Alone in the War Zone / Writing in Peril

October 7th, 2024, from Moh Telbani's place in north Gaza: a cityscape, and above it a hellish red sky full of smoke and war
Image: Moh Telbani

Today: Moh Telbani, a writer living in Egypt; and Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún, Nigerian linguist, writer, translator, founder of Olongo Africa, and writer and producer of the forthcoming documentary, Ebrohimie Road.

Issue No. 73

How We Left Gaza
Moh Telbani

The Pen and the Blade
Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún

How We Left Gaza

by Moh Telbani

My wife woke me up early on Saturday, October 7, saying there were sounds of rocket fire outside. I went up to the window of our house and saw a barrage of projectiles being fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel.

My three children—Mirna, 6, Adam, 3, and Ayda, 1, came to the window. There’s likely no school today, Mirna said. I took my phone out and recorded some videos and pictures of what I saw. 

Soon after, Israel began its bombardment campaign over Gaza, retaliating against Hamas’s rockets that day.

We stayed in our home in the north of Gaza until October 9, when the Israeli military warned that our area would be very dangerous, and that they would attack it in the next two days; they ordered us to make our way toward the south. We were terrified. We quickly packed up a few bare necessities in just three bags, and phoned relatives living in the Al Nusirat Camp in south Gaza, telling them that we would like to stay at their home for a couple of days (until the attack ended, as we thought it must). They welcomed us, and said that they’d be waiting for us. Shortly afterward, Israel declared a “complete siege” on Gaza, saying it would block all supplies of electricity, food, water, and fuel to the enclave.

So begins the story of my displacement; a life of danger and exhaustion.

It’s a paywall, but a small one

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