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‘We are still smiling’: Palestinians in the UAE rescued from Gaza say of their Eid celebrations – News


KT Photos: Shihab

Published: Sunday, April 14, 2024, 6:00 am

It was bittersweet Eid Al Fitr celebrations for Palestinians in the United Arab Emirates rescued from Gaza. Abdulrahman Alurdi, an 80-year-old cancer patient who survived but lost 12 of his children in the war, summed it up: “We are smiling and laughing through all the pain, hopelessness and misery.”

“The festive occasion should have been celebrated with friends and family, but we have lost many of them,” he said. Khaleej Timesadding: “We were still able to celebrate Eid, but it also served as a reminder of the loved ones we have lost.”

“We very much appreciate what the UAE has done for us and what it continues to do for us. Eid has always been with my sons and daughters. But today I’m not with any of them. “We are trying to enjoy what the UAE has organized for us, but it has been difficult without my children,” added Abdelrahman Al Kurdi.

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‘You treated us like this was our home’

Following the directives of President Sheikh Mohamed, thousands of injured and sick refugees were evacuated from Gaza. The injured Palestinians and their companions currently reside in the Emirates Humanitarian City in Abu Dhabi.

Khaleej Times joined the celebration of Eid Al Fitr. Bright and colorful decorations were put up; Happy lights brightened the atmosphere and the children participated in various games and activities.

Yusra Shaat.

Yusra Shaat.

“We are far from our home and our family, but the UAE has always treated us as if this is our home and you (the UAE) are our family,” said Yusra Shaat, an elderly woman battling cancer. of pancreas.

“This Eid has reminded us of all those happy memories we had with our loved ones before the war made us sad. Thank you, UAE, you are always trying to make us happy, and this means a lot to us,” he added.

Feda Mahmood, a 30-year-old mother and cancer patient, however has a fervent request: “Please also bring my husband here. I have no one left except him. And I fear losing him in Gaza too.”

Sahar Jamal, a 26-year-old mother from Gaza, added: “My house was destroyed and my husband was martyred. I came here with my three-year-old daughter who is having open heart surgery. But I had to leave my one-year-old son. I think about him every second. I hope he can be here too.

‘No more bombs, but dances’

The war between Israel and Hamas has been going on for six months and the death toll among Palestinians has reached more than 34,000 people. But in the Humanitarian City, the sound of bombs was replaced by wonderful music and dancing. The clowns entertained the children and they ran not to escape but to play and have fun.

Majid al Futtaim and other Humanitarian City partners set up a large open-air cinema, while Magic Planet organized a mini entertainment center as well as sports and games for children to celebrate Eid.

The recent Eid Al Fitr has shown that children will always be children and, in good spirits, they enjoyed games and laughed without worries. “This was everything I ever wanted,” said Qais, a Palestinian boy who lost a leg during one of the intense bombings by Israeli forces.

“We are grateful to the United Arab Emirates. We are safe. We have health and education. But I hope that one day life will return to normal in Gaza,” added another mother carrying her two babies.


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