Chaya Lester

Visualize Surrender

AI image generated by Chaya Lester

Today I am Visualizing Mass Surrender….

Call me naive.
I’d agree.

And yet what if the collective consciousness of Hamas could move towards surrender? I’m imagining thousands turning on their leaders and revealing the locations of the hostages.

I imagine a Gazan man in his mid-twenties with a kalashnikov is in love. Her name is Nour and they come from the same village. She is kind and industrious and makes kebab halabi to die for. He is ready to settle down, he reasons, as he chews a single stale pita in a damp tunnel.

It’s mid-December already and the tunnel is cold enough – and the pummel is hot enough – to make anyone second guess the increasingly suspicious propaganda of their superiors. He wants a warm bed more than an ayah of Quran.

And somehow there is a sprig of vision that grows in that tunnel. The slightest stirring in his chest. For life on the surface. The promise of family nudges upward; a fresh green tint lifts from the dim dirt. Maybe the word ‘surrender’ is not a bad word after all. Is it not the name of Islam, after all? Is it not a guiding principle of the ancestors?

He eyes a dirty white bedsheet crumbled in the corner and the stirring strengthens. He has to push back so many feelings. Impossible to bear feelings. The shame of betrayal of his beloved Hamas. The shame of the violence he has committed as Hamas. The shame of the violence committed upon him by Hamas. The shame comes in wreaking waves. But so does the scent of Nour and the promise of children. He catches his breath and breathes through the shame. He clutches the bedsheet. He holds on to it for dear life. For Nour. For possibility. For surface and sunlight.

He does this every night until the time he decides to crawl out; to push through the dirt. Like that delicate stem.

That kid. With that green sprig.
With that white flag.
Yearning for Nour.
~ I am rooting for him.

I am rooting for mass surrender.


About the Author
Psychotherapist, inspirational speaker, wordsmith, performance artist & Co-Director of Jerusalem's Shalev Center. Chaya lives in the heart of Jerusalem with her husband R'Hillel & their 4 energetic children. Read more pieces like this in real-life book form:
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