i have no idea how it must be to be a mother in gaza right now. whenever i’m faced with a tragic human on human conflict like this my first thoughts go to the women. i know like all other women i’d find a way because i am a mother and that’s what mothers do. the average age in palestine is 17 – thats an awful lot of children for mothers to be loving.
i’d find a way to do my absolute best to provide safety, love and faith. i would make the decision whether to sleep all my four children in one room with me or spread them out so that if we were shelled at least some of us would survive. my husband and i had this discussion yesterday – he was for spreading them out. i was for keeping them together with me. it was a disgusting discussion and it was only hypothetical.
how must it be to provide a home that can become the grave at any moment. to try and console the family that are aware of death at every turn; family members, the woman in the local store you shopped in for the last ten years who kissed all your babies as they were born, the classmates of your children, the sanctity of your place of worship and your local hospital shattered by rockets. no more playing at the beach, running around the corner to grannys house, staying with your friends or late night prayer and quran recital for ramadhan at the masjid. thank God it is ramadhan; a time for mothers all across the world to remember that our children are given to us as a test of safe-keeping a gift from God. a trust to love, care for and raise to our best abilities. a time for faith and hope – a time to read the words “do not despair” and inhale them deep into your being and let them be your very oxygen.
how would i feel? impotent to physically protect my babies during this “shooting fish in a barrel” season. my youngest is still impacted and mourning the death of his pet finch a year ago on eid – how on earth would he cope?
i cannot fathom – my heart is bleeding for the mothers but it is also swelling when i see their strength, their ability to continue, to go forward, to birth and feed their babies, to make do.
so lets send them our love and our prayers. lets march and protest and write and boycott and sign petitions and educate and cry and do whatever ever we can to send the mothers of gaza our protection as limited as that may be. lets support the people that are out their making a difference like the midwives for peace who are an israeli/palestinian collective of midwives who no doubt are working the hardest they’ve ever worked just now. click on the link below to read about them and how you can help.
nicola mahdiyyah goodall is a revert muslim who grew up with hip hop based in edinburgh, scotland and london, england. she works with women trying and mainly succeeding to build circles of knowledge and community primarily with birth. she is also the director of wysewomen publishing and facilitates wysewomen workshops and red tent doula courses.