Reflections on 2014

Travel buddies, that’s who we are.

New beginnings, they don’t give much of a meaning. To me, albeit with scattered breaks of delight and moments of awe, life is one uninterrupted continuum of worried striving, endeavors trying to come together to make some sense; the wise will discover this early, early enough to not care too much or too little. As such, I have never been fond of recollections, personal reflection or stringent resolutions. December is just December, and a new year is just that.

However, I am going to give it a try this year. I’ll try to look back and say something. I plead with you to excuse what will probably appear to you as a hectic flow of semi-ideas; it is still an attempt, give it credit would ya?


I’ll begin with the most worrying.

My hair loss accelerated this year. I blame my paternal genes for that, but I also blame Gaza’s poor, salty water, the Einstein in me who wouldn’t stop thinking, and the Shampoo commercials for selling myths.

Hang on, it gets serious, I promise.

I discovered some great music. I can positively say that my music collection is the best you can find in the whole middle east. By the way I recommend you check my Justin Bieber folder. (Kidding!)

In 2014, I made my first money as an adult. It was not planned, and it was not much, but it was a first, and firsts are always worthy of appreciation.

And day by day, I made some friendships solid, friendships I am positive will last beyond borders or grey hairs, inshAllah; and for that, for them, I am grateful.

In 2014, I experienced extreme fear once, when an artillery shell whizzed over my head. It caught me off guard, when I was recovering from a stolen bout of sleep. As it exploded far away, I felt momentary relief. Seconds later, another one followed.

In 2014, I cried not a single time. It’s a burden I carried with me from 2013, and which I will carry on to my next year. Rage, frustration or longing; all are forms of energy. Laws of energy conservation state that it can be neither created nor destroyed. I have no problem with the first part. Going through my third and longest war in just six years, I was lucky enough not to get hurt; However, I suffered, everyone did. No, everyone DOES. It still goes on. And with every passing day, more energy is ramped up inside of me, inside of us. I wonder if it’s not destroyed, where does it go?

In 2014, I dodged few bullets. Few others hit me; some were even aimed at my chest, but hey! What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger – I guess!

I have company now more than ever, but I’ve never felt lonelier. Let’s just leave this orphaned idea here.

All the way through 2014 I stood tall; well, almost. But see, the thing is I don’t have much like for standing. If next year brings me someone who is clever, smart and cute enough to sweep me off my feet, she’ll be most welcome.

As I look back to 2014, I see a year in which we, collectively, stood against the ruthless, immoral Zionist war machine without a blink. I see my graduation, top of my class and with excellence. I see my close friends getting engaged and then married. I see myself happy for my friends who got engaged and married. I see my mother who is proud of me. She doesn’t say it much, but I know it. I see my father who sees in me more than I could ever see in myself.

As I look back to 2014, I see many blessings and hardships, but I now realize that with every hardship came an equal amount of ease, isn’t that the greatest blessing of all? Alhamdulillah.


5 thoughts on “Reflections on 2014

  1. buzz December 26, 2014 / 9:51 pm

    well written, dear Belal. so emotional, although u seem to calculate words and restrain urself. love it. u also don’t know yet, that all the horrors stay with u, but if u keep a positive attitude, and express urself, and meet friends- u’ll take them and create beautiful things from the torture and suffering. ur job as a person who choses to help others- will help u stay strong, evaluate each moment, look at things with philosophical/poetical view. so- be cool, keep up the good work. u came to be in a body on these times, for a reason- helping the planet to raise frequencies, awaken to greater consciousness… know that we r all 1, = love. and all these experiences have a meaning. u’ll make life better for urself and others. u’ll see. so- do whatever u want- u already won. u r here to stay and make a differenc. bless u for ur sensitivity, kindness, fragile heart, the great attitude of keeping up with the best u can do. this makes u stronger. hope all will change soon, siege be lifted, all rights given back to u, peace everywhere, great innovations and love will effect the planet. u and ur youth group, will do that. u have no other choice but to be great, to create, to live with love. and it will effect others around u.
    very proud of u . be cool. all the best to u and yours. have a pleasant time, and a better new year, soon.
    take care, will keep on following u on twitter. x

    • Theresa May 17, 2017 / 10:05 am

      This is just the pecerft answer for all of us

  2. Tasneem December 27, 2014 / 12:26 am

    Alhamdulillah. My brother Belal, I just want you to know that during 2014, poeple were praying in the midst of nights with teary eyes and honest hearts for all the people in Gaza, and for you Belal, I mention your name in my prayers. During the war, I was getting up in the morning, opening twitter to reassure myself that you are ok, and just then I could start my day. We feel your pain, I cry and cry bc I don’t know what I can do to help, and I keep praying.
    I am your sister, I am also a palestenian living in the occupied territories in 1948. I am also your age, and I”l be a doctor in the near future InshaAllah. I don’t know any Gazan in personal. Just thinking about our situation, one people divided to three different “people”, in Gaza, in the West bank and in the 48, it makes me feel sad and sort of home-less.
    I keep telling myself that it’s dar ibtilaa, we have to struggle to keep strong and patient, never to give up, wal3aqibato lilmottaqin.
    I wish you all happiness, peace, joy and success. you are a hero.

  3. Ghada Nasr December 27, 2014 / 1:43 am

    A wonderful year has gone,, and yet to come a better one, dr. Belal. Congrats on ur graduation with honor 🙂 Gongrats for launching the immense PALNARRATIVE website and mobile app. Congrats and thank God for surviving the 3rd brutal war on our beloved Gaza.
    And in 2015, I hope u find the peace of mind u’ve been looking for,, I doubt though; for the restless mind, soul and heart that we all know of someone like u 😉 Keep up the good work and enjoy ur new bonding.

  4. Anon Anon December 30, 2014 / 7:18 pm

    Praying that things get easier for you. Hope you find relief (and that someone special! Would you marry someone older? Or is it a big no-no in your culture?).

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