Humza Yousaf’s mother-in-law describes 'living nightmare' in Gaza

Elizabeth El Nakla says she has left her heart in Gaza

Elizabeth and Maged Al Nakla, Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf's parents-in-law. PA
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Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf’s mother-in-law has said she and her husband experienced a “living nightmare” when the bombings began in the Israel-Gaza war.

The parents of Mr Yousaf’s wife Nadia, Elizabeth and Maged Al Nakla, were visiting relatives in Gaza last month when the conflict broke out, leaving them trapped in the Palestinian territory for weeks.

The couple were able to return to Scotland after being permitted to pass through the Rafah border crossing into Egypt.

The couple managed the leave the region on November 3 after two failed attempts.

“It still feels very surreal, waking up in the middle of the night and I hear silence and in the dark. And then I remember I’m at home and that I’m safe,” Ms Al Nakla told Sky News.

“I feel very grateful for that. I walk down to my sister-in-law, who lives five minutes away, in the rain, in the dark, but feeling safe.

“I think no one can understand how that makes you feel when you’ve been in a situation where you think that you may die.

“Unfortunately, until our family and the people that we know and love and everyone in Gaza are safe, I don’t think we will get it. And I think my life has changed forever.”

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Speaking of the conflict, Ms Al Nakla said: “I wouldn’t wish that situation on my worst enemy.”

Ms Al Nakla said she had left her heart in Gaza.

She spoke of losing hope “so many times”, also telling of fears about never getting home.

“I hadn’t slept for 48 hours. I hadn’t slept for nearly three weeks. And you’re just so relieved. But you still don’t believe it and you’re so exhausted,” she added.

“Then you get on the bus and you see all these happy children. We were given a bottle of water and a pack of biscuits. And it is such a relief. You can’t imagine.

“But, again, your heart is torn. I left my heart in Gaza and I didn’t bring it home with me.”

Updated: November 21, 2023, 4:46 AM