I hate Palestine as much as I love it. I want to leave this place, but I want to stay here forever, too. This contradiction in my mind has become my daily nightmare. I cannot live away from my homeland. Still, I want to leave. I want freedom and safety. I want to shut out my fears about my 10-month-old daughter’s future. You are supposed to feel safe and stable in your home. For Palestinians, this dream is unrealized.
The smell of blood, death and tear gas is the only thing that I have experienced since I was a kid. Screams and the weeping of mourners are sounds I hear daily. On May 17, I was trying to enjoy coffee with my friends. The smell of tear gas ruined our relaxing time. Then we heard three loud gunshots. We heard them clearly. We closed the window, attempting to detach ourselves from the reality outside.
I heard the notification ping of my phone. All the messages were about a martyr. Then I received a message that the martyr was my cousin, Obaida. The denial started. What? How? And Why? I called my father. He told me yes, Israeli soldiers killed Obaida. Three bullets were in his chest.