Dubai resident K.M. is heartbroken after losing five relatives in Gaza as Israel continues to bomb the city. “I am scared,” she said. “Every time my phone rings, I am scared that I will have lost more of my family members. But my parents and relatives sound so bold, happy, and cheerful when we manage to speak to them on the phone. They say they are ready to face anything, but I know that in reality, they are just waiting for their turn.”
Tragic Losses Amid Israel-Hamas War
She is one of many Palestinian residents who have lost their loved ones or live in constant fear of receiving tragic news as the Israel-Hamas war rages on.
Stories of Grief and Loss: Gaza
Another UAE resident, A.S., posted a heartbreaking account of losing his friend in the strikes. A former student of a university in the UAE, the friend was killed along with his family as a bomb destroyed their home. A.S paid tributes to his late friend in a social media post.
High Toll and Ongoing Conflict: Gaza
On October 7, Hamas launched an offensive attack on Israel, killing hundreds and taking several as hostages. Retaliatory strikes by Israel killed over 6,500 people- 2,700 of whom were children.
Homes and Lives Shattered: Gaza
For Alaaeddin Aburamadan, who works for a public relations agency in Dubai, his father’s life-long savings in the UAE was destroyed in the bombing. Aburamadan’s parents lived in the UAE for 40 years before they moved back to their newly built home in Gaza.
Daily Struggles for Survival: Gaza
Aburamadan speaks to his sister twice a day to check on her and her three kids aged below 14.
An Unrelenting Nightmare
For Palestinian musician Haishe, who lives in Dubai, every day is like living through his worst nightmare. He has his family in the town of Zaytoon in Gaza where bombing has reduced the entire neighborhood to rubble.
Waiting for Relief and an Uncertain Future
He said his parents wait by the phone with bated breath. “They call their siblings every day and when the line doesn’t connect, they start worrying,” he said. “My father is devastated. He had dreamt of retiring from the UAE and going back home. He always said that he wanted to die peacefully in Gaza.”
Resilience Amidst Adversity
Haishe, who last visited his ancestral home in 2003, said he remembers Israeli shelling even back then. “I was about 7 or 8 and I remember the bombing throughout the night,” he recalled. “I was scared but my cousins didn’t bat an eyelid. And the next morning, they woke up and went on like everything was normal. And that is the beauty of Palestinians. No matter what happens, we will rise again and continue on. And that is how we Palestinians teach the world about life.”