Tuesday August 19, 2014

Video: IR staff member sharing her experience in Gaza

“I am Bodour, and I am 25 years old. I work at Islamic Relief. Lots of people my age in other countries have travelled at least three times. However, in Gaza, this is the third war we have lived through.

When the shelling started, I was at work writing the success story of Hadeel. I did not know then that I would not be able to complete the story of hope, and start writing instead about displaced people who suffered from destruction and shelling. There is shelling and bombing everywhere. It always leaves injuries and houses destroyed over the heads of its owners.

Hospitals receive huge numbers of injured people at the same time and so suffer a shortage of medical supplies. Islamic Relief participated in bridging the gap by providing hospitals with medicine, medical disposables, food and cloth for surgeries.

In the hospital I met Fatima who was playing at her house yard.  Suddenly, their neighbour’s house was bombed and the fence fell over her. She was injured and she sustained injuries all over her body.  She was pulled from under the rubble. Since then, she has not spoken to anyone. She fears the huge sounds of explosions.

Aya and Ibrahim, whom I met before Eid when we were distributing Eid clothes through Islamic Relief, were among thousands of people who have been displaced. Aya used to watch children playing, but she did not play because she was afraid of making her clothes dirty. However, here in the school there is nowhere for mothers to wash any dirty clothes. Ibrahim was very sad because their house was destroyed in Al Shejae’ea neighbourhood.  He lost all his clothes, his toys and his books. Even the pigeons he was raising were hit and they all died. Ibrahim awaits the war to end so he can raise pigeons again.

We reached Al Shejae’ea Neighbourhood to see the destruction and understand the families’ needs. At first glance, I thought an earthquake had hit the place because of the scale of destruction. Every house was damaged and there were mountains of rubble. I stepped out of the car. I tried to hold my breath because the smell of death was everywhere. I moved slowly. I was afraid I was going to step on the remains of missiles and shrapnel. I was afraid to step over the dead bodies that were found days buried under the rubble.

Lots of people came to their house to take some of their belongings. All they found was a pile of rubble. They went back in sorrow and pain. This is Ahmed, Israa’ and Deyaa’. They could take some of their belongings. Ahmed and his family left their house when the bombing intensified. He told me: “We escaped death when we were leaving. They threw a missile at us. I saw our neighbor passing away, and I had injured my hand.”

Mousa lives in this house. He was one of the orphans sponsored by Islamic Relief. Everything in his house is destroyed. All the walls have collapsed because of the bombs. Ibraheem’s mother was barely able to talk. She was standing over the rubble of her house, in shock. She evacuated when it was dangerous. It used to be a three-story building. Now, it is at ground level.

After this destruction, there is no house suitable for living in, all over the neighborhood. Lots of people evacuated to schools. Islamic Relief has secured some food,  water, and hygiene kits for those in the schools. The number of displaced people increases every day, and their needs increase too.

 

In this war, everyday there are people with deeper wounds. Other people are injured again. No matter whether you were old or young, man or woman. Land, trees, birds and animals – this war hurt everything.”

Watch the video here:

 

 

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