Shujaya – A History of Mists
Long ago, too long even for anyone to remember, a people left their Island home and headed East.
We know of them only from the cities they left behind. Centers of cultural in then barren lands.
And each, the origin of yet another voyage. Bold, they must have been.
Rumors of the Assyrians and of the Achaemenid that would give birth to Cyrus directed them South.
Competition with the tribes in the hills kept them moving.
Always they sought fresh water. Rivers, because there are no wells at sea.
They came to the river at what would become Al Arish and there met Ramses.
Some took to sea one last time and passed completely over the Empire of the living God to found Carthage.
Some recoiled back to a remote Egyptian outpost named Al-Ajjul. There, where the water from the well of Sheeba crossed the oldest road in the world, they settled and became know by the Egyptians as the Azzati. Once settled, the people built their temple and worshiped God.
A demanding God, but one who had led them to this place of safety. Not so bad.
Later, the Hebrews would call the place Azzah, and the occupants Philistines.
Later still the Arabs would call it Gazza.
Gaza. The most blood soaked city in the history of the world. No other place has changed hands more, been invaded more times or with such brutality. An anvil on which the armies of: Egypt, Assyria, Persia, Arabia, Turkey, England and Israel would hammer stone to rubble and people to dust. Each invasion killing or displacing most of the resident population. All that remains are the stories buried in scripture. The rest, a history of mists.
But what became of the temple?
Shujaya – Burning Fox tails
A man came into the land and killed men for their clothing.
His incandescent rage drove him to kill thousands.
He tied torches to the tails of foxes and so burned the grain fields.
He was filled with lust and came into the city in search of conquest.
He was filled with a hatred so strong that, when captured, he brought down the temple at the cost of his own life. The scriptures tell true except for the recovery of the body.
Not so. Sampson lies there. Still, he dreams.
Shujaya – The trapped.
Just beyond the street of Gold Smiths East beyond the Grand Mosque is a small neighborhood that, until recently was the home of a particular people. In a land known for faith and hospitality, those from Shujaya were especially known for embodying these traits. An honest people. Straightforward if not subtle.
Then the bombs, missiles and tanks came. The shock waves from the blasts tore out the glass in every window. Houses came down burying their own families. The ambulances were targeted and their crews killed. Soon, there was no-one to hear the cries of the trapped. Streets filled with rubble so that those who made it away could not later find where their homes had been.
Shujaya – Gods of light and darkness
Now, the internationals will come. Missionaries of a dark God, they will preach cooperation and democratic process. But, the hand that rebuilds Shujaya also is the hand that rearms the monsters. No-one is fooled. Their righteous indignation is nothing but a cover for the exercise of absolute control. The gift of sustenance is given at the cost of self determination. A future is decreed that binds the children to suffer the same fate next time around.
In coffee shops the men will smoke their tomorrows and talk again of keys and returns and nod sagely when a wise one remarks that what goes up must surely one day come down. But he knows not where he stands. The direction to look, should we wish to end this sick theater, is below.
That which has been buried has risen up again and again crying out for peace and healing. But it has only ever known one voice so what is heard up above is an enraged call for destruction. No structure, no home, no temple will ever stand on this ground until that which cries out is exposed to the rains and winds and purified by God the embodiment of Compassion and of Light.