'We are alive but it feels like we are dead': Gazan who lost home urges leaders to act

Ahmad Ghunaim said many are treating the Israel-Gaza war like it's a film to watch

Gazan content creator who lost home urges leaders to act

Gazan content creator who lost home urges leaders to act
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A Palestinian whose home was destroyed in an air strike said people should stop watching footage of the Israel-Gaza war as if it were a film and take action instead.

Digital content creator Ahmad Ghunaim, 24, who was lucky to survive when his apartment was destroyed two weeks ago, has opened up about the reality of life for those living in the Gaza Strip.

He spoke to The National about how he has been publishing content from the conflict since the first day of the war.

Mr Ghunaim said he was using his social media platforms to help shine a light on the reality of living under siege.

We are not just statistics in a news report, we are people, families, and we deserve to live in peace and security
Ahmad Ghunaim

“People are watching our suffering and the conflict as if they are watching a movie,” he said.

“We are living inside this movie, and we die every day but nobody makes a move to stop the war. Stop watching and take action

“We are alive but it feels like we are dead."

His apartment was destroyed in an air strike two weeks ago, the violence has only escalated since then.

More than 10,500 have been killed in Gaza, with 70 per cent of the population being forcibly displaced.

Home destroyed in air strike

He spoke of the horror he experienced when his home in the south of Gaza was blown to rubble.

“It was terrifying. The sound of the explosions and the chaos. It is something no one should ever experience,” he said.

“It was a miracle to survive and flee the house with my family members.”

As Israel continues its blockade of the Gaza Strip, Palestinians like Mr Ghunaim, find themselves facing several challenges, with basic needs becoming increasingly difficult to secure.

“Access to clean water, medical supplies, and even food is a daily struggle,” he added.

Despite the hardships, Mr Ghunaim is determined to provide for his family and maintain some degree of normality, despite the events unfolding around him.

His daily routine involves rationing his family's food supplies, scavenging for clean water, and venturing out into the damaged streets of the city in search of essential items.

He regularly awakens in the early hours of each morning to stand in long queues to hopefully get bread and clean water.

“Yesterday I stood for six hours and could not get bread for my family,” he said.

“I waited another two hours to get water also, but it was finished. I spent another three days waiting in queues just to get a gallon of water for my family.”

Life on the streets is now a reality for many

Mr Ghunaim is currently living on the streets along with his family after their home was destroyed.

“We left our destroyed home with no money and the schools cannot take any new refugees because they are full. I do not know what to do,” he added.

“There is no internet, and we cannot communicate. Israel is bombing us around the clock. They are making a genocide in Gaza. We are still alive, but we feel that we are dead from inside,” he said.

“There is no safe place in the whole of the Gaza Strip. We try to stay alive, but it is not under our control with the relentless and barbaric bombardment day and night.”

Mr Ghunaim remains hopeful in his determination to rebuild his life and support his family.

“We are not just statistics in a news report, we are people, families, and we deserve to live in peace and security,” he said.

While large swathes of the international community have called for a ceasefire and a resolution to the conflict, the people of Gaza, including Mr Ghunaim, continue to endure daily hardships and uncertainty.

“People died while they were sitting inside their homes. Life in Gaza is the worst it's ever been and it gets worse every day,” he said.

“We try to survive every day but it is difficult. We miss our normal life before the conflict.”

Updated: November 09, 2023, 12:21 PM