Before Gaza was besieged and before the apartheid wall was erect, some family friends from southern Gaza came to visit us carrying the same family name. I cannot remember any longer if they were indeed family members or simply carried the same family Azaizeh name by coincidence. It was probably the latter. At any event that probability was enough to shake me when I watched on TV my own family name written on a covered body of a lady from the Azaizeh family. I do not know who she was, but it could be me. The camera moves to another shroud. The remains of Kinda and Malak Azazieh. I do not know who they were, perhaps my twin sister and I, sorry, the remains of my twin sister and I. Were we waiting for a similarity of names to be shaken? A similarity in how we die, or the meal we were having when we were bombed? Perhaps the imprint on the last pillow we slept on?

We 60 writers who have raised our voice today over this radio thon, we could be members of one family and we would die in one go, in one massacre, and one grave. Or perhaps die hours later under the rubble, alone, after screaming and our voices lost forever. “I am not afraid of dying, I am afraid of being forgotten under the rubble”, says my friend Ihab. Perhaps we have not been killed yet but we are waiting for our death. “When we hear the shelling, we look at each other silent last looks”, one young Gazan says. And if a vertical missile will not split our heads in Gaza, our silence will kill us in our adorned rooms, on our clean beds and notebooks ready for poetry. We will drown in our sweet water if we remain silent. Blindness produced by silence will kill us, could we claim to have seen if we remained silent? History will not believe us, history will recall those who have spoken. Darkness will kill us, and the only light staring at our truth is coming out now of Gaza. Thank you read my world, for bringing us for a few hours within the light, and add our voice to the millions of voices calling out against the darkness، hatred, and sadness. “my god is this sadness? And for many years I thought I knew it” says my friend the poet Husam Marrouf. May this be the last night.

May we all wake up to goodness. I wish it’s a good awakening.

– Asmaa Azaizeh