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“This Is What I Can Offer for Gaza” – But Where Are The World Leaders for Palestine?

“Can you imagine hiding in a corner of your bedroom with your crying children? Can you imagine them getting hurt and not being able to take them to the hospital?”

“Can you imagine hiding in a corner of your bedroom with your crying children? Can you imagine them getting hurt and not being able to take them to the hospital?”

“Can you present these (bracelets) to Muslim leaders? These are what a weak woman cherishes, they are capable of doing more…I have donated as much as I can to help the people of Gaza, but I believe I need  to do more.” 

She sat there uncomfortably at the beginning of the interview, saying she had never done this before. When she started talking about Gaza, there was a certain spark in her eyes, and her voice became emotional, and then she began to tremble as tears streamed down her cheeks during most of the meeting in her apartment. 

I know of a Pakistani mother of two expatriate children living in Qatar, who doesn’t want to disclose her name because she believes it might negate her good deeds. We’ll call her “A.” She was deeply affected by the recent Israeli attacks on Gaza and wants to take action. She offered her jewelry, and when we asked her what  she wanted to do, she said, “I want to sell this.” 

As she removes the golden bracelets from her wrist, she says, “We’ve learned to be strong in the face of disasters and feel the pain of others because if terrible things happen to us, we expect the same. I want my children to also experience this empathy.” 

She holds a master’s degree from Karachi, loves her designer clothes, and enjoys pop music. It appears that she belongs to what remains of the middle class in  Pakistan. However, despite everything happening in Pakistan, her heart seems to flutter in Gaza. “I’ve sent money and clothing and whatever I can to the displaced people in our country, and many kind people are sponsoring them. But Gaza is different.” 

I won’t speak about the Pakistani reaction to Palestine because the media systematically narrows their view of the world. The criminal silence of the oil-rich Gulf states saddens me. They have so much. There’s so much extravagance here in the shopping malls, the cars they drive, and their luxurious homes. However, none of them can do anything to stop the oppressor. 

This is not far from Pakistan, and they don’t care about it; but it’s happening in their backyard. I address the Arab brothers: Is issuing statements all they can do? It’s shameful if you ask me.

“A” has now removed her bracelets, and it seems that anger has replaced the pain in her voice. “They can shut off the oil taps and the gas valves. Every year, they spend billions on purchasing military equipment and gear for what? Arab countries have enough deterrence to threaten Israel. I don’t want them to go to war; I just want them to use all this power to stop the killing of innocent women and children.” 

She rises to take her iPad and says, “Have you seen these pictures? It’s a funeral for eighteen members of a single family who were martyred in the Shujaiya area in Gaza.”

The next event is journalists dropping their cameras and assisting doctors. The next picture is of doctors working around the clock in a hospital that Israel targeted. Then you see the hospital floor again, a mix of blood and water with no space to walk without soaking your feet… and her timeline continues on Twitter. 

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This is what they do to the children of Gaza. All of this is happening on television screens. Don’t world leaders watch TV? Don’t Arab leaders check their Twitter and Facebook accounts and their email? It’s a terrifying and more callous silence than the killings. 

And she says, “Perhaps being a mother is what makes me feel the pain. I’ve never been to a war zone, and I don’t know what it’s like, but from what I’ve read – the shells fell like raindrops, the air was thick with explosives and dust from the destruction, and the smell of burnt flesh – can you imagine that? Being a parent there? Can you imagine hiding in a corner of your bedroom with your crying children? Can you imagine them getting hurt and not being able to take them to the hospital? And if you do, the hospital gets bombed!” 

She showed us the Palestinian flag that her young daughter had drawn. She says, “It’s not too early for children to understand what’s happening around them. My children pray with me every night for all the people suffering in the world.”

She wants her daughter to become a doctor so she can heal wounds. That’s what the six-year-old girl said, who also requested not to reveal her identity. “I gave my shirt to charity, and my mom said she’d buy me a new one. I gave it to the girl I saw in the picture, and her clothes were torn. They were torn, and there was blood on her face.” She turns to her mother and asks, “When will she get it?”

As I write this, over 2,500 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed. More than 7,000  wounded will need treatment for months, if not years. Civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, is being targeted, and livelihoods like farms and fishing boats have been destroyed. 

The so-called international community plays with words and supports the ongoing Israeli assault. The International Committee pleads for a ceasefire to allow much-needed medical supplies, which have been under siege since 2006. The recent events in Palestine have resulted in a dire situation, with countless lives lost, and many more innocent civilians left wounded and displaced.

The destruction of vital infrastructure, including hospitals and homes, has left communities in despair. The suffering of children, women, and men who are caught in the midst of this conflict is nothing short of a catastrophe.

The international community looks up to global leaders to lead the way in addressing this crisis. It is incumbent upon us all to stand up for the principles of peace, justice, and human rights. The people of Palestine are in dire need of humanitarian assistance, including medical supplies, food, clean water, and shelter. Suffering knows no boundaries, and it calls for a collective response from the international community.

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