Palestinian children carrying bottles of water walk past buildings which were destroyed by Israeli military strikes during the summer’s fierce offensive, on October 1, 2014, in the #Shejaiya neighborhood of #Gaza City. #Palestine #Israel

There is not a single child who has not been adversely affected by the recent conflict in Gaza, where children suffer from bedwetting, difficulties in sleeping, nightmares, a loss of appetite, and display more aggressive behaviour at school, an independent United Nations human rights expert said today.

this is happening where over 50% of the population is under the age of 15

PAIN HAS NO NATION

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‘I saw blood on the floor but I could only hear a big whistling sound. I saw my daughter-in-law and couldn’t recognize her face. She died while I was looking into her eyes trying to know who she was…’

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‘When you lose your child, you are no longer a mother. You become a broken-hearted woman till infinity. Nothing more, much less.’

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‘Amputating both of my legs only made my way to achieve my dreams harder and full of obstacles, but it didn’t end it. Amputating my heart would, not my legs.’

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‘Samar went to the kitchen to make us tea. She never came back. I’m still waiting for her.’

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‘Nothing replaces the loss of a son, not even another son.’

Source: Eman Mohamed, http://ideas.ted.com/2014/09/24/gallery-loss-is-loss-pain-has-no-nation/

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Overcoming loss in the rubble of Gaza: For a young girl who lost her father and sister in the recent conflict in Gaza, returning to school is one step in a long process of recovery.

Ten-year-old Shaima lives in Shuja’iyeh in eastern Gaza City, a crowded neighbourhood now mostly reduced to a vast expanse of rubble. The threat of explosive remnants of war looms around every corner.

At the end of a dusty street filled with sewage, a different kind of banner hangs on a wall. With a life-size image of a smiling man and a little girl, it marks the entrance to the home where they were killed.

Inside, a slightly older girl prepares for school, putting on the standard green uniform with white lace collar used by students here.

Ten days into the conflict, as the neighbourhood was being pounded with heavy artillery, mortars and air strikes, Shaima’s family moved to her grandfather’s apartment on the ground floor, which was thought to be a safer place.

“Early morning, the shelling got closer,” Shaima says. “Suddenly a bomb fell nearby. Everyone ran out, except for my father and younger sister. I heard people scream that he was dead.”

Her father, Adel, was on the sofa in the living room with her 2-year-old sister, Dima, in his arms, trying to rock her to sleep, when a shell struck the neighbour’s house. Both Adel and his daughter were killed by shrapnel that came bursting through the walls.

“I saw my uncle carrying my sister,” Shaima says. “I realized her head was cut off in the shelling. I didn’t look at my father’s body, because I was afraid his wounds were as bad. I ran away.”

“I was not able to say goodbye to my dad,” Shaima tells the counsellor. “I don’t want to be an orphan, I want my dad to be with me. I only have wonderful memories of him. He used to buy me toys, even if I did not ask for them. I wish I could see him and my sister Dima again. I used to play with her. I liked to dress her and comb her hair.”

In class, Shaima and the other students play with colourful balloons under the watchful eyes of counsellors from MA’AN.

Suddenly, she freezes, and with a vacant look in her eyes, she stares at the walls, oblivious to her surroundings.

One of the counsellors immediately reaches out to her. “Come, play with us, then we will sing together,” he says.

“I cannot sing. I thought of my dad and my sister who are dead. I feel guilty,” Shaima replies, tears pouring down her face.

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When Arab media commentators laud Netanyahu for killing Palestinians in Gaza and a UN spokesman weeps on the air, crying for Gaza’s victims, one is forced to question old beliefs about one’s own supposed exceptionalism. It has turned out that Nakhwa has no borders, and can extend from Bolivia to Sir Lanka, and from South Africa to Norway.
……………………………..

عندما يثني بعض المعلقين في وسائل الإعلام العربية على نتنياهو لقتله الفلسطينيين في غزة ويبكي متحدث باسم الامم المتحدة على الهواء مباشرة, على ضحايا غزة, يضطر المرء إلى التساؤل حول المعتقدات القديمة الاستثنائية المفترضة للمرء. وقد اتضح أن النخوة ليس لها حدود, ويمكن أن تمتد من بوليفيا الى سيريلانكا, ومن جنوب أفريقيا إلى النرويج

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Ramzy Baroud-رمزي بارود

Gaza and the End of ‘Arab Gallantry’ 

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Back to school in Gaza: As hundreds of thousands of Palestinian children returned to school in Gaza on Sunday, Azhar recited a poem eulogising her father, killed by Israeli shelling in the enclave’s recent conflict.

"Daddy, what can I tell you, if I say I love you it’s not enough," the nine-year-old, who was beginning the fourth grade, read to a classroom of teary children."Today is the first day of school, so even though my dad was martyred in the war — I’m happy," she told AFP with a smile.

Azhar’s father Tamer Jundiyeh was killed in an air strike on the Shejaiya neighbourhood, orphaning her and her five younger siblings.

"I’m scared the war will start again," she told AFP, recalling the missiles from Israeli aircraft that hit her house and killed her father.

Azhar’s classmate Isra shook as she spoke of the Israeli raid that killed her grandfather and aunt.

"The martyrs and wounded were lying in front of us, we were very scared," the nine-year-old told AFP. "My grandfather and auntie Layla were killed, I saw them in our house."

Another classmate, Doa, had lost her school uniform after her house was destroyed, and came to class wearing regular clothes.

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