Let Us Be Heard: Our Standpoint on the Israel-Hamas War

The Israel-Hamas War is all over the news right now, yet many stories have remained uncovered. Hear from two Palestinian students whose family and friends are living out their worst nightmares in Israel and Gaza.
Let Us Be Heard: Our Standpoint on the Israel-Hamas War

My Family Isn’t Recognized as Citizens of Israel

Azmeya Hemeida (12) is a Palestinian Muslim with roots in the Quds in Jerusalem and the West Bank. Hemeida expresses her thoughts on the horror of the Israel-Hamas war and what the media perhaps isn’t completely reporting. 

“I wouldn’t call it a war but a genocide. People in Gaza that are innocent civilians are being targeted over thousands of people which are mainly kids who have died,” Hemeida (12) said.

Furthermore, in contrast to what the media is saying, this issue has been occurring since 1948 according to Hemeida, not October 7, 2023. More importantly, the war or genocide, isn’t over religion but rather land that Palestinians have been exiled from for over 75 years.  

Therefore, in 1948, her grandparents were forcefully removed from the Quds, a region in Israel. The Hemeida family can’t freely travel or merely walk through their birth country. However, Hemeida’s father lived in Israel for half his life, and her grandparents are older than the country.  

Even more astonishingly, their property was stolen.  

“It’s also crazy because we still have the key to my grandparents’ house in Jerusalem that was taken from them when Israelis kicked him out his home. We can never go back because [the house] was stolen from my family,” Hemeida said.

What’s worse is that her parents and grandparents, natural-born citizens of Israel, were denied citizenship and must travel under “tourist” status to their homeland.  

“This impacted my family, because [Israel] is our homeland that we can’t visit as we please. It hurts to see all our own people die and watch our land get destroyed,” Hemeida said.

Most shockingly, Hemeida expressed racism and oppression firsthand, at such a young age.  

“I’ve had a gun pointed at me at the age of 11 and it was my first time visiting in seven years all because I was Palestinian.”

— Hemeida (12)


Praying for those in Gaza is important, and verbally spreading the word rather than being blinded by the Western media is a way to support the poor, starving, and oppressed Palestinians, Hemeida advises.  


“There’s no freedom for Christians and Palestinians that live in Palestine,” Hemeida (12) said.


My Friends and Family’s Homes Were Bombed  

Janna Ibrahim (12) (not pictured) is a Palestinian Muslim with connections to the West Bank and Jerusalem. She expressed fear and anger at the destruction caused by the Israel-Hamas war. 

“I have family members that have cousins in Gaza and all of them lost their homes. We do not know if some of them are alive,” Ibrahim (12) said.

Due to the war, many people in Gaza have lost all communication with those in the outside world. Janna hasn’t heard from a close friend in over a month.

“Since Israel controls the internet, I’m not sure when I’ll be able to speak with her again,” Ibrahim (12) said.

One of the Ibrahim’s family members was hospitalized in Gaza after a violent bombing. They have not contacted them in weeks.

Ibrahim’s grandfather owns a house in Jerusalem that she is not allowed to enter without a green card to Jerusalem.

“We still to this day have those keys, in hope that we can go back to that house,” Ibrahim (12) said.

Janna questions if her friends and family are alive and safe every day. She dreads the thought of losing a loved one to this horrid conflict.  

“To be honest, it truly concerns me knowing that I might wake up one day to learn that loved ones have passed away, and that there is nothing I can do about it,” Ibrahim (12) said, “…this needs to be stopped. Thousands of innocent people have lost their houses and close family members.”

— Janna Ibrahim (12)






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