22-year-old volunteer in Gaza

Thousands of sick children and others play with the hope of survival – their fate unknown. People sleep on the ground under the infamous roar of warplanes indiscriminately bombing civilian and humanitarian targets.

Fatigue exhausts us and fear consumes us. We adults cry and mourn those we lost in an instant. Thousands of different scenarios play out in our heads. We are ashamed when we stand in line and wait to have our humanitarian needs met.

I hear an angelic voice as I sleep in the back seat of our car parked in the back yard of the hospital. It is not an actual voice, but the breath of my child who is terrified by the sound of shelling, the wailing of mothers and the screams and cries of men after losing all their family members... We women do not stop crying; we are mothers and sisters!

Maybe it's natural for a mother to hug and hold her baby to her chest to feel safe and tender. Being close is no longer enough in our case, we must stick together as if we were one body. It's a nice feeling, but the timing is wrong.

Dear children, this will not last. You have taught me to come to you in times of need.

What innocent facial features. Filled with emotion, and I've read it in your little eyes and I know you want to go home, to your bed and to the summer blanket that's so soft…

I know what you're thinking: "I'm a tired mom... I'm a tired mom, but I'm not going to tell you."

The nursery bag, the nice clothes, the toothbrush, the scent of perfume, your chair and your small toys are all covered in dust, remnants of war and broken window glass.

Everything is under the rubble of our house, which the planes destroyed... All our dreams blown away, including the television on which you used to watch cartoons.

Now I know what you're thinking, son… They want to take our lives, our dreams and our right to live. But the sun will rise again and fill the earth with spring after winter. Our autumn will pass and the dark clouds of hatred will disperse. We will stay as long as there are olive trees and the Gaza Sea.



* indicates required