15 May 2008 – As the days go by and my posting in Hebron reaches the end, images are passing through my mind. The images of children we played football together after a night of fear and nightmares, the images of mothers crying for their sons spending their best years in jail, of young men smoking nervously as they describe their suffering in prison. Images of the conditions of the houses - some very poor, with just some mattresses on the floor and all the family sleeping in a single room. Some more luxurious, but with the same feeling of desperation and sadness. And some others, becoming just a bunch of cement ruins.
One of the most powerful moments that deeply touched me was a teenager's girl wish to conduct the session on the ruins of what used to be her house a few days ago. We tried to find a safe "seat" on the cement, she showed me where her room used to be, the living room, the kitchen. She was looking at the ruins as if her room was still standing there, I could almost see the house in her eyes...
Through my assignments with MSF, I had the opportunity to conduct sessions under a tree, into a house half destroyed by earthquake, into a public toilet, into brothels, under a tent, in the middle of a street. But this case here in Palestine, listening to a girl on the ruins of her house, under the hot sun, with the wind blowing telling me how much her life has changed and how much exposed she feels, has really left me amazed. Amazed by her courage, by her honesty, by her braveness.
I don't know who has affected the life of the other more, me or my patients. For sure, I feel grateful to them for all the painful sharing, all the willingness to work together and try to make the best out of a pretty cruel, out of control and reason situation that affects their life everyday.
Top image shows Randa, a 23 year old Palestinian woman whose house was destroyed. She was detained. This is what was left of her house. Hebron, West Bank