‘My Hand and Foot are in Paradise’: Rahaf, the 11-Year-Old Gaza Artist

Rahaf sustained serious injuries in the August 2022 Israeli war on Gaza. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, the Palestine Chronicle)

By Mahmoud Ajjour – Gaza

Lying wounded on her bed inside the Indonesian Hospital in Gaza, Rahaf holds tightly on the metal bar before raising her left hand to make V for victory. The other hand was blown up by Israeli bombs. Her foot too is missing, and her body is filled with burns.

Rahaf is only 11 years old. Her house in the Jabaliya refugee camp was bombed by Israel. She told the Palestine Chronicle, “My hand and foot went ahead of me to Paradise when I was injured by the Zionist occupation.”

Describing the moment the Israeli missile fell, Rahaf said,

“I stepped out of the house to call on my brother Mohammed (13). We waited for my father to come back from the evening prayer at the mosque so that we could have dinner together. That’s when an (Israeli) missile shock the whole area, hitting me directly. I lost consciousness.”

“My brother Mohammed was with me at the time. He suffered injuries in his knee and mid-section. As for the children in the area, seven of them were killed and many were injured.”

Rahaf told the Palestine Chronicle that she is a talented artist, but after losing her right hand, she doesn’t know how she will be able to paint or write again.

“I cannot draw with my left hand. I also wanted to be a doctor to help people, but now I cannot do anything.”

Rahaf said that she has called on those who could help so that she may travel to Turkey to obtain prostheses for her arm and foot. She is now waiting for a response.

“I am waiting for my visa to Turkey,” Rahaf said, perhaps not fully aware of the long path of recovery awaiting her.

Before we left her bedside, she flashed the victory sign again.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

– Mahmoud Ajjour is a Gaza-based photojournalist. He is the Palestine Chronicle’s correspondent in the Gaza Strip.

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