360° Analysis

In the Heart of Gaza City


November 21, 2012 04:09 EDT

Fady Dawoud, Project Coordinator for Human Appeal International Gaza, gives a personal account of the current conditions in the territory's hospitals.

As I stand at the entrance to al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza, I feel broken and horrified by the scenes that surround me. A never-ending influx of injured people flow through the doors of the emergency room. Hospitals are overcrowded. Men, women and children are waiting for treatment, crying out in pain. Very few beds existed before the attacks, now they are even more of a rarity. People are just lying all over the floor, longing for the world to take notice.

We have no medical equipment; even the drip solution is being replaced by salted tap water. I can’t help but wonder if the use of such household treatments can possibly save any of these lives? After all, what is the might of salted tap water against a blown off leg or shrapnel ridden body? I guess this is how people felt hundreds of years ago before we had invented life saving equipment, or before our intelligence had reached the level at which compassion and support were not options but necessities.

Indiscriminate attacks are hitting children, men, women, old and young alike. My neighbour’s home, two buildings down from where I live and just adjacent to Human Appeal International’s office block, was bombed late last night. My family and I have had to evacuate our home, but we were definitely luckier than our neighbours who are now sprawled across the hospital floors waiting for their wounds to be treated.

My heart is trembling with fear. Any minute now, I might receive news of the death of another member in this family: the mother next to me is holding her breath, making silent prayers for the life of her son. Maher, the highest achieving engineering student at the Gaza Islamic University, is now lying nearly lifeless in the hospital ward, suffering 40% burns across his back.

When will this terror end? When will we be remembered?

*[Note: This article was written before the current ceasefire was announced].

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy.


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