I posted a query on a Facebook page frequented by Pro-Palestinians, where they express concerns about the situation in Palestine. My question was: “How was your New Year’s atmosphere, and did it differ from previous years?“
Many responded, sharing their perspectives.
It emerged that nearly all group members experienced a distinct New Year’s celebration. The common sentiment was a lack of celebratory spirit due to ongoing tragedies. Many spent the time reflecting and praying for Palestine’s affected and lost souls. This was a very special new year’s eve for a lot of people. A time where families might have been divided, as to someone saying that how can one celebration make a difference and better the situation in Palestine? But the thing is that it’s not about making any situation better or worse. It’s about how you as a human being feel about other’s in misery. Would you be firing rockets if your own father or child had been killed by one? Would there really be a reason for you to send “Happy new year” messages to people on your list?
Several respondents noted the fireworks’ resemblance to the bombings in Gaza, dampening their desire to participate in celebrations. One person recounted how the loud fireworks prompted her eldest to close the windows, reminding her of the children in Gaza who cannot escape such sounds in their homes.
It’s apparent that those with deep empathy for others processed the Gaza events in various ways this New Year. While some allowed their children the joy they deserve, unaware of the world’s harsh realities, their own thoughts were with Gaza.
In summary, the vivid scenes from Gaza and Palestine deeply affect empathetic individuals, making it difficult to partake in festivities while others suffer.
Imagine being a parent who has to carry their children in ways they never imagined, rather than in their loving arms. This thought alone explains why many of us found it hard to enjoy the day.