Middle East

Is my family alive?: Gazans in Qatar recount haunting moments of Israeli invasion from afar – Doha News

Doha News spoke to Gazans living in Qatar. We talked about watching the war from miles away and not knowing if our loved ones were safe or even alive.

Millions of people have flocked to Qatar over the decades in search of a better life, leaving homes and families behind in a variety of circumstances. But for the Gazans who live here, the fear of Israeli warplanes bombing your hometown is an unwelcome reality.

On Wednesday, they became the latest victims of Israel’s latest onslaught on the besieged Strip, bringing the total number of casualties to 47.

Among them were 16 children who died before they knew what life was like after lockdown.

Doha News said Gaza People living in Qatar have been balancing the very real thought of losing a family member with their daily routines this past week.

Ahmad

Since the offensive began on Friday, Ahmad has known war in Gaza was imminent. He tried to contact his family at the first moment, but due to the lack of electricity, calls and emails were not connected. no one picked up the phone.

Ahmad arrived in Qatar in 2018 to pursue his master’s degree. Last month, he was able to meet his family in Gaza for the first time after four years of long separation. During these four years, Gaza was bombed several times.

“I was haunted by fears around my family every time,” he said, noting that he was following the events by the second.

“I felt like I was in a literal newsroom just trying to make sure they were safe…or alive.”

Over the past few days, Ahmad has been having trouble completing basic tasks at work. Only after the ceasefire was announced did he get to sleep for the first time.

“What was strange was that at the level of bombs and rockets, this invasion was much more difficult than other wars.

Ahmad, who returned home last month, was shocked to see the condition of the people, especially after the brutal Israeli attacks in May 2021.

“This time, the war lasted less than 72 hours, the level of destruction was greater, and the people’s fears were greater.

Ahmad just left the Strip in 2018 and has seen the destruction of the place he calls home from previous wars. “I know Gaza. Very difficult.”

Having survived many wars, the sight of utter ruins repeats itself in front of Ahmed. In the 2014 Gaza War, Ahmad lost ten of his school friends, most of whom were close friends. For him, he can cause PTSD even on an empty plane.

“I was at my home in Doha thinking it was going to be bombed. I started hearing the same sounds from the war that I went through.”

Ahmad was diagnosed with PTSD in 2018, like many others who experienced the war in Gaza.

“Getting out of Gaza is like going back to life because Gaza is uninhabitable.

“I was able to take care of my mental health and my personal life in general away from violence, death and constant bad news,” he said. “This may make some people leaving Gaza feel guilty. No wonder.”

But his family kept him from going through it. “My family were the ones who encouraged me to leave, they were the ones who supported me, they were in constant contact and they were proud of me, so I don’t feel so often. No. Thankfully I don’t feel guilty, thanks to my family.”

He believes the prolonged ceasefire is related to two main factors. The first is Israel’s commitment to a ceasefire and the second is the state of the people.

“The people of Gaza are emotionally unable to deal with the upcoming war. , until the results appear in people’s own lives.”

“I am for the resistance and I am for the criticism of the resistance. It has been 70 years of suffering for us. The war between us and them. [Israel] It is a long road and the road to a free Palestine will not be easy. ”

Sara

Sarah, who moved to Doha from Gaza in 1999, was just six years old when the first Intifada happened. She has lived through curfews, daily nightly raids, and loss.

She called her family every hour to check on them during the Israeli raids, and the last one was no exception.

“Words cannot describe the relief I felt when I found a green circle next to my relative’s username on Facebook.”

In 2014, Sarah’s brother-in-law was martyred. He had two daughters, the youngest he was 5 months old and the eldest he was 2 years old. The 28-year-old was a taxi driver and the rocket was aimed at his car.

Everyone in the car died.

Sarah said she had been texting her aunt during the assault on every platform possible, but got no response. Anxiety was through the roof.

“When someone takes longer than five minutes to reply to me, it scares me. I worry about how I will feel when my family is in danger,” said Sarah.

After all, her aunt’s family had to run barefoot out of the house to find shelter because their house could be next bombed.

“With large families, it can go by so fast that you have to remember to keep your kids and family behind you. You only have a few seconds,” she said, describing the moment the “warning” message was sent.

In Gaza many families stay together on the night of the bombing. This was the case with Sarah’s family, who welcomed both immediate members of her family and members of her extended family into their home.

“If the house they are sheltering in is bombed, the whole family will be annihilated. is no more, there is no job, there is no hope.”

“They target tall buildings because they are more prone to collapse. They usually target individuals in buildings associated with Hamas or the Resistance. All my uncle’s houses were bombed. ‘”, referring to one of her cousins ​​who was recently assaulted and lost an entire leg.

Sarah does not believe Gazans need charity. “My uncle once told me they don’t need donations, they need to lift the siege and work for themselves. “

“There is a saying, don’t give me a fish, teach me how to fish.”

“We are talking about the ability of the F-19 to shoot down an entire area.”

“In every house in Gaza you will find someone crying. Whether it is a house or a martyr, they all have lost something. Impossible.”

But she doesn’t see a ceasefire as the solution. She said, “Every year there is a truce, every year there is a war. People are killed, houses are toppled to the ground. For what? For what?”

For Sarah, the ceasefire will not restore the rights of the people of Gaza, will not free them from the suffocating siege, nor will it bring back the lost.

Sarah’s mother passed away from breast cancer six months ago, but I never got to see her.

“I… didn’t expect her to die after the treatment. How come I didn’t see my mother before she died?”

https://dohanews.co/is-my-family-alive-gazans-in-qatar-recount-haunting-moments-of-israeli-aggression-from-afar/ Is my family alive?: Gazans in Qatar recount haunting moments of Israeli invasion from afar – Doha News

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