[QODLink]
General
Ayman Mohyeldin
"It was difficult for me to see my Gazan colleagues becoming part of the tragedy."
Last Modified: 13 Feb 2009 16:00 GMT

"There was never a moment during the war when I thought "I am not going to make it out".

That was not from a lack of fear but more, I think, to do with a general outlook in life.

I genuinely didn’t believe that my time would come in this war. And I have no reason to base that on, it was just a gut feeling.

Throughout the course of the war I tried to keep my sanity by sticking to as much of my normal daily routine as possible. I’m a very sarcastic person, I joke around a lot so I used humour to distract people.

I think we all fed off of one another so whenever we felt anyone was down we tried to cheer them up.

It was not easy - there were definitely emotional breakdowns and disagreements and fears – but we were really able to rely on one another and that’s really the only to get through it.

There was not a day that went by that we didn't get support from our colleagues on the ground, our colleagues at Al Jazeera English back in Doha, our families, and friends but also people we had never met who were emailing us saying how important it was for us to continue.

It was very difficult for me to see my Gazan colleagues becoming part of the tragedy.

Inspiration

They weren’t just covering the war but were also living the war and all that meant for their homes, their families and their loved ones.

I was really inspired by the kind of dedication and focus they, and the other Palestinian journalists, had.

I felt I had an advantage being here by myself, with no ties and family.

I realised my obligation was to focus on the job, to focus on the well-being of our staff and make sure we were not taking any unnecessary risks and that whatever we were doing people felt comfortable to do whatever they had to do for their own personal lives, well before their professional responsibilities.

The senses that will stay with me long after this war are the smell of Shifa hospital and the sight of complete neighbourhoods reduced to rubble with people sifting through the debris searching for loved ones, as well as the sound of constant bombardment for 23 days.

That huge, loud thumping sound that really shakes you to your core every single time you hear it."

Source:
Al Jazeera
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