Wednesday, January 07, 2009


It is heartbreaking to read what my colleague in Gaza has wrote here:

GAZA: 6 January

I'm absolutely exhausted. Despite the bombing last night I managed to get some sleep - I don't know how - I think my body just had enough.

Families have sheltered in schools

An Islamic Relief aid team went out and visited one of the UN schools that has been turned into a shelter for families displaced by the bombing. What I saw was heartbreaking.

Before me were families who have had their homes destroyed and have lost everything. Gaza is a very poor place and many people didn't have much before the bombing started. Many more are left with even less now.

The people I met told me that they had found themselves in the firing line and had no choice but to leave their homes.

I met a mother who was burning paper in order to boil water for her child. She was doing this because she had no milk - maybe she could fool her hungry baby with the warm water?

I was surprised at the amount of women and children I saw in the school - and worried too.


People are exhausted, traumatised and they are surviving on a limited amount of food - there simply isn't enough.

I found it very hard to see people suffering like this, especially the children.

At Islamic Relief we have decided that we have no choice but to deliver food to people - no matter what the dangers, and there are plenty of dangers in Gaza. As aid workers we can not stand by and watch as people suffer - they have nothing and we have to do something to help them.

There are around 500 people sheltering in the school and we are also preparing to provide people with hygiene kits, which contain simple things like soap which are important in preventing the spread of disease.

Seeing women and children living in these kind of conditions is unbearable. Many of the children had walked long distances to reach the schools. Their parents had thought they would be safe here.

The children are tired and hungry and do not know why they have been made to leave their homes and live in classrooms, like most Gazans they are cold and hungry and bewildered by the events of the past 11 days.

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