the faces of gaza


Ignorance is bliss, they say.

The children make ignorance impossible. Their faces tug at my peripheral, forcing me to remain attached, desperate to end this merciless manslaughter.

I was there. I met them, teaching in a Palestinian school. I saw the way their eyes lit up when I entered the crowded room. Do their eyes still light up?

I watched as they played in the dirt at recess—for there were no toys; there was no playground equipment. Yet still, they played. Are they playing now?

I helped them sound out the English alphabet, vowel by consonant; today, can they speak, at all?

I saw the way their little hands unwrapped lunches far too small; do they still eat?

I heard them laugh as they made their way home among decrepit slum-like buildings, picking their way across garbage, around pot-holes and rats. Where do they walk to, now?

It’s been too long since Gaza rang with a child’s laughter. Now, all I can hear is the sound of senseless bloodshed, making a mockery of yesterday’s innocence.



  1. Keith said,

    January 8, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    Emily, I thought you did an excellent job with this. It doesn’t claim to know all the answers and isn’t too polemic in tone, but recounts your specific experience. If you had been teaching in an Israeli school where children had been fearing for their lives due to random bombings the post might be different, but you’re recounting your experience with the Palestinian side of things.

  2. joannamallory said,

    January 9, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Thank you for this look at some of the faces in this battle. None of the children deserve this, on either side of the dividing line.

  3. Melanie said,

    January 11, 2009 at 1:46 am

    Em, this post is close to home in a sense. I can’t imagine my son having to experience life like that, and my heart aches for those children. Thank you for writing for justice.

  4. hoda said,

    January 11, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Thanks Emily, that was great. Two girls related to us died in the school bombings by those Israeli terrorist, but how many died such horrible deaths. No one deserve to die from both sides. Don’t miss understand me, i believe it’s also a terrorist act what HAMAS is doing by throwing random bombs on civilians. I believe both are wrong, and it’s the innocent people that have to suffer. How many tears been shed over this war. We’re ran by power hungry leaders that brain wash people to follow blindly and use them as shields for their personal advantages. Why can’t people open their eyes and see, we can all manage to live in peace. Hate is covering everyone’s heart and blinding them from seeing the truth. I only wish if there was more we can do. How can we make people see the truth behind all this.
    Thank you again my friend. May God bring peace to all those aching hearts…

  5. January 13, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    i hate it the way its referred to as a campaign. the campaign is nearly completed! great. just great.

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