The Most Important Verb in Gaza

After a day of olive picking near the buffer zone, I ran home, took a shower, and got out my flashcards.  All attempts at studying on the field had failed.  My Arabic tutor informed me today that Wednesday would be day of the verb.  I already knew “to have,” “to want” and “to go,” and so we continued with the most important verbs, practicing present and past tense simultaneously: to take, to cook, to open, to close, to sleep, to hear, to wait ,  to make/do and then of course, came the most important verb.

“How do you say resist?” he asked.

“Um mookowama?” I answered.

“No, that is resistance.  Resist as a command is kowam.  But I don’t think we need to learn the past tense.” My tutor smiled, to make sure I understood what he was saying. I did.  “Okay, ‘I resist the occupation,” he commanded.

Ana bkowam al ahtilal,” I said.

“Great!” My teacher said. We went through all the different forms: you resist (feminine), you resist (masculine), she resists, he resists, we resist, they resist, you resist (plural).  “Okay, I was just joking about the past tense. Maybe someone they died while resisting.”  There was no escaping the past.

I thought of all the Palestinians that had shot and killed over the past few years while nonviolently protesting Israel’s confiscation of their land.  And then of course, there had been Rachel Corrie and Tom Hurndall. I must say, I look forward to the day when the present tense is no longer relevant.


4 thoughts on “The Most Important Verb in Gaza

    • The occupation of the sky , sea ,and borders .. it’s a big prison come and see by your eyes .. while i’m reply here i heard a huge bombing in Gaza .. i think that came more than enough to make you believe that we still under this occupation

  1. Duh! Andreas, go to the bottom of the class! They never left. The drones never left. Didn’t you read any newspapers? Didn’t you even read yesterday’s blog where the writer and a few kids get live rounds fired at them for walking along a road? Here are some other things that never left: The tanks. The F16’s. The ‘warning shots’. The incursions. The invasions. The bombings. The white phosphorus. The artillery shells. The bulldozers. The Hellcat Missiles. The Apache helicopters… The naval blockade. The land blockade. The closing of the borders. The economic sanctions. The embargo on medical supplies including MRI scanners. The consequent death of women from breast cancer. The malnourishment by sanction of a big proportion of Gaza’s children… If this were done to one million Jews – the US would be nuking the perpetrators back into the Stone Age.

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