Guest contribution by Deena Kishawi
Beaches of Gaza.
The sunset looks different than the one in Chicago.
Then the blue of the ocean.
But the stark contrast of the white sand against the colored sunset and horizon makes the beach seem beyond this world.
“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”
Soda cans, plastic bags, chicken bones.
But the sand is still white.
The sand has been through it all,
The struggle of those who walk across it, those who leave their footprints in it by the water’s edge.
The sand has heard the stories of those who’ve walked from village to evicted village.
The sand has absorbed the blood from Operation Cast Lead.
The sand witnessed the deaths of entire families.
The sand is a home to some —
It carries the weight of its people.
Yes, the white sand is scorching hot
With shards of glass and empty cola cans.
But that sand is our sand,
The sand of the struggle,
Of the Nakba,
Of Huda Al-Ghalya’s family,
Of the most beautiful beach on earth.
It is the sand of Palestinian land.
Deena Kishawi is a senior in high school who devotes her time to raising awareness about the occupation of Palestine and the use of Islamophobia as a strategy in mainstream media. Her family is from Gaza City.