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Gaza: "I don’t want to live through this again"

Occupied Palestinian Territories

After eight days of bombings, a ceasefire took hold in Gaza at 2am on Friday night. Amal, one of HI's local staff team in Gaza, shares her hopes and experiences for the days to come.

Two members of HI's emergency mobile team walk down a dirt road after conflict in Gaza in 2018.

Two members of HI's emergency mobile team walk down a dirt road after conflict in Gaza in 2018. | © Hardy Skills/HI

What is happening in Gaza right now?

"A ceasefire was declared at 2am last night [Friday 21st May]. Since then, everybody is trying to understand what’s happening. There is no bombing and no more fear. People went to the streets to celebrate the end of the bombing. Everyone in Gaza is just trying to understand what happened and what to expect in the upcoming days."

Have you been able to go outside since the ceasefire?

Amal portrait, Gaza"I’m not sure I am ready to see what’s happening outside yet. My brother went out and he said there are a lot of damages to the streets and the nearby houses. I’m not sure I can do that yet. I’m just not ready. This is not the first experience for us, and I know the feeling when you go outside, see the damage, and remember the people who were alive just a week ago. My spirit it not ready yet to see all this damage and loss."

"Many who needed to evacuate their houses are going back to see the damages in hopes of returning. We had to evacuate our house. My cousins lost their apartments, my sister and her husband too."

"When you have to leave your house, and decide what are the most important things to take with you, knowing that this is maybe the last time that you see your room, your things, your street, this is a horrible experience. I feel exactly like everyone who had to experience this."

Now that the bombing has ended, what are the current needs for people?

"We have to start over from scratch, starting by rebuilding our spirits through psychological support. I have three nieces. The older one is 11 years old, and last night she jumped from her bed and ran around the house during her sleep. The other one is 9 years old, and she is talking in her sleep about the bombing."

"The entire community are victims now. People are injured and need to lead new lives with their injuries. We may have finished the war with death, but now we have our war with life after this."

"All of us are tired and need support, but this feeling will help us to provide more support to people in more need in our community. This will give us strength to continue to support them."

Can you explain the work you do with HI and its contributions to the current needs?

"I work as an information management officer. I started this job the beginning of this year. Before this, I was working in the inclusive education project. I deal with numbers and data, so through my job I can show the impact of this violence on our beneficiaries. By producing numbers and fact sheets and so on, I can present what happened and what the people need. Through my job, I can represent what the needs are and how we can help our beneficiaries."

What are you expecting in the coming days?

"I feel more hopeful this time. I feel some solidarity from people around the world.
I hope that this ceasefire will stay, but it isn’t so clear what is going to happen. So, I hope that this will stay and that we’ll never have to this experience again."

"I have lived through 4 official wars and more conflicts than I can count. I don’t want to live through this again.

"I’m very hopeful that this will work out and we’ll find a way to live our lives and support people in need without having to think about this kind of devastation anymore."

Date published: 24/05/21


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