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‘We are strong and resilient’: Palestinian mothers in the UAE describe the story of survival – News

Sabah Elnemnem, a Palestinian grandmother from Gaza, in Abu Dhabi. — Photo by Ahmed Waqqas Alawlaqi

Published: Sunday, December 17, 2023, 6:00 am

In recent months, the world has witnessed the murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children in Palestine. Amid all the deaths and atrocities committed by Israel, strength and resilience were the words used by one mother to describe her fellow Palestinians.

Israeli bombings have killed more than 18,000 people in Gaza, and among them 80 were relatives and friends of Sabah Elnemnem, a Palestinian grandmother from Gaza, who recently arrived in Abu Dhabi.

Kamilla Ahmed, a cancer patient living in Gaza, also lost three of her children, as well as brothers and sisters. The same goes for Wissam Al Farrah, whose mother also arrived in Abu Dhabi for medical treatment.

No food or water

Describing the situation in Gaza, Sabah told Khaleej Times: “There is no food or water; We can barely find gasoline. Gaza is becoming empty. Many people died and those who remain either suffer from a fatal illness or are disabled.”

The United Nations reported worrying shortages of water, food and electricity in affected areas of Palestine. Sabah said she experienced this herself: not being able to light her stove or get clean water and surviving with only a loaf of bread for the day. But that didn’t stop them from helping others with whatever they could.

Human empathy grows

A Palestinian woman arrives in Abu Dhabi from Gaza.  —Ahmed Waqqas Alawlaqi

A Palestinian woman arrives in Abu Dhabi from Gaza. —Ahmed Waqqas Alawlaqi

In times of crisis and war, human empathy and unity grow. When the war began, Kamilla and many others opened their homes to affected Palestinians, even though food, water and electricity were scarce. They made sure everyone felt at home.

“My older children got married and recently bought an apartment. Now, their house has 20 people and our family house has more than 50,” Kamilla said.

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