Gaza, My Trousers, and The Little Prince
May 28 2024

Shopping usually meant new comfortable pieces of clothes that defined me and allowed me to breathe. I preferred home clothing, rather than clothes for going out and meeting people. I believe that being comfortable at home is better than just dressing up for others.

It took a great deal of effort to pick the right type of fabric, especially in the summer, as mosquitoes get attracted by the generosity of my blood type. When I found out five years ago that my blood type is “O negative,” I got mad and told my mother that I sacrificed a lot for my loved ones, but I don't want to always be offering. O negative is the type of blood that can be given to all other blood types but only receives from its type. Therefore, as long as I’m in good health, I can be assured that no one in my family shall suffer from any kind of anemia.

I had to find someone with the same blood type as mine, should any emergencies occur. My brother was finally doing his duty, as he shared the same blood type with me. Only when I discovered that did I feel relieved that my life wouldn’t be in danger anymore.

Back to the main topic of clothing, I managed to find a store that sells the best fabrics for summer, and bought four pieces to take advantage of the opportunity. The war started and I had to wash my new trousers, using my bare hands. I consider the washing machine to be best for cleaning clothes — my hands aren’t as experienced as it is. I had to spill lots of detergents, assuming it would do the trick. It was not satisfying: I had to spill some chloride, to kill any germs that were still alive.

After soaking my trousers and cleaning them, I went upstairs to let them dry. It was the next day when I realized that my trousers had a new color — not the original one, but a new ugly layer covering it. It was the chloride that stained my masterpiece forever.

If this mistake had occurred because of my mother, I would have been extremely disappointed and started using my trousers as a cleaning rag. Nevertheless, as I’m the one who bought the trousers carefully, and washed them carefully, I couldn't let go of them so easily. As the fox once said to the little prince: “If you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world…”

The little prince eventually realizes that his flower isn’t like any other flower, because it is her that he watered, it is her that he has sheltered behind the screen, and it is her that he has listened to when she grumbled or boasted or said nothing. Because she is his rose.

Summer came again and the war hasn't ended yet. I’m still wearing my trousers, with its new, ugly colors. If I couldn't let go of a trouser I bought less than a year ago, how can the world expect me to let go of my hometown, my people, and my history? They would follow me wherever I go. When I see sunset and sunrise, it would be the ones in Gaza that revive me. When I breathe in the fresh air of the sea, I would always compare it to our sea in Gaza.

The streets, the gatherings, and the trees would always be imitating the nature of Gaza, but they would never be the same. They’re never as genuine as Gaza and would always be a copy in the corner. Because it is Gaza where I cycled as a kid, it is where I always woke up, and it is where bitter things get sweetened. Because it is my Gaza.

April 23, 2024, 8:30 am

Artwork is "Perseverance" by Palsestinian artist Sliman Mansour.

About The Author: 

Deema Dalloul is a 20-year-old writer from Gaza. She is a middle child and an avid reader trying to find her place in this world. She used to study business administration and work as a digital marketer, but not anymore. Currently, she's trying, again, to survive starvation and war being waged on Gaza.

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