Life Outside (and Inside) Gaza

by Moh Telbani

Sliced potatoes boiling in a small iron pan over a wood fire on a wire brazier in the sand
Images courtesy of the author

It’s been two months for me here in Egypt, and I really cannot hide that I miss my home country very much and am trying very hard to get along with the people here, even though we share the same language and religion. As for my wife and kids—Mirna is six, Adam is three, and Ayda is two years old—Mirna is attending school nearby and she is very happy with its atmosphere. The teachers and everybody were very nice to her when they learned she is from Gaza and escaped the war. Adam and Ayda are still very young and don’t understand much yet, but I am very happy that they can sleep well at night without the drones' dizzying sounds, and the bombing sounds that were in Gaza, night after night. I often take them out for picnics to feel the change and lighten their moods. But my wife and I worry all the time about our future here, and the future of our kids.

To find work has so far proved very difficult. In Gaza, I worked as an accountant for a private steel company. But Palestinians are not legally permitted to work here in Egypt; we are not allowed to have the residential papers required for full employment. We are left to work in the black market (without contracts) for wages that are in general too low to cover rent, which has risen in comparison to previous years because the war has changed all the local economies very drastically.

I keep hoping deep inside for the war to just end and maybe, if there is a hope for life in Gaza, for me to go back and fix my destroyed business there and start over again.

But I expect that the war will not be ending any time soon, and that is also tough on me because the rest of my family are still stuck there, in Gaza—my parents and two brothers, Tareq who is 23, and Hussam, 27, and my little sister Mayar, who is 15. I try to be in touch with them every single day, hoping and praying for their safety, but sometimes they don’t have an internet connection available so that we can keep in touch, and that too keeps me stressed and worried all the time.

It’s a paywall, but a small one

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