a lot about Gaza at our blog for different reasons. First, it is helpful to Samer as he feels he is getting the word out to others about his people so, at least, we can see another point of view. One of my American friends has been following our blog and asked yesterday if no news meant good news since Samer failed to post on the situation the following day. I think Joni is trying to get a more informed view by checking reports and blogs online and comparing that information with what she hears in the American media and from our government.

    For me, I am happy that I can support my Arab friends. After growing up very pro-Israel and pretty much dismissing Arab feelings due to my apathy, I am thankful God changed my heart after I learned the truth about what this Zionist Israel does in the name of defending itself from terrorists and being God’s chosen people and what have you. Since I can’t seem to change how my gov’t responds to Israel, I do my best to at least influence a few minds and show my Arab brothers & sisters that I stand by them in this conflict.

    I’d rather go back to the days of reading silly, fun blogs and hearing about people’s lives and children and current problems and cultural things. I’d love for Gaza to be a bad dream. Anyway… all that to say, I enjoy what people choose for their blogs. Like Aafke’s horsey tag was a wonderful “relief” from reading sad Gaza posts.

    Sorry for the ramble.

  8. susanne430 says:

    Btw, your painting with pixels is beautiful! I’d noticed them before, but just saw the ones on the right side .. wow!

  9. Marahm says:

    Yes, bloggers are free to choose their own subjects, and yes, it’s a relief to read light-hearted posts in the midst of all this verbage about Gaza.

    That’s the beauty of blogging. There’s something for everyone, and a blogger is not restricted to write about certain issues, as is a paid writer.

    However, like a paid writer, a blogger develops a style and a readership. When that happens, a blogger might think that her/his readers expect commentary on certain issues of common concern. Let’s face it, bloggers want to be read. Otherwise they’d have set up a private diary.

    I don’t want to emote about something so far removed from my life, yet the world has become a global village, indeed, so that what happens on the other side of it does touch my life, sooner or later, in some form or other.

    Aafke, your blog is not about silly nonsense, contrary to your claim. You’ve written some profound posts amidst the entertainment, and I always look forward to what comes next.

    susanne430, thank you for your “ramble”. You are invited to ramble here any time you choose. Thank you for commenting on my photo art.

    Solace, ~W~ and iMuslim, I would rather read posts that emerge from your hearts rather than posts that echo other posts, or are written in the spirit of meeting an expectation. Every life, every experience, is unique, and each one of us has enough material to fill the entire blogospere at least twice.

    The important thing is that we are enriched by our reading and writing, no matter what we write about or what is happening ourside our immediate sphere.

    Actually, I do have something to say about war that might be enriching, in a very small way, to readers. My next post focuses upon a very dramatic time during my residence in Riyadh.

  10. susanne430 says:

    Marahm, thanks for your hospitality.

    I am eager to hear what you have to say in your next post.

  11. Aafke says:

    Oh, I had comletely forgotten to write hoe very much I love your new header! 😀

  12. Chiara says:

    Looking forward to your war/Riyadh post! 🙂

  13. I couldn’t agree with you more!! I feel like I am way out of my league. At the beginning, I didn’t know enough about Hamas or about Israel to ‘blame’ one or the other, whatever good that would do us. And on top of that I heard such conflicting reports from the media back home (Canada) and the media here (Syria). I felt like I was trying to reconcile two very different wars, and it always seemed that a piece of the puzzle was missing. Some vital piece that I needed to find in order to come to terms with what I was seeing. I found it in the faces of the dead children, literally burned alive. In the people I’ve met that have spoken of life under a blockade. The inhumane conditions they’ve had to endure.

    These past two weeks, since the siege started on the 27th of December, I have gone from opposing Hamas, to uncertainty, to support. I have yet to reach full support, but I am only human. And I cannot and will not, condemn the inaction of some and then condemn the only people that are acting! I truly believe the Palestinians have nothing to lose but their chains. And they have nothing to gain but their dignity. I recently quoted Patrick Henry: Give me liberty or give me death. How simple. How powerful!

    I don’t know what I’m trying to say. I guess it’s that I second your feelings. I don’t know what to do or what to say, but my mind refuses to accept this is happening in the 21st century. It’s truly mind-boggling. I guess that’s what pushed me to start writing. But I don’t believe it’s obligation. I don’t know where my writings are coming from, and I still post each and every one with a sense of shameful trepidation. I feel I have no right to talk of these matters. I do not know enough, and I have not been in any of these circumstance. I grew up coddled in Canada. I have no memories of fear, or rage, or blood. Yet I write…

    May God have mercy on our souls =(

    And thank you for sharing your thoughts so openly and honestly. Reading your blog is my pleasure, even in these circumstances =)

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