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Medical support and evacuation my family Gaza

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Life moved very slowly before the aggression on my city Gaza, especially my life. Now, it is taking off at a tremendous speed and running over everyone who stands in its way.

I am Esam Hani Hajjaj, a writer trapped in the European Gaza Hospital in Khan Yunis. We are a family of 8 people, each with a story of their own that we are living through and learning from.

I became displaced with my family and aunt to Khan Younis after the occupation army bombed our house over our heads without warning in the Zeitoun neighborhood in the northern Gaza Strip on October 27, 2023. Everyone in the house was injured, but my father's injury was the most serious until this moment. My father suffered a double fracture in his left hand and right foot and lost most of the vision in his right eye.

We were transferred from Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza to the European Gaza Hospital in the southern Gaza Strip to perform the necessary operations for my father's recovery. We waited a long time for my father to undergo operations, which eventually went badly, and compromised his ability to walk. He is in need of immediate medical surgery to repair his hand, shattered by shelling, and the necessary operations to restore his vision, which now can only be done outside of the Gaza Strip.

This month marks the fourth month of waiting, and his referral is yet to be accepted. So, a person does what they would prefer not to in order to survive. My family has no choice now but to travel through Egyptian coordination, and we need support so that my father can complete his treatment and we can seed hope for my family.

My sister, Manar, 24 years old; she dreamed like any girl to start a family. Her fiancé was waiting for her in Egypt, and the whole family was going to her wedding in December. But the occupation severed this happiness. My brother, Ameer, 23 years old; he dreamed of graduating in IT, traveling, and opening his own company. My sister Shahd, at the age of 18, finished high school but could not enroll in university and have her first experience among the masses of people and their ideas. My sister Shaima was unable to complete her studies to pursue medicine. My brother Ahmed found himself 50 meters away from home during the explosion, and lost his hearing. My father looks at us, searching for a solution to escape this cycle while my mother remains patient with prayers and some bread.

I was raised in my grandmother’s home, under the care of a remarkable woman who was a math teacher in Gaza's schools. At the age of fourtee, she suffered multiple brain strokes, leaving her immobilized and unable to speak. This meant that I never had the opportunity to talk with her or hear her voice. Despite enduring the challenges of a prolonged siege, she maintained remarkable patience and always wore a gentle smile.

Not being able to move in a war situation, not being able to run for your life, goes against every instinct of survival that a human being has.

Today, my grandmother's health is deteriorating, leaving her fatigued and in need of an accommodation that respects her dignity, which she rightfully deserves. Tragically, her home in Shuja'iyya was recently shelled, marking the second time this has happened since the war of 2014, forcing the family to rebuild it once more.

Throughout her life, my three aunts have been supportting for her, but now they find themselves in a desperate struggle for both their own survival and hers.

The violence has forced my grandmother and aunts to seek refuge in my uncle's house, which itself became a target in an attack. Adding to the hardship, the family had not completed paying for the house, and the entire family lost their savings in this war. With each relocation, they have had to start anew, only to lose everything again. After moving to five different places within Gaza City, they were eventually forced to seek refuge, walking on their foot, to the southern part of the Gaza Strip, with my grandmother now reliant on a wheelchair.

My uncle Ismael and his wife Reham, who have a seven-year-old daughter named Maria, face daily peril as they strive to provide her with basic necessities to survival like food, or clean water. Maria, like many Gazans children, sees her dreams fading away in the middle of the chaos of war. Uncertain of ever experiencing her first day of school or the simple joy of playing with children her age, she longs for a chance to dream and live..

I was living in a state of deadly calm before the aggression with the siege imposed on Gaza, we all were, but the aggression added a very rapid pace that almost made me lose my mind. I graduated in 2020 from university with a major in English literature, but my passions in life drew me to working in community and writing in the Arabic language.

Since 2020, I have been working with my friends on a community project through the concept of mujaawarah, supporting each other in healing the ruptures in our knowledge caused by the curriculums and systems of education, and a lifetime learning in times of war under occupation and siege.

With the help of friends outside Gaza, everything I documented in writing during the aggression is available through a blog for the world to read about a small part of what is happening in Gaza and about the project Witness From Gaza.

My family has the right to life, safety, and treatment. Your support will help my family in healing and surviving the genocide that we are facing, and it will help me in spreading my dream and carrying my story to the world. More concretely, your donations will help me, my family, my grandmother, my aunts, my uncle, his wife and their daughter to evacuate Gaza and leave to Egypt and for my father to get the treatment he needs.

I live among people, share, and write my story and the stories of people in Gaza. The probiotic of knowledge must spread, as the more the circle widens and we share knowledge and tales, the more we help ourselves in saving ourselves from this cognitive brutality and endless war on our bodies, lands and spirits.

The house of Essam's family after being bombed

Essam Next to his aunt's house:

Essam's father at Alshifa' hospital:

Grandmother before the war:

Grandmother seeking refuge in the south of Gaza strip:

Grand parents house in Shuja'iyya:


Essam's uncle and his daughter, Maria living in a tent:

Essam's uncle house:

The area around Essam's house:

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Adham Ihmaid
Organizer
Berlin

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