A Letter from Gaza: ‘I am Three Wars and Two Intifadas Old’

By Yara Eid – Gaza

It all started when he asked my how old I am. I know it is a normal question and anybody could tell his or her age easily but it was the hardest for me. I froze for a while and kept thinking about that question. I asked myself, “Really how old am I?” How many years have I been on this planet and how many days have I lived? I could not answer that haunting question. It took me a while, and made me feel numb. I told that strange man “I am three wars and two Intifadas old, sir.”

I knew he did not understand me. My words would not make him feel what I was truly feeling. “Yes, sir, three wars and two Intifadas. I was born in the year 2000 that saw the outbreak of the Second Palestinian Intifada. There were many martyrs. So many people died. We are not numbers. If you ask me sir, I would tell you their names and when and they died, because again we are not numbers.”

Suddenly, my tears were running down my cheeks, I remembered everything. I remembered when I was a child in 2008, doing my final exam at my school feeling happy that I would start my holiday soon. Yet, my paper and my pencil fell on the ground following an explosion.

Everything was lost and I could not see anything expect rubble and dust. When I got to my home, my mother told me that I had to sleep. She did not want me to see this sad world; she just wanted me to keep dreaming.

Then I woke up recalling what happened. The tragic memories of that day are still clear in my head: my family was running in the street, escaping death that was raining on us in the form of missiles. People were dying in front of my eyes, children were crying and blood was all over the floor. It was the hardest day in my life. I started crying loudly and could not stop my tears from streaming down my face.

And I told that man again, “I am three wars and two Intifadas old, sir.”

– Yara Eid is a high school student from Alburaij refugee camp in Gaza.

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