I am Mustafa Darwish Abu Batnain, a Palestinian citizen based in Gaza. I studied the English Language at the university for four years in order to tell the people around the world about our suffering in Gaza. Honestly, I believe that each family in Gaza has its own tragic story and this is ours:
We live in abject poverty due to the Israeli siege which has been imposed on Gaza for about 12 years. My father suffers from an eye disease and needs a corneal transplant. He is unable to work because he is old and did not complete his studies at the university due to the Intifada and abject poverty his family lived through.
I myself, just like thousands of ambitious youngsters in Gaza, try hard to find a job, but the unemployment rate here is very high. Therefore, I could not find an appropriate job to guarantee a better future for me and my family.
I am the eldest among my siblings. I suffer from a severe disease whom my doctors called “Rheumatoid arthritis of the spine” which causes an extreme pain in my body.
Salwa, my sister, suffers from a congenital defect in her heart. She slept in the hospital more than she did in the home. My father had not been able to afford her treatment.
My mother is an old woman. She suffered from premature aging because of the long nights she spent waking to look after her children.
My mother’s health condition is not so good. At the birth of my younger brother, she spent 52 days in the Intensive Care Unit. At any moment we expect to lose my mother because she suffers from a severe blood clot due to her caesarian delivery.
I write to you from the tragic circumstances of our unbearable reality, begging to consider with your humanity and sympathy. You are our only hope. We knocked at many doors, beginning with the government, UNRWA, municipality, Civil Defense, but none have worked.
My family consists of eleven members. We all live a 60 km2 house. My three aunts live in the same house as well. My grandmother lives on the ground floor. My uncle’s family live in the next room on the same floor. Our bathroom and kitchen are used by both families. Not to mention the extremely expensive treatment of our family members.
Our life is unbearable. We are desperate. No one should ever experience our horrible life. We barely able to cover the fees of drink and food. All we ask for is a safe house.
We appealed to several governmental and local organisations, even NGOs, to consider my family’s poor condition. We have got several field surveys for our house after being checked by these organisations. The last one was from the Commissioner of UNRWA in the Gaza Strip. The committee decided that we are in dire need of providing a helping hand to build a new house and we were ranked first on their list. The house is collapsing. The walls and ceiling blocks and concrete are falling down to the extent that my uncle and his family has escaped. Despite extreme danger, we stayed as we have no alternatives. They even fall from the upper floor on our neighbors. One day a child was passing by and a stone has fallen down on his bag. We usually hear their sounds falling on the street.
We appeal to you to support us. We would appreciate even a contribution of 1$!