“My Little Son Hazem’ - Gaza Conflict November 2012
By Yazdan El Amawi
Four years since the last offence in Gaza "Operation Cast Lead" during the winter of 2008/2009, where memories have been flashing back with every single explosion heard in Gaza since then.
I returned home on Wednesday, 14 November 2012 at around 4 pm after a long working day, which concluded with a series of air strikes on Gaza city, declaring the launching of an Israeli Operation "Pillar of Cloud". I had already planned to spend the long weekend with my kids and wife and extended family and friends celebrating the holidays, however we ended up trapped in our homes and only able to pray for Gaza and the people of Gaza to get safe out of this violence!
With every single explosion during the last three days, we all had to rush to my youngest son, Hazem who is 9 years old, to hold and calm him down! We have noticed that Hazem is closing his ears with his fingers each time he hears the explosions or feels the house shaking as a result of the airstrikes, some of which are very close to our house. Hazem told me that he feels better when he closes his ears, but remains afraid and in shock for a while. For this we have become very attentive and tell Hazem every time we sense an airstrike, before bombardment, so he can cover his ears.
Hazem and all of us have been glued to the TV for the last three days it keeps us fully occupied, fascinated by what is going on outside! Luckily Hazem, has a brother of about the same age, Mohammed who is 10.5 years old who helps me keeping Hazem busy and distracted from the bombing outside our window. We play tennis table, chat, tell stories and play the games we all like!
Hazem is setting next to me now while I am writing this with his two hands on his cheeks in anticipation of a new airstrike and asking me when this will be over. Before I answer, another raid strikes close by, so I hold him as he inserts his fingers into his ears again! Hazem fell asleep in my lap before I put him in bed, I am hoping to have an answer for his question in the morning!