A city on the run – Messages from Gaza Now – October 2023 – May 2024

9 April 2024

A city on the run 


This city, a city that was barely able to host its 300,000 residents and is now hosting a million people, a city that no-one ever heard about, and now a city all world knows about; this poor city, surrounded by fences, observation towers and guns ready to shoot, lying with the coast of the Mediterranean to its west.

A poor city with sad streets, dark buildings, only the breeze of the sea makes it tolerable.  Accidentally, this city has a border crossing to the outside world. Yet this crossing is very limited, very expensive, unreachable for the majority of the residents of Rafah and all of Gaza.

This city is chased now by guns and tanks and airstrikes, by bombing and shelling and killing and the displacement of its people. Invaded by fully armed soldiers, but who are mainly full of hate. 

For three days the city got shaken up, turned upside down, one million people running everywhere, nowhere, looking for nonexistent safety. And suddenly half the city became a ghost city, receiving bombs silently, losing its buildings with grief, forcibly abandoned, and left alone. 

One million people again displaced, on the run again, for the third time, for the fourth time, for the fifth time, and while running they lose parts of themselves, they lose properties, they lose one or more of their beloved ones, they lose their resilience and their ability to continue, they lose their dignity and humanity, they become broken, weak, sad, despairing. 

During the last three days, I have received many appeals asking for tents, for mattresses, for food, for a place to stay or to take refuge, for assistance materiel, for reassurance, for words of encouragement, for hugs. And who am I? What can I offer? What do I have? What can I offer!? 

I am helpless…