By Mohammed Rabah Suliman
This isn’t my story. But it could have been, and it can be the story of any young Palestinian living in this small besieged part of the world. Only that it bears much more painful profundity being the story of that particular man who chose to be nicknamed “Awsaj”—the Arabic equivalent for Lycium which is “a thorny shrub bearing red berries, some kinds of which are used for hedging.”
Awsaj is my new friend whom I met only twice, the first meeting lasting for no more than a quarter of an hour at a mutual friend’s, and the second born out of my initiative to venture out southward to the far eastern areas of Khan Yunis near “the green line.” He is an intelligent human being. Young, enthusiastic, and bright. Awsaj embraces such a variety of contradictions which, though can be seen almost everywhere in Gaza, would make this man’s description but a figment of an eccentric writer’s imagination. To be painstakingly interested in perfumes, to hold a degree in IT, and to voraciously read such a fussy amalgam of Jubran Khalil Jibran, Edward Said, and Karl Marx, these are all signs of a human being with a specially sophisticated interest. However, to work, besides this, as a farmer absolutely adds up to your unparalleled elegance.