dead palestinian children

Caffeine Challenge

Prompt: Something to do with the shadows


We had a Swiss au pair when I was about eight. Her name was Ursula and she was training to be a teacher at the same time, so we used to walk to school together. I was used to cycling, and I was used to going by myself, but I liked Ursula so I didn’t resent the blow to my independence the way I might have done.

It was two miles to school.

One day, she used the walk to teach me my 4-times table. I had a block about it, for some reason. I could do my 3-times tables, and my 5-times table, and my 9-times table, but my brain seemed to judder on anything multiplied by four. We tried ‘double it and then double it again’ but it took too long. So then we beat it into submission via repetition. Four times three. Four times eight. Four times seven. Twelve times four. Over and over again, for two miles.

I can still multiply by four at the click of a finger.

One crisp February morning, it began to snow.

Ursula, being Swiss, was not impressed. She didn’t mind the snow, but she was baffled by the announcements of school closures on the radio and the people who refused to go to work because they didn’t want to drive in the millimetre of white dust. We walked to school as usual and she pointed at the snow falling around us. They must have been tiny, but in my memory they are round, fluffy balls, like cotton wool.

“You know, every snowflake is unique.”

“I know,” I said. I was too busy pretending to be a dragon to pay much attention. “They look different under a microscope.”

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Israel’s 2008/2009 attack on Gaza still feels like it happened yesterday. The Zionist regime attacked UN schools and hospitals, taking the lives of 1,600 Palestinians in the space of three weeks.

This video will help you further understand what Palestinians are up against, in particular the part where Israeli soldiers ate chocolate while shooting dead Palestinian children.

A little letter I wrote to President Obama as a reaction to the recent inhumane detainment and torture of over 200 Palestinian children, including a US citizen. 

Dear President Obama, 

I would like to challenge your current political ties with Israel. If someones was bullying one of your daughters say, young Natasha. And you had to be diplomatic with her bully what would you say to those pleading vulnerable eyes of hers, knowing she can’t protect herself but her father could and he chose to put his arms around her bully and comforted them instead. What are we teaching the children of Palestine by not responding to their desperate cries?  Now I’d like you to understand that you have the power to rally world leaders to support Palestine. Instead of seeking political gains I’d like to challenge you to seek humanity instead. 

Best regards,

The cold the tired the restless, the wounded, the dead unheard voices of Palestinian children. 

There is just so much anger in me right now. I don’t understand why the world is sitting back and just watching what is going on in Gaza. I understand that Israel has many resources, but what is that compared to the amount of Palestinian children dead? Also, I AM SO MAD THAT MY HARD EARNED TAX MONEY IS ACTUALLY HELPING ISRAEL. So angry. Constantly praying. I will never get over this.

why are you reblogging video of an unarmed young black man being shot and killed by police

why are you reblogging michael browns body

why are you reblogging the bodies of dead palestinian children

why are you reblogging the bodies of innocent people

no really i want to know why yall think thats okay.

and on top of reblogging that graphic content, yall do not tag triggers.

so not only are you reblogging dead bodies (which the families of the victims frequently instruct everyone NOT to do) you also might trigger someone who has trauma related to dead bodies (like for example, the friends and family of people who have also lost a loved one as result of police brutality/war!!!! wouldnt it be lovely to have that thrown in your face!)

if someone you cared about was killed senselessly by police or war or any other kind of violence. would you want pictures of their body (BLOODY mutilated body at that!!) shared around the web?

think. please think. and respect the wishes of the families of the victims

Tragedy after tragedy with no end in sight

My thoughts on this recent tragedy in Dallas are these…and please don’t judge me harshly:
All loss of life is messed up. We have protested, marched, yelled, written thousands of articles, millions of tweets and posts, and some even rioted for years and nothing changed. What did they think was going to happen? Did they think that people are going to just do the same thing over and over and expect different results? No – so a man who may be mentally disturbed or traumatized took action into his own hands.

I say traumatized because who wouldn’t be traumatized after watching these videos of black bodies being executed by police? If I were him, I would wake up and watch it and it would be the first thing I saw and my blood would be boiling all day. I’m Palestinian. When I see dead Palestinian children, I see people that look like my family, and I’m not ashamed to say that I always bust down crying. So I know exactly how a black man or woman feels when they see people that resemble their family members getting executed by police in cold blood.

