By L. AlRegib on October 20, 2023
On October 20, a group of Gaza kids who got attacked by Israeli airstrikes were brought into a hospital. It had been two weeks of constant bombing and Israeli destruction towards thousands of innocent Palestinians as well has hundreds of kids killed every single day while the World was and still is only watching and staying silent. One of these kids that were brought in was named Youssef. He was 7 years old. Only seven. At the hospital he was brought into, his father was one of the doctors.
When the kids were brought in, Youssef’s dad couldn’t find Youssef anywhere. He tried to stay calm but noticed his steps getting larger and his pulse beating faster. He checked the whole building plus the many other buildings around them in hopes he was ok. His wife and younger son were with him looking everywhere they could for him. His dad holding his breath in, keeping his fists shut tight at the possibility that his son wasn’t safe. His mom, tears forming in her eyes as she continued to try to walk without feeling sick to the stomach at the fact her little Youssef could be gone. She tried asking people if they’ve seen him. She described him.
“He’s seven, he’s white. He has curly hair, he’s very cute please”. They looked and looked being unable to accept the chance that their son could be hurt. After what seemed to be forever of looking, Youssef’s dad knew.
He knew his son was one of the attacked kids. As he walked towards the building where they were, he couldn’t go inside. He looked down, not being able to say a word. He couldn’t face it. He could feel his heart beating outside of his chest. Everything surrounding him looking like it’s spinning. He put his hand on his chest as his heart staggered through his body. Youssef’s dad tried to be brave. For Youssef. As Youssef’s father made this realization, Youssef’s younger brother was crying. He was hitting his dad asking for Youssef over and over again terrified. He was too young to fathom the fact that his older brother could be dead. But then again, his older brother was too young to die. Youssef’s brother wailed and wailed,
“I want to see Youssef! Where is he? Where is Youssef?”. All he wanted was to see his brother. His playmate. His friend. His dad and mom looked down at him and held him hating that they couldn’t take his pain away. That they couldn’t put him in a little safe and protect him from everything and anything that could hurt him.
As the mom found out, all she wanted was to see her son. No matter what state he was in. But Youssef’s dad didn’t want her to see him. He kept his arms around her and told her not to see him. That it will only hurt even more. A doctor that was looking on all the kids, looked at Youssef. One of the small little children that had so much to live for but got their life cut short because of this cruel world. Half of Youssef’s face was damaged because of the airstrikes. Youssef’s mother continued to beg and beg to see him but Youssef’s dad wanted her last image of him to be the cute boy she described before. Tears kept coming and coming. Their son, the person their whole life was for, was gone.
This may be the end of this tragic story, but it’s not the end for them. Imagine the trauma Youssef’s younger brother must live with. The lasting memory of his brother will only be put into images as a hospital with his family crying. With only panic and terror. The only sounds he’ll remember are the wailing and screaming for his brother. The sounds of panic from his parents he has never heard before. Youssef’s parents will have to live their lives knowing they were a family of 4. That they had lost a piece of themselves. The guilt, the pain, the trauma. And it isn’t just this family. Hundreds of families. Gaza will never be forgotten. There’s a saying that says “If Israel deserves a minute of silence, Gaza deserves the world to never speak again”. What Gaza families are going through right now is unimaginable. It’s horrific to think about. They live in constant fear. They live with heavy hearts knowing that people they love are dead.
Kids are supposed to be playing in sand so they can make sand castles not so they can look for buried remains of their family. Kids are supposed to be picking up flowers from the side of the street, not picking up rubble from their destroyed home. What Israel is doing is sickening and the world needs to wake up. This is against humanity. This isn’t just. People in Gaza are on their own right now. They are the strongest people on the face of this Earth. They are staying strong no matter what the circumstances are, no matter that they have no help. Gaza will never be forgotten. One day, the people there will wake up to birds instead of bombs. One day, it will be like it was before, before the occupation and the harsh rule they were out under for so long. One day, Palestine will be free.