responding to the request of Mr and Mrs. Angus Wright in France, i send this peice with love
I am a mother. I have 3 children, 2 girls and one boy. My son is Mohammed who is studying environmental sciences in the UK. My eldest daughter, Basma, is studying in Gaza, Alazhar University. She is married and living 700 meters away. My youngest daughter, Sondos, is 13. I am a physician by training and a community activist. I used to work with the Union of Health Work Committees, and now I’m the health development consultant for Al-Awda hospital (Jabalia refugee camp). I was one of the founders of this hospital in 1997, as well as community based programs that aim to improve health quality and link health services with cultural and recreation services, particularly in the most needy areas in Gaza.
I love Gaza, and would not replace it for any part of the world. It is my home and I have a cause to fight for here. We all struggle on different levels to achieve our national goals: freedom and an independent Palestinian state.
I was born and brought up in Khan Yunis town, southern Gaza Strip. I love the countryside, which has been largely destroyed over the years by the Israeli occupation. My late father’s citrus fruit grove was completely uprooted and destroyed, as well as our nice home, where my mother used to stay 6 months of the year. It was destroyed with many Palestinian farmers fertile agricultural land during the course of the Intifada. This land was a lifeline for many families, who had no alternative income.
Gaza became a big prison for its’ citizens, especially during the last 5 years. We have faced different episodes of violence, but this time is the worst, these atrocities have left one third of the population suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSS), as an outcome of going through traumatic experiences of home demolition, killing of family members, being at a site of shelling, assassination, and having the feeling of living in a big prison. The borders are closed most of the times which means we are not allowed in or out of our country, it has been closed completely for more than a month . And there is economic hardship, with high unemployment that reaches to 70%. Most people live under poverty levels in crowded towns, villages and refugee camps where the housing conditions are very limited and lack basic infrastructure.
When Israel launched its latest preplaned incursion into Gaza,under the pretense of the captured soldier release,on 28th of june ,the jet fighters destroyed Gaza’s main power plant. Since that date we don’t have regular electricity.we get 6- 8 hours of electricity each day, ; water is not available most of the time. We are subjected to artillery fire, gunboats and jet fighters shelling day and night. It is worse at night, and especially the sonic booming - when the airplanes break the sound barrier at high speeds and make great explosions. It makes me flinch in the daytime and jump out of my bed during the night. My heart rate goes fast and I hold on tight to my daughter. We need to pacify each other.
When it is dark children are afraid to stay on their own. Many children in Gaza suffer from nightmares and have become bedwetters.
Hospital services are severely affected. There are 22 hospitals in Gaza without electricity; they use alternative electrical generators. But these need fuel and we get fuel from Israel, and the borders are closed since the attack, so medical facilities are working under threat of lack of power and lack of medications. Many surgical operations had to be postponed; essentials drugs have been spoiled, due to lack of proper refrigeration.different sorts of medications are lacking in Gaza ,
Patients with chronic illnesses lack their regular medications. The bad health situation became worse due to the economic sanctions by the west since the election of our new government. Pre-mature babies on life support machines are under threat of death due to lack of reliable continuous power; so are many patients who needs regular renal dialysis.
Poverty and nutrition
Malnutrition amongst Palestinian children due to poverty and lack of proper balanced meals, affects 30% of the population. This will increase with the current lack of clean drinking water, and expected prevalence of diarrhea and other communicable diseases..
I live by the seaside, and since the start of the recent military operation against Gaza, I can see a deserted seaside. Families are afraid to take their children to the sea and children are afraid to go there as well after what happened with the Gallia family, when gunboats attacked a whole family, and killed most of its members by the seaside in the north of Gaza
. All the su or canceled, due to the emergency and dangerous circumstances. Families cannot afford the least expenses of transportation to the beach.
Children lacks recreation as well as safety.
160,000 employees have not received their salaries for 6 months when the economic sanctions were imposed on the Palestinians after the election election.
We live all the time in a state of fear of military assaults. I go to my work and kiss my daughter in the morning, not sure I shall see her in the afternoon. I am unable to plan any social event as simple as visiting friends or relatives.
While driving my car to work, and listening to the helicopters or drones in the sky, I cannot avoid thinking of danger, and telling myself, they might hit the car in front of me or the car behind me; I become restless, and panic until I reach my work. NO PLACE IS SAFE IN GAZA
During the incursion of north of Gaza
At Al-Awda Hospital in Jabalia camp I met with the medical staff who were exhausted after continuous emergency work during the incursion. Many injured arrived to the hospital and the staff worked round the clock. There were massive causalities. The 3 operating rooms were also working round the clock. The injured had serious injuries in the abdomen and chest. There were a good number of children in that attack who I visited while they were recovering in the hospital.
The staff’s main concerns were the electricity, fuel to run the generators, and vital medications for the operating room.
e small girls held my hand and said: look there, we were in the sun for a long period, next to the donkey place. It was hot, I was thirsty, my baby brother was crying, and I was terrified, I wet my pants.
I always think of the safety of the Israeli kids and civilians and I am totally against hurting civilians, but I do believe that the comparison of suffering is unfair, and not objective. I have an offer for Israel to send 1.5 million Israelis to live in Gaza, under these circumstances!!!!!!!
we both suffer, it is an outcome of injustice and occupation.