In my dreams I’ve been hearing Alton Sterling’s child sobbing, or Phillando Castille’s wife or girlfriend hollering in grief over her beloved’s murder. So police and police sympathizers, you now know how it feels to lose loved ones in cold blood. You now fear for your safety like we fear for our safety from you every day.

When I walk out the door in the morning, I’m not worried about a gangster robbing me. I’m worried about the police throwing me in a cage, or worse, hurting me on a constant basis. I don’t do nothing illegal but I’m still scared. Millions of people of color are in a constant state of fear because our skin is illegal. You can say you’re not racist at all, but if you’re scared of a big black man for no reason, then you are racist. Even if you don’t think of it that way, it is a subconscious racism, a racism that’s been wired into you since childbirth.
The media and mainstream television always portray all people of color in a sinister fashion, so subconscious racism is rampant. There is no reason to fear big black men. They bleed red, they hurt like us, they are human like us. Do not fall for the bullshit: we pay the police from our tax money to protect and serve us and they don’t protect and serve everyone, and they certainly don’t protect and serve people of color.

The rest of this is a message directed to every police officer. You must be the ones who end this cycle of killing, violence, and racism within your departments. If you’re a good cop, then it’s your duty to weed out the bad ones. If you have intelligence, then you know who in your department is a coward or liar – and a coward and a liar with a gun and a badge is a recipe for disaster.
You as police officers should know who of your comrades are racist or in it for the thrill. All of these qualities are not qualities that police officers should have whatsoever. These types of people have no business being police officers.
Give us a reason to respect the police and we will, but right now you are ruling by fear and intimidation. The last time Americans were ruled by fear and intimidation was a little bit before 1776 and our nation was born out of a revolution. Is that what you want? A civil war? Millions will die. Cocky police officers may like, “Come on, let’s go to war”…but I bet you they’ve never seen war before. I have seen it firsthand and it’s utterly horrible, and it’s the last thing we as a nation need.
But if you don’t change your ways, the second American Revolution will happen and the people will win like we always will win. Do you think the army and marines care about the police or a corrupt government? No, the army will come to the side of the people. So don’t make the people do this: fix your departments, work with your communities, get rid of the bad elements, and do what you have to do to prevent this. Because if you don’t, it’s inevitable.
I am not making a threat, only an observation. I want us to come together: police and community working together to fix the problems in our communities. This “us verse them” shit is costing us too much blood on both sides.

A soldier told be this earlier and it’s basically the quote is nothing but truth United we live, divided, we die! - Quote by: Sarah Cox

Hundreds of thousands of children shell-shocked after the war in Gaza

No shortage in Gaza of stories of severely traumatised children still gripped by the after-effects of Israel’s 50-day attack that left 539 Palestinian children dead.

Sayed Bakr saw four of his friends killed by an Israeli drone, as they were playing football on the beach

SAYED BAKR lived through a deadly missile bombardment in the darkest days of the war in Gaza.

But posing underneath a portrait of his closest brother, Mohammed, who he lost in that attack, proved too much. After volunteering to stand with the picture, the 12-year-old broke down and called for his mother.

Sayed and his friends were the target of one of the most harrowing episodes of last summer’s war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. While playing football on the beach, they came under fire from an Israeli pilot who apparently mistook them for militants.

Four boys running on the beach shortly before they were killed

Four boys from the Bakr family died in the missile strike and four were injured. In the immediate aftermath, Sayed was left paralysed with terror, unable to speak, writhing hysterically against a wall.

Four boys running on the beach shortly before they were killed

Today, more than six months later, he is one of hundreds of thousands of children in Gaza who need treatment for shell-shock.

After his crying fits, nightmares and frequent violent outbursts he was given a course of powerful anti-psychotic drugs for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He no longer goes to school, and is frequently visited by visions of the blast.

“I used to dream that I was dead,” said Sayed, speaking hesitantly in the living room of his family’s spartan home, a few hundred yards from where the strikes happened.

“I always saw my brothers and cousins running after me in the dream. When the missiles struck and we were running away, I was certain we were all going to die. "Even today I am in continuous fear. Whenever I hear a loud noise or a bang, I feel terror.”

He is not alone. There is no shortage in Gaza of stories of severely traumatised children still gripped by the after-effects of the war. The 50-day conflict left 539 Palestinian children dead and close to 3,000 injured, but according to United Nations, the mental scars have been just as devastating, if harder to quantify.

Children who saw their siblings or parents killed, often gruesomely, have been left stricken and around 35 per cent to 40 per cent of Gaza’s million children are suffering from shell-shock according to Hasan Zeyada, a psychologist with the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme.

