quotes ‘My name is Hind and I was born in Gaza’

13 February 2024
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Updated 13 February 2024

‘My name is Hind and I was born in Gaza’

Gaza has been destroyed several times. Its inhabitants are among the poorest people in the world. However, Gaza’s history is rich, having at times been Egyptian, Assyrian, Roman and even once conquered by Alexander the Great himself.

Importantly, in Arabic Gaza denotes “strength” and “perseverance,” leaving us in no doubt about the character of its people. Allow me to introduce to you Hind, a six-year-old Gazan girl who would like to tell her story.

I am Hind, 6 years old, born in Gaza and I have never left this confined land. Inside our collective cage, I have lived like an animal, using my legs to run, to search for food, to move from one place to another, trying amid the bombs to pursue an education.

I have feelings, like any other child, but my life has not been like that of most other children in the world, even though it started in a similar way. I was born into a large family sharing a two-bedroom apartment, and I was happy sharing that space with my brothers, sisters, parents and other relatives.

Today, there are no more houses, no more shelters, and I do not know what happened to some of my relatives. We buried some but others simply disappeared. I awoke confused in a crowded tent in a camp.

I have tried to survive. I never had the time to weep or despair. I only found the time to look ahead, to seek food and water wherever I could find it, to hope for another day. There is much suffering around us but it is so overwhelming that we are unable to deal with it and with the many deaths around us.

Every day brings more bad news but we are no longer able to cry. There is not enough water to go around, let alone to fill our tear ducts or the gallons of emptiness in our hearts.

I am only 6 years old but I feel like I have lived a lifetime already, aware also that every day might be my last. Each morning when I open my eyes, I feel like a survivor. I have been given another day. I think, and certainly hope, that such thoughts do not go through the minds of most children around the world.

Gaza is a noble place and its people are noble. We have not forgotten our position in history and civilization, and our people remain highly educated. Yet we are hunted, robbed of our place at the crossroads of civilization.

Every few years, they try to bulldoze away our homes, our identity, our place in history, as though we were the charcoal for their fire of hatred. But we do not forget who we are. We do not forget that we are human beings deserving of love.

Occupiers have bulldozed away the native peoples of Australia and the North America, but in South Africa the occupiers and their hateful regime could not withstand the dignity of the native people. I hope one day the Palestinian people will be able to affirm their dignity in the same way.

Although I am only 6 years old, I have never truly been young. I had to grow up fast, without ever seeing the diversity of life outside the small strip of land on which I was born. My life was simply imposed upon me.

Unlike the children of the West, I did not know where my next shelter would be or where my next meal would come from. I always thought that I would probably die before I got to experience many things. Before I was able to fall in love and have my own children. Before I could plant an orange tree and watch it grow, to one day enjoy the delicious fruit for which Palestine was once known throughout the world.

We Gazans know that each day might be our last. We have had to come to accept this as we see the people around us die under the bombs. At 6 years old, this is simply what life was like for me.

My name is Hind and I died in Gaza. I would have liked to speak to children my age in Europe, America or Israel and ask them to tell me about their days, about the joy and innocence I never could experience, a life I would never have.

Now I am telling you my story from the sky, to remind you that I, and all Gazan children, are also deserving of love and life.


— Hassan bin Youssef Yassin worked closely with Saudi Arabia’s petroleum ministers, Abdullah Tariki and Ahmed Zaki Yamani, from 1959 to 1967. He led the Saudi Information Office in Washington from 1972 to 1981 and served with the Arab League’s observer delegation to the UN from 1981 to 1983.