“All I wanted was to get out of that fertilized room. I stopped holding my breath when I was out. See? they cannot help me, I told you”.
Sameeha Elwan is not talking about a war prison or refugee camp. She is simply narrating her visit to the doctor while seeking treatment for toothache. But as she says, every Palestinian’s story is the reflection of an endless plight.
Sameeha’s is one the 23 short stories captured in ‘Gaza Writes Back‘, a vivid collection of English-language fiction narratives by young Gazan writers launched last January. Edited by Refaat Alareet and published by Just World Books, the book was released in London, Kuala Lumpur, and worldwide through a Google Hangout.
Inspired by blogger Mohamed Suliman, who started reporting the feelings and experiences of living under Israeli occupation, the book emerged from Alareet’s creative writing courses in the Islamic University of Gaza. “Gaza Writes Back proves that telling stories is an act of life and resistance, that telling stories shapes our memories”, Alareet says.
“At some point the story became all we had to fight injustice. Writing took the form of therapy and the duty to represent”, says young Sameeha.
For more info – Gaza Writes Back blog.