Letter to my baby: In Gaza, I’m sorry I dreamt of a better future

Life in Gaza has always been challenging, but we endeavoured to live, dream, and thrive. Even hoping now feels like a luxury.

Baby Iyas (left) and baby Ezz [Maram Humaid/Al Jazeera]
Baby Iyas (left) and baby Ezz [Maram Humaid/Al Jazeera]

Gaza Strip — My baby Iyas has turned three months old, and my nephew Ezz has just completed one month.

Here’s my note to them:

Dear Baby Iyas and Baby Ezz,

I understand that you sense something is wrong. Your reactions to the explosions are palpable – shaking and crying with each pounding sound.

At times, you seek answers in our faces, disturbed by the constant bombing and planes overhead during the night.

My dear babies,

I write this letter with the hope that you’ll grow up in a safe world to read it. However, sadly, that outcome is uncertain. The ongoing situation compels me to document this testimony for your generation.

As I gaze into your eyes, I imagine premature babies in al-Shifa Hospital being moved, endangering their lives.

The world has transformed into a graveyard for the most innocent beings. I contemplate the agonising stories of parents unable to reach their waiting children due to the ground invasion or, worse, those who may have been displaced or killed.

My babies, my heart weeps profusely. Every day in the hospital, I shed tears for the children growing up amidst this chaos. I cry when I see them laughing in the makeshift tents, oblivious to the tragic disaster unfolding around them – a reality they may comprehend only in the future.

A child bathing outside a tent. More than half of Gaza's population has been displaced by Israel's war on the narrow strip [Maram Humaid/Al Jazeera]
A child bathing outside a tent. More than half of Gaza’s population has been displaced by Israel’s war on the narrow strip [Maram Humaid/Al Jazeera]

My beloveds,

Your wellbeing in these tragic circumstances deeply concerns us, your parents.

Last week, your incessant crying and discomfort puzzled us until your grandmother’s kidney pain revealed the cause – unclean water. Despite our awareness, we had no alternative, leading us on a quest for clean mineral water bottles for your safety.

Daily, we would go to the hospital, also my current workplace as a journalist, seeking information about any available water sources.

The joy of returning home with water felt akin to holding a treasure, a stark reminder of the chaos surrounding a basic necessity – water.

The scarcity extends beyond water, worrying us about your dwindling baby formula and diaper supplies. Ezz, despite challenges, your dad managed to secure formula for you. But Iyas, we had to switch your formula due to unavailability, risking temporary discomfort.

As we navigate this real battle of thirst and hunger, discussing the most suitable formula for you seems like a luxury. Everything now revolves around preventing hunger.

I want to acquaint you with this “wonderful” world witnessing our struggle under various means of genocide.

Beyond water and food shortages, it has been over a month without electricity, internet, communications networks, supermarket supplies, bread or fuel.

Ongoing airstrikes inflict endless bloodshed, targeting every aspect of life, making this world unsafe for innocent babies like you.

Every day at the hospital, I witness bodies wrapped in bloody shrouds – women, men, and elders – but the most heart-wrenching are the children’s bodies. Babies here learn the sounds of missiles before the melodies of childhood.

Displaced, disconnected, bereaved and besieged – this is how the people of Gaza endure ongoing Israeli aggression.

My darlings,

This might be my last letter. Remember not to forgive those who stayed silent in the face of our suffering. Life in Gaza has always been challenging, but we endeavoured to live, dream, and thrive. Now, regret shadows every moment we envisioned bringing you into a better life.

Observing your smiles and hand-holding amid chaos breaks my heart. Hope for a better future here is scarce; the future seems to promise only more torture.

Source: Al Jazeera