These are the words of Sam Bahour, a Palestinian, born in Ohio, living in Ramallah since the early 1990s. He is in the telecommunications business and he maintains an email listserve. Today he writes:
"The Gaza borders remain closed. The Gaza sea remains blockaded. The airspace remains prohibited. No building materials allowed in. Electricity still shabby. Etc, etc, etc...the world has moved on...Gaza remains occupied 100%!
As we enter the 40 day mourning day of all those murdered...a special prayer for the children, the hundreds of children...
Humanity should be ashamed of itself--deeply ashamed..."
He also forwards an article from Ma'an News Agency, which is an integral part of Ma'an Network, a non-profit media organization founded in 2002 to strengthen professional independent media in Palestine:
Memories of Gaza dead continue to haunt the living
Date: 08 / 02 / 2009 Time: 14:09
Gaza – Ma’an – Layla Hussein Nassar “Umm Ibrahim” is 40-years old, though she seems much older.
Her home in Jabaliya was destroyed during the Israeli war on Gaza. Two relatives, her husband and five children were inside the home when it was hit by a missile. Umm Ibrahim collected as many of her injured children as she could and crawled out of the damaged building with her son Nahidh and sought safety in a house across the street.
Her husband Muhammad and four-year-old son Rakan were buried beneath the rubble. She did not know whether they were alive or dead.
Eventually Nahidh crawled out of the shelter to find help, leaving Umm Ibrahim alone with a dying daughter and seriously wounded daughter-in-law.
She is haunted by the girls’ screams and calls for help, and recalls staring intently at her destroyed home, willing there to be some sort of movement to let her know some of her other family members were alive.
Umm Ibrahim sat down with Ma’an reporter Khadra Hamdan on Saturday. Her thoughts are scattered and painful; now on the record as one of the victims of Israel’s war on Gaza.
"I have nothing in mind except what has happened to me. Everything is in my memory and I will never forget it all of my life. I am a mother who collected the fragments of her children, so how could I forget that?
…My son Rakan was torn to pieces. No hands, no legs and even no face were left. I could not bring him to the hospital; the house was falling down around him and my husband.
My daughter Fidaa was as beautiful as the moon. Oh God! How beautiful you were Fidaa! Her clothes were torn like her body. She died in my hands.
My elder son Ibrahim, I collected his body in a blanket and took him with me to the neighbors’ home. I went back for my daughter-in-law Eman; her face and legs were chopped and bloody and she kept asking me to call an ambulance.
The first day, I was not aware that my husband was killed. I was calling him to tell him that his sons and daughters were killed. I heard him asking for ambulance, and then his voice vanished.
Eman remained alive for approximately 18 hours. Umm Ibrahim remembers trying to sooth her:
- May God help you tolerate this.
- I also pray that God relieves you of this torture.
- Aunty, I am thirsty and hungry. My wounds are burning.