MAP team member's home damaged in Israeli airstrike on neighbouring tower block

 

With the ceasefire in Gaza coming into effect today, Medical Aid for Palestinians’ (MAP) team in Gaza continue to share their stories of living under 11 days of Israeli bombardment. Here, Nawraz Abu Libdeh, our Finance and Administration Officer, tells the story of her final iftar of Ramadan.

It was the last hour before our iftar, the night before Eid al-Fitr. I was preparing food for me and my family. I was standing near the kitchen window which is very close to the Al Shorouq tower.

Israeli airstrikes hit the tower with the first warning rocket. I told my husband to take our children downstairs until they will finish destroying the tower, as I live on the 12th floor of an apartment block and it would be difficult to evacuate the children quickly if something happened.

I stayed inside my home with my eldest son, thinking and hoping that the destruction would not reach us. But unfortunately, the fire, black smoke, debris and repulsive smell filled my flat. It was a terrible moment.

I ran from my flat with my son and, as I looked behind, I saw the glass of the doors and windows shattering and flying everywhere around me. We managed to escaped to the elevator and when we reached the fifth floor, the electricity was cut. You can’t imagine the feeling of hysteria that I had at this moment.

Luckily the elevator opened, then we ran to the stairs and I found my children looking up at our home crying and shouting. They saw that fire and debris had reached our flat and they thought we were dead.

It was a horrific day. We spent the night at a neighbour’s house and all night I kept asking myself: why am I still crying, why am I so sad? Maybe it was because we’d just moved into our new house only three months ago. Maybe it was because I had just cleaned it and prepared for Eid. Maybe it was because it would’ve been the first Eid for me and my family at our new home, and I had dreamt all over Ramadan how my kids will enjoy the feast and have so much fun. I spent the whole night saying “maybe”, “maybe”, “maybe”.

Then in the morning I returned to my home. I found that the damage wasn’t too bad. Doors and windows were broken and the black smoke made everything dirty. When I looked from the same window to the buildings around us, which were completely destroyed, I asked myself: why was I crying? What happened to my home is nothing compared to what happened to the area around us. 

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