TESTEMONIES OF GAZA WOMEN
Commentary and Photo by Ayman Quader
Memory Chasing Us
Today while walking past my home, I met a woman called Rawia Hamda sitting on a piece of stone and looking sadly at her practically destroyed house. I took her aside and starting looking at her while she was in deep thought with her sons around her. Then I realized what was circling in her mind. I then decided to get this chance of writing about this women’s suffering during the war as they usually shared these feelings only with their husbands.
“It is not that we are scared of poverty, but the destruction of our home. Our lives have been turned up side down after the Israeli war that took place in the Gaza Strip” Those were Rawai’s words when I simply asked her WHY????…
This is the story of Rawia Hamda from Al Nuserat Refugee camp, in the middle of the Gaza Strip, where she lives with her family which includes her jobless husband, six sons and a disabled daughter.
As a Palestinian living on this narrow piece of land called the Gaza Strip, Rawia has her own experiences about the war as a woman. Rawia and her family dwell in a house that is no longer a home. The ‘ceiling’ is the sky. The roof is slowly being replaced with asbesto sheets except for the bathroom that is cover with a concrete roof.
“During the war there were daily bombings and attacks in our area. We never felt safe anywhere in our home except the bathroom because of the concrete ceiling”.
“One of the most terrifying times occurred on the 14th day of the war. We were trying to eat a fast lunch. I was surrounded by my family when there was the sound of a big explosion taking place just beside our home. We ran to take shelter in the bathroom as usual. After a while another explosion sounded. In terror, I took my young sons find another safe place. I later discovered that the house next to ours was hit by two F16 rockets and totally destroyed”
Rawia received a leg injury due to the flying shrapnel. Her house was partially damaged and it is now covered with shrapnel inside. Additionally, the nearby chicken farm that Rawia’s family used to depend on was also damaged leaving the family without any source of income.
“The ferocity of the attacks and the scene of my evacuation reminded me of my grandmother’s story of their evacuation in the year of 1948 but this seemed much worse.”
Now Rawia is waiting to get her house rebuilt and to attempt to live a decent life with her family.
This is the story of Rawia, just one of the many stories our women have from the period of the war on Gaza.
Ayman T. Quader
Blogger Based in the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip, Palestine
Facebook: Ayman Quader