Omar, Gaza is Famished! Featured

By Rima Muhammad Zinadah March 27, 2024 2699

The hour was crawling to Fajr prayer when I woke up to the sound of a text on my phone from my dear blind friend, Al-Zahra. She told me, “My dear, I'm thinking of selling my phone and using the money to buy food because we have nothing to eat. Today we ate the last meal we had.”

At that moment, I couldn't catch my breath and felt puzzled. The circumstances are tough for everyone, and despite her proximity, the distances between Al-Zahra and me are far enough for movement, especially since everything in Gaza is now a target. Thus, every step must be carefully calculated.

Life in Gaza has become incredibly harsh, not only for Al-Zahra but for everyone there. We are besieged, occupied, bombarded, and facing famine, fear, and exhaustion.

 

 Flour Smeared in Blood

In Gaza, people crave a loaf of bread, as it means a lot to them. They risk their lives for a small bag of flour.

They try to obtain it from a relief truck carrying bags of flour, but as they approach, the occupation forces start targeting them, resulting in a massacre each time, soaking the white flour bags with their red blood!

Despite knowing the danger beforehand, they are helpless. Each one only thinks of getting a bag of flour to feed their starving children for days, especially after its price has skyrocketed unnaturally, sometimes reaching over $400!

Life in Gaza has become extremely difficult, with the most basic necessities missing, and what is available comes at a high price. Many times, I would walk the streets amidst the sound of occupation rockets, searching for a vendor in hopes of finding some food supplies, vegetables, or anything edible.

With each step, I felt a sense of bewilderment, scanning left and right for something edible, and if I found something, I would pause silently when I knew its price, for the prices are unreasonably high.

Basic food items like rice, sugar, milk, flour, and many others are missing, and the same goes for vegetables and fruits. Even canned goods are no longer available, and if they are, they are very difficult to afford due to their extremely high prices.

I remember not seeing tomatoes, cucumbers, chicken, or eggs for months. The price of a single piece has become as expensive as gold, with prices that are incredibly unrealistic!

 

Unprecedented Famine

The geographic division of the besieged Gaza Strip has now changed, with areas now categorized as north and south. In the northern region, where I currently reside, there is a severe shortage of food supplies. Aid is scarce, and some of it has been targeted by the occupation's rockets.

This has led to a famine in the northern area of Gaza, unlike anything seen before. Its inhabitants are resorting to grinding animal and bird feed to make bread. However, even the animal feed has run out, prompting desperate searches for anything that can be ground in various attempts to obtain bread.

This makes the Ramadan tables in Gaza wretched, sometimes due to the loss of family and loved ones, other times due to the loss of homes, and yet others due to the lack of any kind of food!

I felt pained when I remembered the words of Caliph Omar ibn Abdulaziz when he instructed his workers to scatter wheat on the mountain peaks so that it would not be said that a bird went hungry in the lands of the Muslims.

I wonder what he would say knowing that children, women, men, and elders in Gaza have been starving for months in a catastrophic war!

 

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Read the Article in Arabic