Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Imagine that one day you woke up to war. Everyone was running around trying to hide. Then within days your whole life changes..
The soldiers occupy your country. Suddenly the passport you hold is no longer valid. You lose your identity and nationality.  The soldiers force you and others to take down any flag that was hanging high. Then they make you burn your flag. The flag that you honor and respect lies on the ground in flames.  Those who refuse to burn the flag are arrested or beaten.  

As you sit in your home one night thinking sadly about this, you hear a loud knock at the door. Soldiers come in and force you to leave your home. The home you have lived in all your life. The home your parents lived in, and your grandparents before them. You are only able to grab a few personal belongings on the way out, but those mean nothing when all the memories, laughs and good times you spent in that home are gone.

You leave, not knowing where to go taking your little children with you. With the help of the UN, you obtain a tent that you could use to live in with your family. The UN later helps you build a small home and you feel that you can start your life again.  You take your children to see your old home (which now has others living in it) and with tears in your eyes you promise your children that one day they will be able to go back to the home of your parents and grandparents. You share your precious memories with them about that place and hope they will remember...

Years later the soldiers build walls around and in your city and tell you that you are not allowed to leave.  The wall they built was a 20-foot concrete wall which makes it hard for you to travel in your city and prevents you from leaving the city. Because your city is now surrounded, supplies don't come in. Hospitals in your city have little supplies, there is a lack of fresh water, and a shortage of gas and electricity. Life becomes very challenging. You lose your job and so you find it hard to provide for your children. The oldest child you have, who is 13, wants to go begging on the street to find food.  You tell him that things will get better...there is hope.

A few days later you hear shooting close to your home. People running and shouting and you smell tear gas in the air. Suddenly you hear cries, "Oh no, he's dead".  You run to the sound of the cries and you notice a body on the ground. As you approach you start to recognize the clothes, then the face...it is your eldest son, Isaac. You rub your eyes in disbelief thinking this all must be a bad dream. It isn't! Isaac is there lying in his blood, lifeless.  Suddenly you hear the planes in the sky, the soldiers are starting to bomb your city.  "We have to go", your friend says. "But, my son..." you start to say...Even before you finish your friend drags you away as a missile fired from the air hits the area you were at. 

With a heavy heart and with eyes full of tears you walk home to this small brick home the UN has built for you. How will you face your children, what will you tell them? You approach and gaze into your small street shocked at the destruction the bombing and shelling has caused. Your little home lies in rebels. You run towards it, still hoping that this is all a bad dream. Your brother meets you, hugs you, then tells you that your family is in the hospital. Your 8 month daughter, Sara, did not make it, but the rest of the family is ok.

How do you put your life together now with two of your children gone? How do you rebuild your home without any money? How do you even begin to comfort the rest of your family? So many questions come to your mind...One especially: "Why does the rest of the world call me a terrorist after all I have been through?" 

You begin to think: "Why am I so cursed?" and "What can I do now?" 

Well, you have a few choices:
(a) Demonstrate and throw rocks at the soldiers.
(b) Find weapons (any weapons) and use them against the soldiers.
(c) Kill yourself.
(d) Do nothing.

What would you do if this happened to you?

This is the story of many Palestinian families...Many of which still live it every day...Those in Gaza still lose loved ones every day as the bombing of Gaza continues.

If you are NOT Palestinian, I would like to ask you, "What would you do to stop this?" If you are American, I would ask, "Are you OK with the fact that your government is funding the whole attack on Palestinians and supporting what Israel is doing?"
This is not OK under any circumstances. Every human being has the right to live in peace and safety in their own home. Please let the world know what is going on in my home country of Palestine.


  1. Your voice is so important. Thank you for bearing witness--and for keeping your faith and your humanity in the face of the unspeakable. If it helps at all, there are increasing numbers of voices in the US absolutely horrified at what is happening. Here's one reporter from last month, and I found him when another reporter quoted him: http://www.vox.com/2014/6/17/5816022/three-kidnapped-teens-explain-israel-palestine-conflict And that's just one.

  2. As a Palestinian, what is your view of hamas?As an outsider, I think the general consensus is that if hamas can be demolished, the palestinians and Israelis can live in peace. How possible is it to have a palastinian goverment without Hamas? Why isn't there the same problem in the west bank?

  3. Hi Samar,

    I blog for The Exponent (www.the-exponent.com) and we're running a series on International Voices in the coming months. I would absolutely love it if you would contribute a post about being a Palestinian Mormon woman. Please feel free to contact me - I'd love to chat with you some more. thebookofarmamentsATgmail(dot)com

  4. Thank you Sarah Gumsiyeh for sharing your thoughts and experience from Palestine! I'm a Finnish journalist and have visited Israel/ Palestine for few times. I find - and I believe much of the whole world finds Israel's horrific actions agains Palestinian people a war crime, which must end. The apartheid must go. There can not be this kind of racist "Jews only" state no more. I also find US media coverage very disturbing, as much of it is one sided propaganda, which serves their own political agenda. :/ If there is anything I can do - other than not buying Israeli products, please let me know! Hugs and much love to you and your family!