Yassmin Moor

A life cut short

Five-month-old Eyad is one of the happiest babies I’ve ever met. Barely touch his cheeks and he smiles and giggles; tickle his little belly and he bursts out in laughter, kicking his feet up in the air. Jamalat, his mother, says his laughter is a blessing from God for it fills her heart with joy and takes away some of her heartbreak and sorrow. Yassmin Moor writes from Gaza. 

Sarah, Mahmoud and Yehya

Sarah Abu Ghazal’s school uniform still lay on her mattress, untouched as she had left it before running out after her cousins Mahmoud and Yehya Abu Ghazal on Wednesday, 29 August. She was to begin the fourth grade on 2 September, but her friend Amani, who has accompanied her to school since the first grade, would walk alone this year. Sarah’s mother had bought her the blue school uniform, blue jeans and the black shoes just the day before she was killed by Israel tank fire. Her mother waited until the last minute to buy Sarah’s school supplies because she was waiting for her husband’s salary which he had not received since June. 

Watching Gaza collapse

Today I went with my cousin’s wife and her children to Gaza’s social welfare office to pick up her monthly paycheck from the government. My cousin was killed last September by an Israeli sniper while he stood in front of his house. Overnight his children and wife became eligible to receive 375 NIS (a little less than $100) a month from the Palestinian government because their father was now a martyr. Yassmin Moor in Gaza writes that this is their third time coming to the office in the last month, because every time they go it’s closed. 

A tribute to my grandparents' home

I first learned of my grandparents’ home being demolished a few months after it actually happened in October 2003. Rafah was besieged by the Israeli army at that time and phone calls to Gaza were nearly impossible. Al-Brazil housing project was hit especially hard because it was alongside the Gaza-Egypt border. I remember I was driving to school in Pennsylvania when my mother called to tell me. She was very calm, and reported it to me like she reported every other piece of news that came out of Gaza. I could not comprehend what she was saying. 

Hello from Rafah

Here in Gaza, we’re all listening to the radio and watching the news every hour (our only way of knowing what’s happening in the outside world), waiting to see what Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas), Israel and the US are planning for us, and where our fate will take us. This has become more than a prison for the people of Gaza. It’s hard not to feel like animals in a zoo, where we are caged and have enough food for two weeks at a time to keep us alive, but not well or free while someone decides what to do with us.