Over 50 days of hostilities, the summer 2014 conflict caused unparalleled destruction and human suffering across the Gaza Strip. Families lost their children, entire neighbourhoods were torn to the ground, and tens of thousands were left with nothing as their homes were destroyed. Thousands remain displaced to this day. The 2014 conflict not only shattered homes and lives – much too often it has also shattered dreams. One year later, Gaza’s people still live in rubble, and the world has broken its promises about rebuilding the enclave. As one person portrayed in this photo essay asks, does anyone in the world listen or care?


Throughout the year, UNRWA has collected the voices of displaced mothers, frightened children, frustrated fathers, brave UNRWA staff members, hopeful teenagers, hard-working doctors, dreaming students, struggling business owners, and young talented poets. Read below to get a sense of Gaza described in the words of its people. New quotes will be added each day for the next 50 days.

Gaza one year later: Hiba Abu Sirya, May 2015 
I am everything for these children. My husband could not handle the feeling of helplessness and left me alone with my children. Sometimes, I wish not to see another sun rise.

Felesteen Isdudi, and baby Suzanne, February 2015


Gaza one year later: Hiba Abu Sirya, May 2015
Our house was destroyed during the last conflict and we lost everything. My mother was crying all the time. I felt very sad.

Hiba Abu Sirya, May 2015

Gaza one year later: Hazar Abu Jazar, April 2015
The night we fled from our house, the sky was full of red lights from the extensive shelling. My children were so terrified; we heard the sound of the explosions around us and the voices of people in the streets and in destroyed houses asking for help, but we could not do anything. Outside, people were running from all directions – it felt like an exodus. Women were barefooted and some were uncovered; children were crying and dead bodies were lying in the streets.

It is hard to accept that your whole life and hard work has disappeared in one moment and a classroom will be the place where you and your family are expected to sit, eat, play and sleep for an unknown period of time. I am tired of living in a classroom. I want my life back. The war ruined my life and stole my peace, my dignity, and my stability.
Hazar Abu Jazar, April 2015

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