I repeat the same words to myself every time a bomb goes off.
I say: “I am still young and there are things I want to achieve. I don’t want to die.”
Maybe I have a future. But so many other kids, my age and younger, do not.
Despite the huge amount of destruction and number of civilians who are victims in this bloody war, Gaza and its people are still here, holding up in the face of an evil and merciless Israeli occupation, while the world sits quietly watching on their TVs.
For 75 years, since 1948, Israel has been committing crime after crime against Palestinians who are supposed to be protected by international law.
But no. Israel makes excuses and lies to the world, so it can continue its cold-blooded murder spree with the support of powerful nations.
The neighborhood of al-Rimal is known for markets that sell all kinds of goods. Personally, it is one of my favorite places in Gaza.
I would go there with my mother on the weekends. Now, it has been turned into a sad and depressing pile of rocks and rubble.
Nothing is left in one piece.
Then there is the banned weaponry that has been used against terrified children like me – or what Israel describes as “terrorists” – like white phosphorous bombs.
Nobody is safe in this war. Civilians were asked to evacuate and leave their houses for no reason.
If they refused these orders they would meet their fate under the rubble of their own homes. Israel has no targets so they make up targets in order to present a “victorious” image in front of the world
As a 13 year-old child, this war has destroyed me psychologically. But I must be grateful: other kids like me have been destroyed physically or been completely removed from this unfair world.
I am scared and stressed thinking about what will happen later. Will I die?
I also try to think of good scenarios but that is more difficult.
Luckily I and my family evacuated at the early stages of the war to my sister’s house in Khan Younis in the south of Gaza. But others were forced to evacuate because of the dangers they faced in the areas they lived in, taking only their basic possessions and leaving everything else to be destroyed.
Aren’t all humans equal?
One of the worst scenarios I fear is my family being killed and I surviving – like other children who lost their family in this genocide.
My mother, God bless her, is not OK and I understand her feelings. She melts my heart with her tears.
I spend most of my time calming her down as much as I can and the same for my sisters.
Internet is limited, electricity is cut off completely, water is being shared between neighborhoods and bakeries are crowded with people who are trying to get their hands on something to feed themselves and their loved ones with.
If it stays like this then some might die, not because of bombing, but from the lack of nutrition.
Nobody knows what’s happening around us. The best source of news is the radio.
We all sit around it, listening quietly. Once, all of a sudden a loud boom hit, everyone screamed, and the house shook from the explosion.
“Is this the end?” I asked myself.
Your heart beats so fast because of the amount of stress you’re in.
All I can say is that that time, God gave us a chance for more life.
Kids around the world spend their days playing around safely, enjoying their life, getting properly fed and educated. But not us.
Palestinian kids under blockade can’t think of the same things other kids think of. What we see, hear and feel is different than for others.
Aren’t all humans equal? If so then why don’t we share the same rights?
I, like other children, have the right to play, the right to safety, the right to education and the right to live my childhood.
I wish this hell on earth ends soon and the world opens its eyes to the criminality of the Israeli occupation.
May God bless everyone and my home, the Gaza Strip.
Abdallah Ayman is a 13-year-old boy in Gaza.