By Marah Aburahma

Wake up,” they said as their shredded tears fell on my shivering cold skin. 

Every sip we drink, every laugh we make, every breath we breathe, every step, our only friend and secret keeper all the way was death. As time passes slowly, as if you are paddling through water that is more viscid than it should be, feeling every detail of a death’s cruel spasm, something that cannot be touched; Approaches resembling confessions and recalls;

My dear wife, we wedded four years ago, however, I do not remember seeing her more than 4 times during those four years, due to the blockage and borders issued on us by the occupation. We live in the same country although I had to leave the city for my job the last 2 years and she stayed on the banks of the country. We could barely meet these 2 years. After a while, a group of people will come out in front of her. As soon as she sees them, the fire flame will expectedly drop inside her. Every saying and every word will become meaningless. First they will gaze at her and then tell her that I was martyred. That moment she will stand and hold herself in order not to cry, like the woman in her postwar holiday I recall very well. For a moment, she will dredge up our last meeting and our farewell; our dream of a garden house overlooking the sea of Jaffa and the vegetables we would plant in the garden. All gone and flown. An hour later, all radio stations and media channels of the country will begin to spread news about millions of martyrs and I as one of them.

My dear father the rock-solid man, the core of our family, and my all-time preferred person, while he lookouts the news for my name, he stands in the face of the loss of his son and on the other hand the pride of his son’s martyrdom. His looks do not fit in a film or a book. This is yet another way to say: you cannot overcome us, do not tire yourself in vain. My beloved mother was sad, her heart was jumping whenever the phone rang, and her tears began to fall on her rosy glowing cheeks and choked with tears without words. Please pray for me mother. Our neighbors, friends of my childhood, and all my relatives will know that a martyr came out of our house, the whole country will be full of flimsy Palestinian flags, each of them is a badge of pride. Do not look at their tears, they are all proud.

Hallelujah. Every wound in my body is a medal of honor for me/ They did not say in vain that misplacing someone was more severe than death. I left behind the most beautiful woman in the world – my wife. I left love gone in the middle. I left two large blackened eyes that posh whenever filled with tears. I left behind a lot of brothers and sisters. Oh how much I would love hugging them for the last time, meet together on the sea coast and read my favourite poem: “La mer a bercé mon cœur pour la vie”, on a winter’s night. While the morning clouds hover above us, the smell of gunpowder in us nests. How much I would have loved to fight shoulder to shoulder for the last time, and with our collective courageousness, make the murderers tremble.

I came from the land of the olive tree, the land of hopefulness, and fought for this land ’til the latest gasp. Now I am honored and fulfilled to be buried in this land, the Palestinian land. Along with thousands, tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of our martyrs. I have left to you a country that I have given a spirit for every inch of it, left you a completely clear conscience. Still, my story is not over. I will sit for a long time yet in the heart of the most beautiful woman, slightly also in the tears of my little kid. And whenever my friend hits the cords of his Oud, I will inevitably be on his mind. The Palestinian people will speak with pride for a long time to come, and I will be next to my loved ones on their bitter nights. I know I deserved to live, but my land deserved the expense. Hemingway said: “The world is a fine place and worth fighting for and I hate very much to leave it.” I say: I left you a country worth fighting for. But know this: I will not worry at all, my people.