(written April 2014)

Advancing towards me, the gentle breeze touched the sparkling blue water.

It lingered on my scarf and touched my skin, soothing me. I heard it saying:
“You’re safe here. Nothing bad can happen. No bomb will fall near you disturbing your serenity while you draw, no plane will hover over your head violating your daydreams.”
I stood there, on the sundeck of the cruise, leaning on the railing, my eyes capturing new images that inspire new feelings.
I was no longer trapped in a place where the air is filled with people’s sighs and pain. The air here was clear. I could see it before me, glowing like a pure white pearl.
I was in Gaza no more.
I was finally liberated from the cuffs imposed on my breath, on my whole life, even. I was no longer tied to a place that gives nothing but agony and disappointment.
The air in this place felt different, smelled different. It smelled like peace, like happiness and hope. It smelled like the good dreams.
Yet a voice inside of me kept knocking on the walls of my mind, interrupting my thoughts and telling me:
“This… does not smell like home!”
This story was written in a creative writing workshop I conducted at IUG (Islamic University of Gaza) in 2014.
Shaima ZiaraShaima Ziara lives in Gaza and has a bachelor Degree in English Language and Literature. She will soon be starting her Master’s studies in translation in HBKU in Qatar. Her dream is to make everything she can to help create a better reality for her people.

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