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From Gaza A family’s story since 7 October

Between War and Hope

 Between War and Hope  ING-013
28 March 2024

My name is Ameera, I’m 29 years old and I work in the administrative field. My husband, Kamal, is 35 years old and is a pharmacist. We have two children, Majd, 5 years old, and Laila, 2 years old. We are a small, happy Palestinian family who lived a beautiful, calm life in Gaza. However, we found ourselves amid an unrelenting storm of war that led us to homelessness.

On October 9th, our home was bombed and destroyed. We used to live in a small house on the sixth floor, which witnessed some of the most beautiful moments. Memories surrounded us everywhere, and I cannot forget how I was arranging the house, preparing for our return on what turned out to be the last day. These harsh circumstances forced us to evacuate, seeking refuge in the Latin church.

We also experienced the loss of my husband’s cousins and their families — 12 people who went to heaven simultaneously due to the bombing of the Orthodox Church. The situation is dire, and we hope for better days ahead.

On December 15th, during our displacement in the church, we experienced a challenging day as the shelling intensified. The sound was close and terrifying. My husband and I decided to leave our room to find a safer area, carrying our children. When the nearby shelling erupted, I felt the hot shrapnel piercing both of my legs. Time seemed to freeze, the air became heavy, and pain intensified with every moment. I found myself lying on the ground, surrounded by the sounds of pain and my screams filling the air.

The shrapnel entered from the left to the right leg, causing an explosive fracture in my left leg and settling in my right leg. There were capable doctors in the church, also displaced like us, who provided immediate first aid. My questions were filled with horror and uncertainty, as if each word carried the weight of life and death. Moments seemed slow and painful, and a sense of helplessness crept slowly with every heartbeat.

Getting to the hospital during this period was mission impossible as we were trapped. The time spent waiting before the operation was long and turbulent, where physical pain mixed with psychological agony. I saw worry in the eyes of my children, husband, family, and loved ones — a concern beyond description, adding to the burden of pain and despair. The screams turned into silence, yet the pain and immobility made me feel powerless.

I was transferred to the hospital two and a half weeks after the injury, where I underwent a surgical procedure to stabilize the fractures.

Time passed, and the moment of hope came when I felt an improvement in my condition, ready to return to daily life. Unfortunately, things were not that simple. It turned out that there was the need for an additional operation to implant a bone graft to regain the ability to walk, and I am still waiting for the surgery today. I, Ameera, wonder within myself: Will I walk? Will I undergo the operation? I dream like a little girl learning to walk. I still live in hope and wait every day for an answer to leave Gaza for treatment, but silence is the answer so far. But my faith in Jesus Christ will save me, though I do not know when!