Gaza in Its Own Words

Human Wrongs Watch

July 2015 (UNRWA)* – Over 50 days of hostilities, the summer 2014 conflict caused unparalleled destruction and human suffering across the Gaza Strip. Families lost their children, entire neighbourhoods were torn to the ground, and tens of thousands were left with nothing as their homes were destroyed.

Source: UNRWA

Source: UNRWA

Thousands remain displaced to this day. The 2014 conflict not only shattered homes and lives – much too often it has also shattered dreams.

One year later, Gaza’s people still live in rubble, and the world has broken its promises about rebuilding the enclave.

As one person portrayed in this photo essay asks, does anyone in the world listen or care?

Throughout the year, UNRWA has collected the voices of displaced mothers, frightened children, frustrated fathers, brave UNRWA staff members, hopeful teenagers, hard-working doctors, dreaming students, struggling business owners, and young talented poets. Read below to get a sense of Gaza described in the words of its people.

Day Three

Gaza one year later: Mohia al-Goula, January 2015
I have seen too much war and suffering in my life. The last conflict was the worst of them all. I hope that one day, I will have a home again.
Mohia al-Goula, January 2015

Day Two
Gaza one year later: Izziddin Hamada, August 2014
I want a lasting ceasefire so that I can return to school. I want the blockade to end so that I can travel abroad. I want to study medicine in the future so that I can treat my sick mother.
Izziddin Hamada, August 2014

Day One

Gaza one year later: Amjad Oweida, UNRWA staff, August 2015
I did not know what was happening. I heard the explosion, but thought a neighbour’s home was hit. People were screaming. We ran out of the house. Then, I looked around and saw that two of my five children were missing. I ran back when I saw my brother holding my son Mohammed in his arms. He was barely breathing. At that moment my mind froze; I couldn’t understand what I saw. I felt completely paralyzed. My children were only trying to feed their doves. That’s all. I could not believe that all that was left of my beautiful daughter was something black. I picked up her body and we ran to the hospital. My son died as soon as we arrived.
Amjad Oweida, UNRWA staff, August 2014

Read also:

“Despair, Destitution and Denial of Dignity” in Gaza

The 51-Day Genocide

One Year after War “Gaza Is Still in Crisis, with Civilians Paying the Highest Price”

The 2014 War on Gaza – ‘Not A Single Home Has Been Rebuilt’

Anniversary of Sorrow Marked with Gaza’s Largest Mass wedding

Unemployment Rate for Palestine Refugees Reaches 44 per cent in Gaza

‘It Could Take Over 100 Years to Complete Essential Building of Homes, Schools and health Facilities in Gaza’

Gaza Children Trapped in Trauma

‘UN predictions fall short: Gaza uninhabitable today’

‘Clock Is Ticking’ for War-Ravaged Gaza; Promises on Rebuilding Must ‘Quickly Materialize’

Wars on Gaza: Over 100,000 Homes Damaged, Destroyed; 600,000 People Affected; Blackouts of up to 18 Hours per Day

Loss amid the Rubble in Gaza

Not a Single Child Untouched by Recent Gaza Conflict — UN Human Rights Expert

What’s in the UN New Gaza Agreement?

2015 Human Wrongs Watch

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