Testimonies from Gaza Youth: Dunia Aburahma and Sara Besaiso
October 22 2023
blog Series: 

Editor's note: Both these testimonies were video testimonies published on the Institute for Middle East Understanding's instagram page. We transcribed and published them here with permission. 

Dunia Aburahma

I’m 22 years old. I’m an architecture student in the Islamic University of Gaza, and I’m living here in Gaza City. We’ve been experiencing  some terrifying moments. We don't know if we’re [going to] live in the next moment or not. We are praying, every second, to be alive. This is not a new thing for us. This moment and what happened in the last few days, this is not a new thing, but it [is] super terrifying, and we [are] super terrified. 

We evacuated from our home to our friend's, and now we're evacuating again. At 3:00 am on Oct. 14, we were informed that we have to evacuate again, [Israel' is [going to] bomb every house in the city and destroy the streets, the buildings, and our houses. We’re not [going to have] a home anymore.We’ve been experiencing this for years, but this time it [is] miserable and terrifying. And, we hope that we will have our simple rights to at least have a home and be safe one day. 

Sara Besaiso

I live in Gaza, Palestine. Let me tell you about [what] it is like from a Palestinian’s point of view that’s living in Gaza right now. These past [few] days, we’ve had no rest. We barely slept through the night, and the kids in our family don’t know what to do. They don’t know what to expect. They barely understand what’s going on. We had to evacuate — leave from house to house — three times. My neighborhood was bombed with white phosphorus, and it is known to be illegal, but apparently nothing is too illegal for it to be used on us. On Oct. 13, [Israel] asked 1.1 million of us, people from Gaza, to go South. But the question is, where should [we] go? They’re asking [us] to leave [our] houses, [our] homes, [our] neighborhood, the people that [we] love, and [our] friends to go evacuate to the South. We don’t have anywhere to go. They told us to go South because it’s [going to be] be safer, then they started bombing us [in the] South. 

I don’t know what you guys want, or expect me to do, but we have faced — [Israel has] been [committing] war crimes. They cut off electricity, water, and all life resources that a human being needs to live. They’re breaking international law again and again. But who cares? It’s just some kids in Palestine, right? No one cares about us! How are we supposed to get our voice out? 

What we’re asking for is peace. We want this to stop. What is our fault of being civilians? Was it my only fault that I have been born in this city, or in this country? Is that the only fault of those kids that have been killed? Most of the people that have been bombed and killed were civilians, babies, children, they don’t understand what’s going on. I can tell you, half of the people right here with me, half of those kids don’t understand why this is happening to them. 

They’re asking why. Could you tell us why this is happening?


About The Author: 

Dunia Aburahma is an architecture student at the Islamic University of Gaza.

Sara Besasio is a 16-years-old Palestinian from Gaza.  

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