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Short Stories from Gaza

It’s extremely difficult to find a starting point when trying to write about martyrs. The death toll has now reached 2,016, including 433 children, 243 women, and 85 elderly. While the number of those injured is 10,193.

They have left thousands of stories to be told and incurable pain behind!


I’m Ibraheem Ismaeel Al-Ghoul. You can find me in the photo above.

I had a twin brother. We shared life for nine months inside our mum’s womb and only 10 days out of it.

I thought we’d also share our lives together; play, go to kindergarten, school and university together, and have the same friends. Be best friends forever!

My twin was killed before we could grow a little bit to see how the life outside looked like.

I lost my other half; Mohammed. My twin brother wasn’t my only loss. I also lost my father, my mother and my older brother Wael. I’m so sorry I will never have an opportunity to get to know them or my two lovely sisters Hanady and Asmaa, they were also killed!

My brothers and sisters were kept inside an ice cream freezer! You can see them in the photo on the right. There was no room for more corpses at the morgue! There’s no room for more pain too!

On Sunday, August 3, Al-Goul family lost 10 of their members! Ibraheem’s family and another five members of his uncle’s family!

I’m Ramy Rayan. I had a mum and a dad who loved me like no other parents on earth did. I was their only son! They gave me everything. I was their life!

I also had a lovely wife and four children. My eldest child was only eight years old when I was killed.

I was killed doing my job; I didn’t hold a gun, all I had was my camera.

They didn’t only steal my life; they stole the lives of a whole family!

I died only once, I wonder how many times my poor family will die every day they have to live without me.

They will never forget. They will never forgive.

I’m Momen Qraiqeh, a Palestinian photo journalist, 27 years old.

In 2008, I lost both my legs after an Israeli airplane bombed by place of work.

In 2014, the same enemy caused me to lose my house. I don’t know what I’ll lose next!

We all share the same pain. We all know and feel what loss means.

None of us can imagine how the rest of our lives, if it’s even right to call it a life, will be after this moment.

We lost the apple of our eyes. Our innocent, poor and pure babies were killed with no guilt.

They loved life, but weren’t given the chance to live. It was their simplest right… to live!

We had a house here.

We had a life. Memories. Joys and sorrows. All were completely buried under the wreckage. Everything was gone in the blink of an eye.

It takes a lot time, health and wealth to build a house.

It takes too long to create the tiny details to build it. To create a life in there, to make every solid piece beat.

Many stories are now meaningless outside the limits of this zone; many feelings won’t be felt again, many smells will be missed…

Nothing is left here but destruction, grief, and the endless smell of death.

This is my university.

I built my future here. I built my best friendships here. I had the best times ever. It was my gateway to the world.

In this building I took many pictures with my friends at our graduation ceremony. I loved it as much as I love my friends.

It was beautiful, wasn’t it? Does it seem a place where terrorism is practiced?

Yes, the most dangerous type of terrorism is practiced here… brain building. Here we learnt how to face the occupation with education and knowledge, to make the world aware of who they are and who we are. My words are my weapon!

Sarah Algherbawi is a Palestinian born in Saudi Arabia and now lives in the Gaza Strip. Finished a BSc in Business Administration from the Islamic University of Gaza, and now works as a project coordinator at a media organisation.

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