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Palestinians slowly return to familiar routines in Gaza

Aug. 29, 2014 12:43 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 31, 2014 5:33 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are slowly returning to their normal routines as residents mark the first Friday without fighting for 51 days.

The familiar rituals of waking up early to go shopping, preparing for Friday prayers or heading to lunch with relatives all changed during Israel's military offensive, with public spaces, shopping centers, and even mosques, marked by death.

"Our lives are back again today, after we almost forgot days and dates. Even the Friday rituals that were missing from every house in Gaza are back again," local journalist Muhammad Farawneh told Ma'an.

"What really hurts is that thousands do not even have homes to return to, they will have to stay in a shelter hoping that one day they can go back to a house," he added.

All Palestinians in Gaza feel the pain of losing relatives, Farawneh said, but "patience and resistance will always be the symbol of Gazans."

Local activist Saber al-Zanin told Ma'an that worshipers are trying to access what is left of severally damaged mosques to pray.

"Unlike last Friday, today I would not hesitate to head to a mosque to pray as today no one is killed or injured," he said.

"The only common thing between today and last Friday is that Israeli drones are still flying in our skies," he said. "Psychologically, we still listen to the radio for news."

Another journalist, Ahmad Tuman, said that "despite the end of the war and the ceasefire, the psychological effects are still here. We still fear war, the tension and stress is still here but slowly decreasing."
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