I couldn’t sleep last night. Memories of my home in gaza kept flooding my head. The sounds of bombs had captivated my soul, repeating over and over. I remember the mangos from our trees would fall like rain from the ground shaking. I remember the poisonous candy that would fall from the airplanes in the sky to tempt kids to eat it and die within seconds of it touching their tongue. I remember the perverted smiles of the security guards at the telaviv boarder patrol when they had to ‘pat’ down me and my sister, because ofc I might have a bomb in my underwear. I remember a girl begging the officers for her to leave Gaza to get proper medication in Egypt because she had leukemia and she only had a few months left to live. I remember the smiles of the little boys who played ‘doctor’ by saving their pretend dead friends while I walked to the masjid. I remember a Hamas soldier walking me home at Maghrib from the dukanna making sure no one bother me because the day before some men were throwing rocks at me. I remember seeing the fear in everyone, and yet their hearts held more love then anyone I had ever seen. I remember the beauty of their calloused hands as they told me how many bodies they had carried that day for janazaa. I remember children becoming so excited when they saw a cat because no one knew what pets were. I remember how fascinated the man at the dukanna was when I read him the ketchup label in English and he gave me four bottles for free. I remember driving down the streets that were named after the beauty of Jannah. I remember the ponds that turned into dirt. I remember the olive trees that were lit to flames. I remember the women who could build a house and take care of 15 family members. I remember 13 year old boys telling me how much they wanted to die shaheed. I remember throwing up every time I drank their tap water because my first world stomach couldn’t adapt to the poor water system that had no filter. I remember at jumma prayer the imam reminding us to pray for ‘less fortunate’ countries. I remember going to the graveyard was like going to a museum. The whole city was there. I remember Gaza. Not a dream, or a nightmare. I remember it’s reality.