Life behind Gaza,,,,
Interview with Anas Qwaider – 13 years old about to leave Gaza –
It’s been a dream to leave this open-air prison, the Gaza Strip. My name is Anas Qwaider, a 13-year old boy, born and raised in a refugee camp located in the middle of the Gaza Strip. Since I saw the light of my life, this little piece of land of 365km2 has experienced a cruel and continuous violence and regular military attacks in (2008-2009) and in 2012. In Gaza, children are vulnerable to frequent forms of violence and tension.
In our schools, we receive education on human rights and democracy. This topic often creates a great deal of contradiction to me whenever we discuss it taking into consideration our extraordinary situation in Gaza. Basically, the nearly 2 million Palestinians living in Gaza are a young nation without rights. I have not had the opportunity to leave Gaza and, therefore, it is hard to imagine how life is outside Gaza’s borders.
Today, April 23, I am leaving Gaza for a 2-week-trip to the United States of America. We are a delegation of 15 young children from Gaza selected by United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA). We are leaving Gaza with a message of humanity and love to the world. A few weeks ago and for first time in my life, we managed to visit Jerusalem for few hours to obtain the visa to USA. I had remarkable feeling of crossing borders, tasting freedom and experiencing fresh air. Today, we are leaving Gaza too.
The message I am carrying with me today is that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”, article one of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person”, article three of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We the children of Gaza deserve to be entitled to the whole the list of human rights, like other children in the world. Today, I tell you, the world humanity is incomplete without ours.