Stop this genocide

People run as the Israeli forces attack Gaza, 7 October 2023. (APA Images) 

I want to return to my home.

I want to feel like a human deserving of life. Truly deserving of the most basic human rights.

This war has stripped me of every aspect of my humanity.

I am a human. I swear I feel just like you do.

I desire a life like yours, but I am forced to choose between my country, my family, a home. I want them all.

I miss my home, the scent of it, resting in bed. The morning sun would shine on my bed, the rain would streak down my window in winter.

My siblings and I would watch TV in the living room, chatting while our mom cooked in the kitchen.

I want my father to once again enter our home and call for us all to gather. I want to tell him to remember to take off his shoes at the front door, something he always forgets to do.

Our home was a tranquil place and I long for it. Inside, you could hear the sea.

Our balcony was full of plants and flowers that grew lush.

These are the things I dream of. I want to return to this life I used to have, to mend everything the war has destroyed.

I need a home to feel like a human. A home is not a luxury, it is a fundamental need.

I no longer have a room to myself, a kitchen, a window – not even a door.

Stop this war

I am 24 years old. I studied law for four years and trained for two years at the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights.

A week before this genocide started, I passed the bar exam.

I was hoping to pursue a master’s degree in international humanitarian law before the occupation destroyed my life, dreams and hopes.

I watch the news, hoping that someone is working to end our suffering. Every day that passes kills a part of us.

Despite all our blood, wounds, pain, all I want is my homeland and my home.

Who are these people to decide the worth of my life? Who are you to disrupt my peace and dreams?

Stop this war before you kill our hope. Stop it and return us to our homes, because we deserve a decent life.

Or, return us to our homes and kill us there, as I don’t want to die in a tent.

Nour Khalil Abu Shammala is a lawyer in training in Gaza.