Life in Gaza

My name is Eman.

I am 18, a first year student at university where I study
physical therapy.  I have lived my whole life in Gaza. My
dream is to one day study in the United States. My dream, also, is simply to survive.

I want to share with you something I wrote during the last few weeks when we were being bombarded from above by bombs, drones and fighter jets that were largely paid for by the United States. And, I want to ask for your help.

In Gaza, there is no place to flee. Every one of us is waiting for his/her destiny. In other words, every single minute you have the feeling that you could be the next victim in Gaza. Israel is using an insane amount of force and power against us. They are using the entire might of their Air Force, including F16s and drones, against us. Very close to our house, there were at least 8 air strikes.

Every airstrike shakes our doors, windows causing a great panic for us and particularly for our children. Over the past three nights, our best wish is to have a proper few hours of sleep. My father went to the market to buy us food, we were very scared to let him go since Israeli drones could have targeted him. We are cooped up in one room, with limited access to communication due to intentional, regular electricity blackouts.

The nighttime is very scary for us, because that is when Israel intensifies its airstrikes all cross the Gaza strip. No matter where you are in the Gaza Strip, one can easily hear the massive loud explosions and can only imagine the horror that is happening to family and friends caught in the cross-fire. We listen to local
radio stations broadcasting from Gaza.

Every single minute, there are reports of deaths, injuries, and immense destruction to our homes, schools, and infrastructure.

In Gaza, empty fields have been regularly bombarded. Gaza is a very densely populated civilian area. These bombardments are designed to terrorize us.

Our children carry the physical and mental scars of trauma of a defenseless war. I always say we are children. We have done nothing to deserve this brutality. While at the same time, our children have faced the daily threat of violence and death from above, and have been subjected to a starvation diet imposed by Israel’s control of our borders. The effects on their brain development and their health will last a lifetime.

Today, I am grateful the ceasefire seems to be holding. Please sign this letter to Obama  so my family and friends don’t have to endure this yet again.

With love and hope for freedom and a just peace,

Eman Qwaider

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