* Trigger warning: This blog contains potentially distressing content.
In the beautiful city where I live, Al-Zahra city, in the Gaza Strip, stood a beautiful house that I have walked around and watched a family live in since my childhood. The family left the home and let their guard and his family live there until they returned. His family consisted of his wife and 3 children, they were poor but happy. The guard felt very lucky to be given this beautiful house, especially since he did not have to pay anything for it. His family was great, and every time I looked the parents were drinking coffee and watering the plants while the kids played happily in the yard. I could see the happiness in their eyes, their laughter made me happy. However, their happiness did not last, and the guard began to see the beautiful house as a curse.
War came very fast. The guard left the house, leaving his wife and children locked in it. One of the warplanes above chose their house as prey, and a soldier warned the guard that his house was a target and to get out of it. He called his wife to tell her the news and hopped in a taxi to rush home and let his family out of the house. His wife opened the window and began to scream and cry for help, but there was not enough time, they were only given a 10-minute warning. She asked all of her neighbours for help but only her husband was able to open the door. Once 10 minutes passed, the plane started shelling the house and quickly turned it to rubble. As soon as it ended, everyone started running towards the house to help. Everyone was in shock. The three children survived by climbing inside the foam of a mattress, but the mother did not have enough time to save herself and was killed.
Four years have passed and the memory of this event and the mother that died does not leave my thoughts. The great beautiful house is now a pile of stones, and every time I pass it I remember the beautiful house, the wonderful mother, and her love and sacrifice for her children.