To Egypt – Messages from Gaza Now – October 2023 – April 2024

To Egypt

Friday 11th April after one month of very anxious waiting, our names were on the HALA list to travel.  Left home at 6.30am, arriving at the border in 15 minutes.  The Palestinian side started the process of letting people in the Departures Hall at 8.  Have no idea why they asked us to arrive at 7am!

The hall was very full, complete anarchy, no order, official staff are shouting at people here and there.  It took us 2 hours to get out after the passport check and to get the bus to the Egyptian side.

At the Egyptian side everything is absurd and nothing is normal.

We were on the first bus to enter the Egyptian side, yet they kept us waiting one hour inside the bus; we can never know or ask why.

Entering the Welcome Hall.  It’s supposed to be a VIP space with VIP services.  The hall with good chairs, enough for 50-70 people, yet there were 500 people.  There was the cafeteria which is supposed to provide free drinks and snacks.  The servants were shouting at people, treating us impolitely and we don’t know why.

The passport checks normally take 30 minutes to an hour.  They kept us waiting until 4pm.  We don’t know why!

We had our dog, Buddy, with us inside a special animal box.  He was barking sadly from time to time, and the comments we receive from people are really tough.  It seems no-one saw it as normal to take a dog out.

We arrived at 10.30pm.  That’s good, some people were arriving after midnight.  

Salma, our daughter, Salma was there in the street waiting for us.  I don’t know and I cant find the words to explain how it was, the next hour with Salma, after six months under the bombing without seeing her.  I leave this to your imagination.

I went to take a shower.  There was this big mirror in the bathroom.  First time I see my full body for six months.  This is not me.  Much older than I used to be, as if it were years that had passed since I saw my face, my arms, my body, my legs, very thin, looking like Joaquin Pheonix in the movie, Joker.

I thought to myself, maybe better to see a doctor.  I told Abeer.  She and Salma said, you must.

I already know that my sudden weight loss is mostly because of stress.

We went to a doctor.  He asked for several blood analyses and an abdomen ultrasound scan.

The second day the results were ready; we went back to the doctor.

Due to severe malnutrition, I had anaemia and vitamin D deficiency.

He prescribed some medications, vitamin D injections, multi-vitamin supplements and a list of foods that I should increase in my diet.

That’s not a big deal.  I can afford, find and take them and things will be ok.

How many people are malnourished in Gaza now?  How many children are anaemic in Gaza now? UNICEF said that 1 in 3 children in Gaza are suffering severe malnutrition.  I believe this is a conservative estimate.  I believe there are 3 out of 3 children in Gaza are malnourished and suffering from many other diseases as well as anaemia.

What about those orphan children, more than 20,000 orphans in Gaza?  Are they being taken care of?  Are they provided with proper food by their new carers?

Is there any end to this genocide?