On Wednesday, an Israeli human rights group said Israeli politicians and military leaders broke international law by persisting in bombing civilian homes, even after it became obvious that it would kill thousands of innocent people.

Unicef admits it lacks the resources to cope. “We estimate that 373,000 children in Gaza needed psycho-social support after the war,” said Pernille Ironside, head of the agency’s Gaza field office. “We have been meeting on an on-going basis about one-third of those. The other two-thirds still require support - and they are not getting it.”

The outlook is grim even for those receiving help.Muntaser Bakr, 11, Sayed’s cousin, who suffered head, arm and back wounds in the beach attack, which killed his 10-year-old brother, Zakaria, has likewise been diagnosed with PTSD yet is arguably in an even worse plight.

After the beach bombing Muntaser Bakr tried to commit suicide

Drugs costing £66 per prescription - a huge burden for his impoverished family are needed to control periodic fits and nervous convulsions.

Weeks after the incident, Muntaser tried to jump from a balcony in the first-floor family home in an apparent suicide attempt following a row with his father, Ahad, who caught him in the nick of time.

He had to be withdrawn from school after he “almost killed a boy” in his class, according to Mr Bakr, 55, a fishermen, like most of the men in his family. The violent tendencies have continued at home, culminating in him trying to hang the four-year-old daughter of one of his older brothers.

“I die 100 times a day just seeing him like this,” said Mr Bakr, as Muntaser fidgeted beside him with two teddy bears. “He is not the same child. He won’t obey anything we say. If he wants something, he demands it no matter how it affects others. For a while, he used to say he wanted to become a fighter so he could avenge the deaths of his brother and his cousins. He has stopped saying it now and I don’t want to remind him.”

While many boys affected by last summer’s carnage resort to violence, among girls the traumas often manifest themselves in withdrawn and depressed behaviour.

Sara Kudaih and a picture of her brother whose agonising death she witnessed

Ten-year-old Sara Kudaih is still haunted by the death of her younger brother, Anas, who died from blood loss after being wounded during shelling in the town of Khurza'a, near Gaza’s border with Israel.

Sara Kudaih and a picture of her brother whose agonising death she witnessed

The family were forced to flee under a hail of missiles, leaving seven-year-old Anas on the ground with a horrific stomach wound, a ghoulish scene witnessed by Sara and filmed by a Red Crescent paramedic who arrived hours later to find the dying boy.

Today she is a frightened, introverted child who often refuses to eat or do homework, having previously been an excellent pupil, according to her parents.

Asked how she is feeling, she replies: “Sad. I lost my brother. He was killed.”

Specialists have recommended 12 intensive therapy sessions to treat Sara’s PTSD. Even then, she is only likely to reach 70 per cent recovery, according to Mahmoud Abdul Aziz Abu-Toaima, a psychologist with the Palestinian Centre for Democracy and Conflict Resolution.

She is one of the lucky ones. Diana and Mohammed Ayad, were orphaned after their widowed mother was killed during shelling of Gaza City’s Shejaiya neighbourhood as the family tried to evacuate their home.

Neither child has received psychological testing or support, despite experiencing enduring mental health problems, according to relatives, in addition to physical injuries that left Diana, 15, needing extensive skin graft surgery, and Mohammed, 10, having a toe amputated.

Diana, who once wanted to be a doctor, no longer attends school and is confined to the family’s shell-ravaged home by her injuries.

Eyad Habib, 5, stands outside his family home on the way to school

“I feel very bad psychologically because of the incident and suffer badly from my leg injuries,” she said. “I’m not glad I survived. I wish I had died.”

All this takes place against a backdrop of a dystopian landscape of ruined buildings and physical infrastructure - with the £3.3 billion reconstruction effort promised after the conflict having so far failed to get off the ground.

Shejaiya, scene of some of the worst violence, looks little different from its shattered appearance last summer immediately after Israel’s ground offensive.

It makes for a grim vista that has mental health professionals fearing a “lost generation” of Gazan children.

“The recent war surpassed the combined number of deaths and injuries from all the previous conflicts and the impact that is having on the children of Gaza and their future looks absolutely bleak,” said Unicef’s Ms Ironside.

“The adolescents here are at huge risk of losing hope and we face the danger of losing a whole generation of kids who decide they have nothing to lose and potentially get involved in militant activities.”

Source: The Telegraph. All photos by Robert Tait.