During the time of the siege, Ahmed, a very young child in Gaza, left his home with his family because it was located very close to a big mosque that people had heard was going to be bombed. Later, while he was playing football, he was bombed by an Israeli F-16, separating his body into very small pieces. Ahmed escaped from his destiny to his destiny.
During the time of the siege, Zyneb, a youth in her twenties, was prevented from leaving Gaza to receive medical attention. Due to that, she passed away and was the first victim of the siege. She left her family, husband, and many friends, all who loved her. After she passed away, one of the Israeli soldiers who worked hard to prevent her from leaving, asked her father, as he was carrying her dead body, “Why do you cry? All of us will die!”
During the time of the siege, Salah, a very clever youth who was forced to leave school to work in one of Rafah’s tunnels in order to provide food for his family, was suffocated under the sand of a destroyed tunnel. He joined the list of 150 people who died inside the tunnels while they were “smuggling” food and medicine to their besieged people.
During the time of the siege, Fadel, a very handsome journalist was killed while he was covering an Israeli attack on Gaza, carrying only his camera. He joined the list of dozens of journalists who were killed by the same means, and maybe even by the same soldiers.
During the time of the siege, Abed, a new high school graduate was prevented from leaving Gaza to attend a university outside. He lost his opportunity to continue his education like students do all over the world.
During the time of the siege, Islamic University of Gaza was attacked, but its academic staff and students were determined to continue to reach their goal of conveying their eternal message to the whole world. They showed the world that determination could be enough to change the face of history.
During the time of the siege, China marked the anniversary of 70 years of continuous electricity without cutting off, while in Gaza, electricity goes off daily. This threatens the life of hundreds of patients at hospitals, and the hopes of hundreds of students who wish to find light to read in order to get out of ignorance.
During the time of the siege, people created everything from nothing, built high buildings from the remains of destruction and sang for peace and love. During that time, students were looking for pens to write, while patients were busy looking for medicine to aid a speedy recovery.
During the time of the siege, people used corn oil to run cars, wood to cook, candles to read, mud to build, tents to learn, Zinc to cover the remains of homes, and hope to live.
During the time of the siege, Gaza was turned into an open air prison, walls were built to prevent the shine of the sun, tanks were on the borders prepared to shell, and soldiers observed the hungry and sick people inside but still prevented them from getting their food and medicine, much in the same way they prevented them from getting their freedom.
During the time of the siege, thousands of Palestinian prisoners were prevented from seeing their families for years, and yet no one talked about them, while the whole world was engaged in Gilad Shalit, thinking of creative ways to release him. During that time, Shalit realized what spending 33 years in prison means and his family shared just a part of what the suffering of the Palestinian people feels like.
During the time of the siege, hundreds of peace activists tried to break the siege of Gaza. Many of them succeeded at their task, while many others were prevented from getting into the Gaza Strip, sometimes by governments refusing their entry and other times by navy soldiers, armed to the teeth, killing nine of them in international waters.
During the time of the siege, people became more aware of what was going on. They learned who was right and who was wrong, who were the victims and who were the victimizers, who were the occupiers, who were the occupied and who was defending and who was attacking.
During the time of the siege, Gaza became the most famous city in the world; however, it’s the smallest part of it. The city wrote verses of glory upon history walls, stories of steadfastness and sent glimpses of hope and messages of peace to the rest of the world, which exerted no effort to harm her.
Yousef M. Aljamal is a senior student at the Islamic University of Gaza. His sister was one of the victims of the siege he describes above. She passed away June 18, 2007 after being prevented from leaving Gaza to receive medical attention. All of the stories told above are stories Aljamal himself has witnessed.