This was meant to be the best summer ever. I am going to high school next year, and my cousin from New York was to visit until then. I had gotten us both jobs as lifeguards, and my mother said we could finally get our ears pierced. I was promised an iPod for my birthday, and I could invite boys for the party. This was all until the first rocket hit our neighbor’s house.
I live in Haifa and nothing will ever be the same here. We spend twenty hours a day crammed in our bomb shelters because it is impossible to know where the bombs will land. It is a very strange feeling to be afraid of the sky. My friend’s uncle was killed two weeks ago and now she rarely speaks. She just stares at the door rocking back and forth. I am trying to be strong for my little brother, but my mother often breaks down in tears as the men argue the politics of the situation. We share the shelter with other families in our apartment building and every one has an opinion. The US is using Israel to do its dirty work, Hezbollah must be routed and killed because the Arabs are animals, we should never have left Lebanon. The talks go on for hours, until finally someone tells the to shut up and soother their children. They talk and talk, but it doesn’t seem like any of them have any answers. The stench of their cigarette smoke and bad breath make it hard to pass the time.
My birthday came and went, needless to say no presents, my cousin stayed in New York, and as for the lifeguard job, I never see the sun. I haven’t slept through the night since this started. I dream that I am walking down the street: everything is as it was before. I can smell the sea, and the trees are green and luscious. My brother is by my side and eating ice cream, when suddenly everything turns white, he drops my hand and when I open my eyes, we are standing near a hole made by falling the rockets. They hit everyone but us. We are left alone in a sea of caterers as the smoke rises. There are no sounds, there is nothing. The world is empty.
We hear on the radio that our government is doing all it can to stop the rockets from falling. They are dropping bombs on the people of Lebanon. It seems idiotic to me that you can stop people from firing rockets by dropping bombs, but I am just a girl what do I know. They are getting Israel’s revenge they say, but here in Haifa, we sit bomb shelters and wonder if there might not be a better way to bring about peace. I was excited to begin high school, now it doesn’t seem to matter. The summer drags on, as we wait, not really sure what it is we are waiting for.