Hello world, this is Raghad Abu Shammalah


People protesting with Palestine flags.
Artist: Gwyn Whalen. Courtesy of the Palestine Poster Project Archives.

Editor’s note: The writer submitted this essay on Oct. 16, 2923 by audio to her mentor, who transcribed it. The audio is below.

Hello world, this is Raghad Abu Shammalah [writing from] the Palestinian Lebanon Gaza Strip in this inhuman situation. I would like to highlight the miseries that I have seen and that are not sufficiently covered by media.

Me and my family have evacuated from our home twice in the same day in less than five hours. The first time the whole neighborhood in the Al-Nusarayat Camp was threatened to evacuate because of a [inaudible: fire bell?] will be bombed. We ran barefoot holding my three nieces. The oldest is barely four years old… not knowing where to go. We went to seek safety in one of our relatives’ homes, but it wasn’t that much better because of the severe siege oppressed, there wasn’t water. We couldn’t clean our feet from the sand and rubble. We only did it by brushing it off. I saw my little nieces’ eyes – they were gazing into nowhere. They were shocked, having the first trauma in their lives.

A few hours later, once we started to relax, we heard noise and shouting coming from the street. Tens of people are running, shouting to those who were in their homes to evacuate. Once again we ran. We couldn’t get all of our stuff and we were about to forget my little niece. It was after midnight, no light, and we were afraid to turn the flashlight on because of the Zionist warplanes. Our relative is six months pregnant. She collapsed on the road. We calmed her down for about an hour so we can reach another safe place.

We found an UNWRA school so we went there. Once we entered we witnessed a miserable and inhuman situation. Thousands of people sitting on the floor with dust and sweat and blood all over them with only one doctor to help them. We went to one of the classrooms to sleep but it was crowded – over 50 children and 30 women were in a 5 [meter] by 5 [meter] room. We slept on the cold floor as there is no blankets or anything to have a human sleep.

This is the situation that over 2,000 people living in right now [inaudible]. Are those people, and others who are murdered in their safe homes (who are about 2,400 people – over 700 children and 400 women) a threat to Israel? Is cutting electricity and water and goods on 2 million civilians a normal thing that doesn’t need to be covered in Western media? And is bombing with tons of explosives on buildings and hospitals called self defense?

Do not blindly follow what you see and hear. If you support the Ukrainian people and have empathy for them, you should also have empathy and raise your voice for Gazan people.

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