Call me predjudiced...call me biased to the Gazan creataivity genes if you will. You can also let out the secret of my devout conviction of the "mountain vs plain theory"....I have always thought that people of the plains have the ability of producing original ideas,they are more at home with creating, its like the open space allows them to do so..In mountainous areas there is always the problem of "echo". Mountains echo what has already been said, but in a different sound . So an an echo echoes an echo , which echoes "that" echo creating a totally fresh ...."echo".....which could be a totally different outcome of the first ....well , still a creative outcome but in a different sence.
Ever since the Israeli military "closure" , after Hamas took over ,Gazans have surprised us again and again with alternatives to just about anything .Alternatives which a normal mind under normal conditions could not possibly produce.It is the supreme kind of creativity that comes at the spur of a moment ,out of no givens, no accumulation on past creations...,creativity from scratch if you like.
After the "Tunnels" ,(actually ,"the veins of life"), then using Falafel* frying oil as car fuel when none was allowed in ,then organizing an "Animal Parade where animals wore banners arould their necks and tails condemning the "Closure .Being asked for an explaination ,the organisers reasoned that the international society would care less for Gazan suffering but would definitely sympathise with animals.Just as they have expected, the parade intensly caught the eyes of the international media , and letters of support flocked through emails , mobiles and throughout chatrooms.The parade was a success !Then there was also the establishing of an art gallery.Object d'Art were made from ruins caused by the Israeli bombardment of Gaza : ruined walls, ruined factories,shattered glass and finally...."dead" trees.
Gazan families have been dispersed by the closure...in a most cruel way!Students studying abroad prefere to stay in their study-countries .It is only wise to stay away from home maybe for years ,in which time a parent might die, and of course they will not be able to attend their funerals, it is only wise not to. If you are permitted into Gaza...it might be a trap.... because it is most likely that you will never be able to leave...when you chose to , or better still ...when you urgently need to!
But life still goes on there in a most normal way, well ....as normal as people there still allow the word to mean .People still get married, organise weddings in the best possible way.Brides still spend long hours at the hairdresser's ,and big money on white gowns, jewelry, flowers, dinners ,and trousseaus.Well my own cousin in Gaza just got married two days ago.And guess what, I -living in the Wet Bank-, attended the wedding too.And no...i did not beg for a permit, and it did not cost me the usual 600NIS ($150) taxi fare, actualy i did not pay a nickel.
I too , like many other Gazans, once had a big family...actually it was something like a tribe...in it's most positive sense.That was some time ago, before our elders passed away,and some of our houses were bombarded,and a lot of orange groves were burned down to ground level.Most of our middle and younger generation left in search of education, more sustainable living resources, or even better work opportunities abroad or even in as close a place as Ramallah....the glamorous capitol of Palestinian ecconomy.Now a few members of that tribe still reside in Gaza by their choice.They were all invited to attend the wedding. And of course we, ,those not living in Gaza , were not the least forgotten.
So.... a tribe has to do what a tribe has to do for maintining its bonds.Every individual counts,sharing the joy, congratulating,gossiping,and seeing people you hav'nt seen for ages .That was was not to be missed.Well our Bride ,on the day prior to her wedding, was not indulging in a normal bride's beauty routine.She was on the phone providing every relative and friend outside Gaza with a link, a username and a password,and inviting all to a live broadcast of the wedding.We watched everything with a kind of a joyous pain,even the traditional car tour of the couple throughout the much missed streets of Gaza . We nostalgically listened to the deafening sounds of the traditional Gazan Zaffah* and enjoyed the typical Awee* and Zaghareet*.We also saw relatives and friends we miss so much . On a side box of our screens , we the internet invitees,could also gossip and comment about dresses, admiring our adorable wedding couple and expressing our longing and yearning.
Well our defeat may be partial , logistically speaking . But our souls, obviously are souls of concquerers , and our hearts are those of dreamers .We wake up , reach for our pappers and pen, to quickly jot down that dream. Then on a beautiful sunny mediterranean morning, we start planning...or plotting...or conspiring, to make that dream happen.Well there was a wedding afterall , and it was cyber-attended by whoever wanted to from the "Tribe", no heartaches no resent and no feelings of being excluded or forgotten.. In fact the wedding doccuments a renaissance of a type of resistance: which i would call "creative resistence", but of course always giving credit of its revival .......to the great great people of Gaza!
*Gazan Zaffah:is a wedding ritual,men wearing traditional gazan outfits use drums and kinds of flute singing old wedding songs about the bride, bridegroom and their families.They accompany the Bridal couple from the moment they leave their car ,dancing infront of them untill the entrance of the wedding hall and then untill they are seated.
*Aawee: is a high pitched sound Aaaaaweeee! sung by the ladies at the wedding.Each Awee is followede by a loudly spoken sentence.This is repeated 5 or 3 times followed by collective Zaghrootah(plural form of Zaghareet.
*Zaghareet:is a sound much resembling the sound made by the red indians dancing around the fire.