My student Ruba typed this among other messages in a group conversation I and her other classmates have on facebook. Since the beginning of the war, I have been a member in a lot of group conversations in order to make sure that all of us are safe, some of these contain friends, others colleagues and a big number of those for my students.
When I checked the conversation I was shocked, this is not the first time that someone starts acting as if he or she is going to die because of the war and starts telling everyone that they love him and asking all the people to forgive them. BUT NOT RUBA !!! NOT RUBA !!! Ruba is nothing but a symbol of energy, love and life.
The first thing that you will notice about her when you meet her for the first time is how full of life she is, whenever there is an activity , she will be the first to participate. If there is a project to help others, Ruba is one of the people who MUST be there. It is weird to see her just sitting, she always moves, jumps and create a chaos (a lovely one) wherever she goes.
The other girls responded to her message:
Rana: “ Don’t act as if we are going to die. We will live, you stupid!!!”
Ruaa: “Yeah, right, it is clear that we will live, and the evidence is the sound of bombardiers outside.”
Laura: “We ARE GOING TO LIVE and see each other again.”
I typed: “Ruba, I love you veryyyyyyyyyyyyy much my dear, and in cha’ Allah (God willing) the war will be over and all the group will meet and everything will be fine.”
Ruba: “I had a dream, a horrible one, that I will die because of the bombing. The good news is that a friend of mine told me that when someone is about to die, they do not feel it. “
After a couple of minutes, me , Ruba and the other girls started talking about different things (most of them are not related to the war, which is not a normal thing in a situation like this, especially that while we were chatting the war still on and we could her the airplanes and read about the bad news.)
Right in the middle of the conversation , Ruba typed: “ I love life, I do not want to die.”
The conversation continued, and after a while everyone got busy with something.
At the same night, they were bombed !!! Three missiles fell on the house of her neighbors.
Four people died. Luckily , Ruba and her family are still alive. During the first two missiles, she and her brother hid under the stairs, while they were running out of the home , they saw the third missile falling. They spent the night in the street, not knowing where to go.
I spoke with her this morning, her vibrant loud voice was gone, and all what was left is a weak , almost dead voice.
“Where are you now?” , I asked.
“ We went back to our home, there is not other place to go. The problem is that we are the ONLY people in the whole street who went back.”
The funny things is that she said that the YOUNG ones are the most terrified because o f what happened. Ruba, 15 years old, considers herself an adult, not knowing that she is child who has the right to have a peaceful life and enjoy her right to discover who she is and to chase her dreams.
While writing this story, the number of people in Gaza who were killed so far is 121 , and the wounded is 924. When will this war stop ? Ruba was lucky this time, will she be lucky in the next few hours ? tonight ? tomorrow? Praying for Allah to keep us all safe and for this dreadful war to end.