In my room, meanwhile, I was engaged in my life-time struggle against the unforgiving oppression I had always failed to familiarize myself with. I was being normally punished for a misdemeanor I have never committed in the first place.
It seemed then all the suffering in the world combined into one I was bound to endure. I was the center of the world’s unfortunate beings. The Wretched of the Earth. I was a starving child in Somalia, a Syrian demonstrator shot in the neck in the streets of Hama, a pregnant mother dying at a checkpoint in Palestine, a besieged Palestinian schoolboy in Gaza helplessly sinking into the depths of despair. “But I can’t be that selfish,” I would think, “here is a guiltless Anne Frank in a wardrobe hiding from her imminent death at the hands of a Nazi officer. And she wouldn’t complain!”
But while Anne hid in her wardrobe, and Iona* confided in his mare. I had neither a wardrobe nor a mare. Darkness is the only place where one can hide from the dark. I had nowhere to hide, and I had no one “to whom I can tell my grief.””
Muhammed Suliman, Reading “Anne Frank” in Gaza. Muhammed is a 21 year old Palestinan student and blogger from Gaza. You can read more pieces by him at his blog, Gaza Diaries of Peace and War
*Iona Potapov is the protagonist of Anton Chekhov’s famous short story, “To Whom Shall I Tell My Grief”. He is a cabdriver whose son recently dies and looks for a companion to console him but is always ignored. He ends up telling his grief to his mare.