How do we attempt to lift the weight of a pain bigger than our own bodies? How do we atone for the guilt of being alive? In our smallness, in our insignificance, how do we offer ourselves to Gaza?
We do it by letting them fill our lives till our life is no longer our own. We do it by holding onto someone. By being led, guided through the abyss of our pain by an anchor of meaning, of light, of connection. We do it by making it personal. Making collective mourning personal. By reaching so far out until someone reaches back, and speaks to us, only us. And they become our Gaza. As Maisara AlRayyes did for me.
Maisara was a Chevening scholar, an alumnus of King’s College London, and a medical doctor in Gaza. His unspeakable tragedy is a compendium of Gaza’s tragedy. The annihilation of entire bloodlines and generations wiped out in a single stroke. A deliberate genocide leaving possible survivors buried alive under rubble, unrescued. A merciless holocaust sparing no one, no man, no woman, no child.
But death is a reality that barely touches him. At 28, surpassing death, immortalised in youth, in movement, in the brilliant fecundity of an entire future ahead of him, Maisara is the antithesis of dying. His world comes rushing in through social media accounts that are left behind, their doors wide open. Posts, photos, videos. Maisara lives and outlives himself. He invites me in, he takes me through his Gaza. The flesh, the colour, rising over the ash and rubble, growing his Eden back to life.
To Tell The Untold And Imagine The Unimagined