A message from Gaza’s children
We are children who live in the Gaza Strip. Our home is a small place with tiny streets and lots of people who all live really close to each other. Because it’s so small, everywhere is dangerous and there is no place to take shelter.
We want you to know that Gaza, our home, is being destroyed. Even the nice places like towers, schools, and hospitals. There isn’t much electricity for hours at a time, we all have to sleep on the floor or in hallways, and it’s really dark at night.
Life is scary now and our rooves are falling on our heads. Every time there’s an airstrike, we are terrified. Every time we try to go outside, when we get to the front door, there’s another airstrike and we run back inside as fast as we can. Our rooms shake, and then our hearts shake too with fear for our families. All we think about is where the next airstrike will fall. Our mothers tell us that the noises are far away, but we know they are close.
A few of us still remember the last war in 2014. Some of us lost people we loved – family members or a favourite teacher. Others remember glass shattering, buildings falling, or our mothers trying to clean the dust that filled the house after each bombing. This is happening to us again now. We are terrified and getting more scared all the time.
We know that other children around the world lead quiet and calm lives. While other children dream of having video games, we dream that one day this fighting will end. We hope that one day we can open our books again, write in our notebooks and study, that we can go outside and play with friends.
We have a lot of questions. Why is this happening to us? When will this war end? What are other children around the world doing? We’ve asked our parents, but they don’t have the answers.
If we could ask one more question, it would be this one: what will you do to stop this?
The first thing we wish is that the war would end. All children should be able to live in peace. We hope that all the destroyed buildings and rubble will be cleared away and something better and more beautiful will come in its place. We hope that our homes, schools, and hospitals will be rebuilt.
Above all, we want to live like children in other countries who can play in playgrounds instead of hiding from bombs. We want Gaza to be a safe and beautiful place where we can live in peace.
We still have hope. But we want this war to be the last war.
With warmest wishes,
Salma (11), Niveen (9), Zain (12), Samer (13), Khaled (10), Amal (10)
Save the Children consulted six children in the Gaza Strip about their experiences in the current escalation, what they would like the world to know, and what they would like the international community to do. This letter is based on their testimonies.
All names have been changed to protect their identities.