[Review] The Prisoners’ Diaries

As I’m writing this,  my blog still needs its soft touch.  And I haven’t been blogging for weeks because I thought I’d wait for my blog to be completely ready first.  But then,  I can’t stand it man.  I gotta write things down here.  I have to carve something on this space because so many things happened in October.

One is about getting a paid job as a Research Assistant (RA) to a lecturer in my Uni.  I must say, I’m still a novice in research so getting this job is hoped to improve my skills and knowledge about the industry that I’m looking at for my thesis.  And I hope I don’t give my boss so much headache since I’ve always been pretty slow at completing my tasks.

“Dr. X, I couldn’t find info on this and that.  This is what I got so far”

“Okay,  but hmm..  That’s not relevant”

What?? Someone please stab my chest! Worked hard for it and what I got in return was ‘not relevant’?

Hehe,  it’s okay.  This is part of the learning curve I suppose.  This is part and parcel of life and learning is life long! I always look forward to gain something new from this job. And speaking of which,  I’m so happy and glad to see where I am now.  Of course I ain’t a perfect mom.  I yell.  I scold my kids. I rant a (freaking) lot about my life.  But I’m also thankful that Allah grant some gratitude in me that He brought me to read The Prisoners’ Diaries this month.

My husband bought this book last year I reckon and I had already started reading it since then. But stopped reading it half way. Oh well  those days when I didn’t really have a target for my personal reading. So he suggested this book for my October reading and Alhamdulillah I’m so glad I listened to him.

This book is a compilation of stories from 22 Palestinian prisoners, among the 1027 who were freed in 2011, as the Zionist reciprocated to Hamas’ demand in order to release Gilad Shalit, a Zionist army. Their commentaries were translated into English, BM and a few other languages. Of all stories, those from female prisoners really caught my heart. One missed her daughter back home, one didn’t know anything about her children’s whereabouts, one missed her son in the jail and others are equally detrimental.

I was also touched with a story from a female (then) prisoner who went through horrendous imprisonment journey. She was placed in a cell with Israeli criminals who planned to kill her if she ever falls asleep, approached by a “faithful” man who tried to persuade her to betray her faith and nation, and checked by doctors just so they can call her psychologically impaired by asking questions like “what do you think of blood”. She knew she had to always be careful of her words and watch her steps vigilantly because the jail operators are always finding for ways to doom her.

Majority of those who were detained stayed in prison for 20 to 40 years, going through their bloom of youth in the gloomy jail walls. Some left behind their spouse and kids, their parents and siblings, while others waited for decades to marry their childhood sweetheart who were then their fiance/e. These journeys are worth to be read so we could at least learn to be content that we have our loved ones close to us. That we have the liberty to fly, or drive, or cruise to see them occasionally.

I can’t imagine being separated from my kids, spouse and the rest of my family members. None of us do and want to!. So y’all, despite the crazy weekend that you went through, despite the lunatic boss that you have to meet tomorrow, despite the insane workload at office, let us all take a moment, a one fine moment to thank God for His mercy in granting the little things that make our lives smooth.

The water and electricity supplies,

The food for dinner,

The healthy kids,

The sound car.

The fit you.

And all other little things that we often take for granted.

Because they matter. And so do you.

I know this exercise isn’t going to change you in split second.  But I believe that we need constant reminders to keep trying to be the better us.  And it’s the effort that God counts,  no?

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