Wednesday, January 3, 2018

2018; The Year of Strength

It’s been a  month since I began writing this blog, but it just became harder to post each day that passed. I can’t identify why I have this constant feeling of fatigue; the unwillingness to make any effort to do anything at all. That being said, I made a vow to continue blogging, so here’s my attempt to complete my unfinished piece.

Four. That’s all we are four helpless, defenseless women and a cat. My mother, her elder sister, my elder sister, and myself; the four of us in our 3 story home showered by rockets and missiles. We’ve had a tough week since Saturday, December 2 the day Tarek Saleh’s militias took over our neighborhood and placed a real live cannon on the ground and real live assassins on the rooftops. I genuinely believed I would die. Yes, I’ve been showered by missiles and rockets since march 25th, 2015, but in some absurd way assassins are much more alarming then rockets falling from the sky. So the first two days we were panicking because our fridge was near empty we intended to go grocery shopping on Saturday. It was horrible the feeling that you might starve, I promise you I’m not exaggerating. 

Thankfully, my step-father came to the rescue after having to take another road to reach our house that was literally a red zone and took my sister grocery shopping. According to her it was like the apocalypse -I know it’s a psychological game to scare us into thinking it’s doomsday-, we had canned food the first two days not that I’m complaining. December 4th, Ali Saleh Yemen’s former president and well-known dictator is shot dead on his way to Mareb most likely leaving to Saudi as he has just declared on the 1st of December that he’s willing to start a new page with the countries who have been attacking us in all sorts of brutal inhumane ways. Then he declared his people to start a civil war which is what led to his Nephew Tarek Saleh’s assassins to appear. So honestly his death was well deserved and Ali Saleh’s crimes deserve an article on their own and I will be sure to get to that. 

December 4th at 10 o’clock a series of missiles began attacking Ali Saleh’s house after it was taken over by Ansar Allah and his house is a few streets down from ours, so you can imagine how terrifying it was. Our cat Nono’s heart was beating so fast and his pupils were enlarged. It is terrible to see a small, fragile animal in so much fear, but what was even worse was the fact he ran away from us to his little frail home, for some reason he thought that his home was safer than our arms. I don’t know why but that spoke to me, he doesn’t think we are capable of protecting him. 

So, here we are a month later and yesterday there were two horrifying missiles dropped on the mountain that is literally a few meters away from the university I study at. I thought I was done crying over missiles, but the tears overwhelmed me, the thought I might arrive home dead and if not dead then in need of a prosthetic. Once again for the third year I am beating the odds of death. Somedays I wake up weary. Somedays I am at the edge of just losing hope. Somedays I wish I wasn’t Yemeni, but then I remember this is my home. At the end of the day this is where I belong. This is the only place in the whole entire world I could be and feel as safe as I do when I am cuddled up in my bed in the safety -yes, safety- of my four walls.

Red, white, black; not my favorite color combo. Never was, my eye could never acquire to it, but when you fall in love everything looks different even the things you used to fringe at suddenly become your passion. The moment I fell in love with my country these three colors suddenly made so much sense. They had so much harmony. My heart was overwhelmed with how beautiful they are, as if I was blind and just saw the light for the very first time. My war torn country mesmerized me I fell in love with every last piece of collateral damage. The beauty that lies within the rubbles is much richer than that of plastic towns and plastic people.

Looking back at the past month, we are everything but helpless women. We made it through a civil war in one piece and stronger than ever. Maybe our cat gained some courage as well. In the end, you choose whether your experiences turn you into a defenseless being or a strong, invincible one. I chose and will continue to choose being strong even when I am weak. We are greater than we think. We are stronger than we believe. And we are not defenseless.

Here’s to another year of beating the odds. Here’s to falling in love with a land and its merciful God. Here’s to my beautiful country Yemen.

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