By Nedaa Nedal Al-Abadlah
Beauty exists even in the darkest places and though I belong to Gaza, a very poor country – that still holds dreams among the rubble.
My husband, daughter and I, along with all the people of Gaza, may only enjoy six hours of electricity a day, sometimes less, other times more. And when we go for a walk, the scenery may be much less beautiful than in Ireland. Our surroundings are derelict buildings, destroyed in conflict.
But we must remember that beneath every damaged building there was a story of life, a dream and though those dreams vanished overnight, deep inside every broken stone there is a spark of life, a hope, a beauty, that burns still.
The beauty I talk about lies in the charm of simplicity. This quality does not only live in my country but in all the forgotten places, the third world, undeveloped nations, where there is no technology, where life seems hard in a magnificent way.
When I see pictures of those who suffer lack of food, security, healthcare, education, technology, and freedom to travel, as images surround me of those walking unpaved roads and the long broken waterways with a smile, a wave of strength, happiness even, jumps through my heart.
Despite the hardships we face in life, we cannot deny the existence of magic, an entity that sparkles like stars. Yet, sometimes the strength of darkness can make us blind and unaware of the beauty and pure truth around us.
I may feel a deep grief while writing this article – one that I deny and do not want to talk about. Yet, this sorrow has allowed me see some magnificence in photos captured of unknown children, taken in the unknown world and showed to us all as consumers of news.
A photographer or cameraman, who aims to show serious issues in the world, targets kids in particular to attract the eyes of the West – when nothing else will affect one glance of an innocent eye.
I am grateful for the person who taught me to have empathy for those who suffer because without empathy we are not human beings who love our brothers and sisters, no matter their status.
Life can be complicated but we can make it as positive as we can just by letting a dash of magic in to our hearts.
In one of the photos I was looking at recently, some children play with a ball. If you look clearer, you may notice that it is not a real ball but collection of rubbish mashed up in to a makeshift ball.
Despite the fact these children do not have a real toy, happiness seems to be their constant friend.
In the next picture, there is a class with walls of air and desks of knees. Yet, an atmosphere of joy and passion for learning occupies the place.
Those people who suffer in such places, know nothing about modern life, but they can create love, happiness, joy, and benefit from actually having nothing. In my mind, I tell myself, those are the real happy people.
The last photo on my mind, shows two girls seeming to play over some broken stones. The real story is that those two little girls play over, their beds, toys, books, rooms, food, and what was left of the wreckage of their own house in Palestine.
The dreadful fact is they play with a harsh reality over the lost dreams. In fact this photo is a part of a normal day in Palestine.
The kids who did not see any part of the world except this broken one believe in life and insist for it to be their future. They can create beauty from damage. They know nothing about despair and losing hope. They simply make a ladder of ambition to reach the sky.
Life is a picture and it is up to you how you draw it. If you see beauty, you will hold a cloud of happiness over your head and rain smiles every time you walk.
And when you keep frowning and complaining having nothing, you will always be in the same place.
One cannot have nothing. When God created us, he gave every single person on this planet a gift to distinguish him/her from other creatures.
So stand up for life and say I am lucky. Do not try to remember why, look around you and you will understand what I mean.