Aed Abu Amro palestinian with flag
© Mustafa HassonaWhen Mustafa Hassona took this picture on October 22 2018, then 20 year-old Aeb Abu Amro was participating in the Great March of Return protest in Gaza against the Israeli blockade of the Strip.

I need to say this, because I don't know what else to do. The only thing I have is my voice, my words, and I don't want to live through this time in history feeling I did nothing, even though I know it's so little.

When I watch image after image, video after video of the complete and utter destruction in the tiny strip of Gaza, when I see the injured, the maimed, the dead bodies of men, women and children, when I watch the wordless and screaming pain of these humans who have to dig through rubble to find their loved ones or what remains of them, who take their little belongings and their children on their backs to move (for a second, a third time?) somewhere safer... I feel caught in an unbearable nightmare with no end. Yet I am only a far-away witness, safe in the comfort of my home.

For them, it's all real.

The homes of so many people, who actually experience daily what I merely watch, are now acres upon acres of leveled rubble. Those houses that they probably worked hard to afford, so many of them family homes, full of memories of first steps, first words, meals around the table, celebrations of everyday life, even arguments and maybe even abusive unhealthy relationships. But isn't that what life is about? What hubris and deranged, god-complex gives Israel the right to annihilate so many lives and livelihoods?


Every day I see men unable to provide the most basic means of safety or normal living to their children and wives, men who plough through the rubble hoping that the ones they love might still be alive, men who carry the dead bodies of their family members, or their injured children to hospitals that are barely safe or operational anymore. These men, who grew up with the label of "terrorist" on their backs, just because they were born in a land that was mythically promised to another group of people thousands of years ago. We should always talk about the women and the children, but let's not forget about the men, as they keep everything moving as much as possible amidst a terrible war waged against their bodies and minds.


Every day I see mothers watching their children die, holding them injured, maimed, dead in their arms, Madonnas over the body of their offspring so unjustly murdered for the sins of others. While they mourn the loss of their own parents, brothers, sisters, husbands, friends, relatives... Women covered in sod and dust, with no water for their basic needs, and the bare minimum of medical assistance when they are about to bring new life into the world. Women who probably learned early to tend to all different types of war, captivity, and deprivation wounds, as soon as they were able to, wounds of the body and wounds of the soul alike.


Every day I see children. I see so many children every day! But instead of them playing happily on the playground or at the beach, they are lying cut up, broken up, injured, maimed, lifeless among the rubble, on hospital beds, in their parents' or siblings' arms. I've never seen so many dead children before in such a short time, or probably ever, and I have been watching dead Palestinians at the hands of the IDF all of my life.

I ask you, all of you: what could possibly be a reason to ever murder children?

Haven't we had enough?

I won't even try to bring up historical facts or inaccuracies, or the reality that this captivity and slaughter has been going on for 48 days and 75 years (thus Muhammad Smiry, a teacher who lives in Gaza, counts the days). You can hear all that first hand from actual Jewish Israelis like Norman Finkelstein, Gilad Atzmon, Ilan Pappé, Miko Peled, and Gideon Levy among others. I won't even argue against the official Israeli stance on how and why it all started on October 7. I am not going to mention dull and dusty United Nations charters about the rights and responsibilities of every human being during times of peace and times of war, or the world-wide agreed upon roles of occupiers and those under their occupation. All of the above is information that, in our day and age, is just a mouse click (or a phone touch) away. Ignorance is inexcusable. Lastly, I won't even engage in any socioeconomic, political, religious, philosophical or scientific discussions, I will even put aside West Bank or the murder of innocent men and women (God help me!) and simply ask again:

What could ever be a reason to murder children?

What would ever be a reason to support the murder of children?

What would ever be a reason to justify or excuse the murder of thousands of children?

Can there ever be one?

Enough already!

How could any thinking, feeling, sensing human being in possession of a conscience answer yes to any of the above? And those who can and do, what does it say about them?

How come no one is doing anything to stop this holocaust? In the year 2023, the most hideous genocide is taking place in front of our eyes and most of our governmental "representatives" are silent, if not promoting and financing it. The cries of desperation of the Palestinian people don't move them, nor do the written or actual protests of millions of people across the globe, who are just as horrified and overcome by grief, some even putting their careers and livelihoods on the line to support the people of Gaza.

It's not the first time that political and financial power interests come before the lives of human beings, but the evil that is perpetrated right now is so extremely transparent, so unjustifiable EVEN IF one believes the official stories, that consciously or unconsciously as humanity we feel the chill of certainty that our "representatives" don't give a damn about our own lives either, just as much as they don't give a damn about the lives of the Palestinians. They would sacrifice us on a whim as we become mere disposable objects once we get in their way.

Therefore, never stop supporting the Palestinians, never stop talking about their plight, never suppress your conscience for any reason, because you are not only standing up for truth, justice and humanity, you are fighting for your family's life and your very own! Witnessing the suffering and sacrifice of the people in Gaza has taught us as much. And we've all had enough!

Dear Palestinians,

The price you are paying every day is high; you pay with your lives, and worst in some cases, the lives of your beloved. I hope that our collective prayers and support reach your hearts, I hope that the hellish conditions that you endure in this lifetime guarantees you a place in heaven for the next one. I wish I could bring you Yarrow to stop your bleeding and make you a tea of Jasmin and Rose blooms to sooth your heart. I hope you know freedom and peace in your own cherished land before long, inshallah.

I wish I could write beautiful words to honor your martyrdom, but Palestinian poet Fadwa Tuqan was representing all of you when she penned the following, probably as an answer to the unsympathetic question, "Why don't they just up and leave?":

Enough for Me
Enough for me to die on her earth
be buried in her
to melt and vanish into her soil
then sprout forth as a flower
played with by a child from my country.
Enough for me to remain
in my country's embrace
to be in her close as a handful of dust
a sprig of grass
a flower.