Gaza: The Memories of War Still Haunt Us

A destroyed Mosque during the 2014 offensive on Gaza. (Photo: File)

By Noor Salha – Gaza

It was a memorable and a tragic night at the same time. I wish I could forget those moments and everything that happened to us on that day. But I can’t.

I cannot forget that day because of the fearful, chaotic, destructive, and deadly atmosphere my family had experienced. We had to leave our own house within a few minutes before it was completely destroyed. Those minutes were not enough even to think about anything other than survival.

I was shocked, at times motionless, sad, and weak. I put my scarf on my head and just left. I still remember the screams of my father at that moment. He was saying, “God save us! Most Benevolent is He in whom we trust,” and rushed out in extreme hurry, screaming and praying.

I was afraid of losing my family. I was asking God to die before experiencing the loss of my family. This was all I felt at that moment.

We got out of our own home, in which we were raised and had so much love and memories; the whole process took a few seconds. The scene outside was just horrible, frightening. All people were outdoors, children were crying and older people were screaming, but they were subdued compared to the terrible sounds of F16s that invaded the skies. I felt like a two-year old child who knew nothing but following her mother. The scent of death was all over the place – destroyed buildings, dust and smoke ..

I was powerless to do anything. I felt dejected and hopeless. I was living an internal conflict over whom I was going to lose next.

At first, we ran randomly without a sense of direction or destination. No path was safe. No home was secured, and streets were not visible as ruins were everywhere. Everything seemed like a possible target to the F16s. It was as if life had no meaning anymore. The sounds of bombs dropping, smoke filling the air was a site that eventually grew familiar.

The warplanes bombed a building in the next neighborhood. We were able to see the smoke and the black fume rose to the sky. We managed to reach a neighbor’s house. People in Gaza remained kind and hospitable despite the terrible situation.

We stayed with them for about five minutes before we heard a loud explosion. Missiles rammed into our home, destroying it completely, along with our memories.

– Noor Salha is an English language student at Al-Aqsa University in Gaza. She contributed this article to

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1 Comment

  1. love to you Noor and your family – thank you for having the courage to share with us what we all much work to heal.
    I am moved to tears by your writing – I will pray that God can show me a way to help and give strength to you and your noble and kind people.
    Your gift for writing is amazing – you are passionate but never allow your feelings and passion to weaken your sight of details and facts – this shows a strong and clear heart and mind. I believe you will become a great voice for your people – lifting them up by showing them their common feeling and experience and by opening the truth to the outside without hate or distortion – but by truly showing the experience of your eyes and heart.

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