Nine paintings drawn by a Palestinian artist who emerged 12 hours after the wreckage of her home destroyed by Israeli occupation missiles tell the story of the tragedy that the Gaza Strip lived and still experiences as a result of the ongoing Israeli aggression .
A year after surviving the Israeli bombing, plastic artist Zainab Shukri Al-Qoulaq (22 years old), majoring in English, learned of the besieged Gaza Strip, of the difficult times and human tragedy facing the Gaza Strip. strip went through, translated. Palestinian civilians have been subjected to horrific massacres by the occupation army.
Al-Qalaq, whose home was demolished above the head of her family, lost 22 members of her family, including her mother and three of her brothers, in one of the raids by the occupation army during his aggression on the Gaza Strip. May 2021.
Also read: An artist in Gaza emerged from the rubble to document the massacres of the occupation (witness)
The story of the Israeli massacre against the “Al-Qolaq” family, which took place on May 16, 2021, which is a brief summary of what happened to many Palestinian families in the Gaza Strip, embodied by the Palestinian artist in 9 paintings, which tell some of the deep pain they inhabit, and the beautiful memories she buried. The missiles of the occupation, to show the world some of the crimes of the occupation army against the Palestinian people.
These paintings were organized last week in an art exhibition in Gaza, under the auspices of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor and the United Nations Women in Palestine, under the title: “I am 22 years old and I have lost 22 people.”
The Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip began on May 10, 2021, and the violent Israeli bombing caused the destruction of hundreds of houses, towers, apartments, highways, public places, water networks, communications and the Internet, in addition to the destruction of many different government institutions, and the displacement of thousands of their homes, leaving behind hundreds of missiles, missiles and unexploded ordnance.
The aggression, which lasted for 11 days, resulted in the occupying army committing 19 massacres against 19 Palestinian families, the most horrific of which happened to the “Al-Qolaq” family, who killed the occupying army, of whom 22 Palestine was. .
The number of martyrs of the aggression reached 254 martyrs, including 66 children, 39 women and 17 elderly people, and the wounded were more than 1948, with several injuries, according to a statistic that “Arabi 21” of the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
These are the paintings with the texts of her story as written by the artist Al-Qulaq:
Mama Amal, my sister Hana, my brother Ahmed, my older brother Taher, my grandfather Amin, my grandmother Saadia, and my aunt Baha. Zaid and Adam and their mother beg, and their father Ezzat. The wife of my uncle Khitam, my uncle Fawaz, his son Abdel Hamid, his other son Sameh and his wife Ayat, and their child Qusai and my cousin Reham in the middle. Hala, Roli, Yara and their father, Muhammad.
I imagined them one by one inside those coffins, while I had already drawn one of them, and said goodbye to the family member I had represented in them. Twenty-two corpses, twenty-two souls departing overnight. Those coats are not at all the same as you can see, every garment contains a relative of mine.
Screams, panic, crying and the sounds of destroyed missiles. Children and women were the most frightened people. They did not realize what was happening. It’s the voice of my mother, my sister’s hand, the appearance of my two brothers, the shape of the wall in front of me that cracks, this earth that we swallowed, the building that collapsed above us, then the roofs that we divided back and the stones that wounded our bodies, the ashes we breathe and our drooping bodies, the pitch black and the blood that flows, the lack of air, the smell of rubbish and the filth that we swallow, the damn stones that separated me from my people who were by my side, my screams and the struggles of my thoughts and the screams and the struggles of my thoughts and my screams and screams until my voice disappeared until it was completely gone.
This is what reminds me of one o’clock in the middle of the night, when the Israeli warplanes bombed my house in which I live, when I lost twenty-two members of my family, while also struggling with death.
12 months are over and I’m terrified of their number, a year is over! .. The passing of days and the sun every morning excites me, I’m still waiting to open my eyes as always, my mother’s smile and her excessive interest in me as a child. Longing for a hug from Hana. I always stayed up late with Ahmed to ease the burden of my days with his laughter, his laughter still echoing in my ears to the extent that made me turn around and look for him. I miss one cup of coffee with Taher to open up and go through a thousand stories we did not finish any of them but we finally laughed, he was not an ordinary brother, I have my older brother and my best friend lost. I can not pay attention for a moment without a reminder of one or all of them that struck me, my soul perished of longing. The pain of loss expands, increases with time, does not calm down, does not calm down and does not remain still.
I am nothing but cracks that get bigger and scars that do not heal.
I never thought the earth would constrict me and the cemetery would remain the only place I could tell my family that I finally graduated, night while I studied. I have not yet told my sister Hana how much I forgot her prayers and conversations when I was afraid of the exam .. I did not think how our dreams, which we had long hoped for, would turn into a terrible nightmare , those years of school would end when I became a corpse wearing a graduation ceremony.
My memories and my efforts fail me.When I wanted to bridge the rift in my soul, I discovered that it was getting bigger. You do not know what it means to embrace your sister or brother to reassure him while your heart is trembling! To tell him not to be afraid and you are scared!
To turn to you to make them laugh or tell them a story like they used to, while you look at them and wish you would tell them so that I, one of you, would tell me a story that will make me forget what’s going on around me. They may have removed the debris above me, but who will remove it from within me!
Just a year ago, everyone was around me. That was the last time they got together, I have photos and videos documenting the laughter of that day. I have photos of which no one but me is left, we are melting from loss, and the night has come to haunt us, just as his tragedies began to engulf us.
Perhaps the dilemma of my family is that tenderness floods them, their little ones remain children even though they grow up, nurture us with love and water us with attention, being a child of this family means you will have love harvest from grandparents to fathers to children, that your heart is attached to all, the details of our days were not empty who are they. On a day like this, I would get a kiss from my mom before I fell asleep, and a hug from my sister when I woke up, a long love letter from my older brother warmed my heart and a humming and laughing from my younger brother, I will get a warm hug from my grandmother and kisses from my grandfather and I walk and their prayers keep me, and words of flirting come Ali from my aunt, and a prayer that accompanies me of my uncle’s wife, my mother will tell me again the details of my birth, her eyes shining and love overflowing .. I am afraid to hang clothes, cry her absent souls.
A palette of colors mixed with tears, the hardest thing my hand has ever done.
Dear civil defense man, thank you for noticing that I moved the tip of my foot in a weakened body, his head stuck between large stones, his voice is not heard, and he thought it was a corpse. Thank you for being able to spot me in the last seconds after the bulldozer was next to me with its teeth stuck near me, until I was shaking from its heat, completely unable to transmit the sound that was trapped inside me. Thank you for shouting that I am not a dead body, and that they are finding another way to get me out!
Thanks to the civil defense man who insisted on rescuing my father despite the difficult situation and the primitiveness of the tools, the one who almost suffocated in exchange for delivering oxygen to my father. Thank you to all civil men, women and men; Those who pulled me and my family out from under that rubble, despite the difficult situation and the impossibility of survival, and despite the planes still bombing above them. It is very ridiculous to say thank you in situations like this, nothing comes right to you or appreciates your efforts.
Twelve hours with all their details, I revisited her memories for a second while I was drawing the painting, I even heard the voice of the paramedic trying to find my place under the rubble, I felt like I was again suffocated, I turned around looking for the source of the smell of ash and dirt that controlled me, I even looked at the ground And I imagined her falling, I grabbed my phone, clung to it and the same paramedic’s number laid down in front of me, in case of any emergency!
I remember the last thing I said to him before my phone’s battery was flat, I hear again the sound of my phone falling from my hand and hitting the rubble. In deep darkness, in great pain, in deep wounds, he saw me lose my voice, search for air, swallow dirt and try, and try to this day.