Thursday, January 15, 2009

Life Under Fire

A Gaza reporter's family shrinks, then grows.

Twelve days after my father was killed by an Israeli airstrike, our first baby has been born, healthy at 3.8 kilos, with dark hair, just exactly as her mother wanted.

While waiting for the birth, he went to the front door of the hospital.

From a civil defence fire engine, I saw eight wounded people taken out, all were civil defence staff still in their fluorescent jackets. A house near their base had been hit by a missile.

All day yesterday, the Israelis intensified strikes on Gaza City and, at the emergency wing of the Shifa hospital, away from the calm of the maternity ward, the ambulances never stopped arriving. For 20 minutes, I watched the injured and dying coming in non-stop convoys of ambulances, ordinary vehicles, civilian cars, pickup trucks, anything that could be used to transport the casualties......Most of the victims seemed to be women, girls, and children including a very small baby, wrapped in white blankets.

My mother joined us in the hospital. She managed to hold back the tears but I knew she was sad, thinking of my dad who would have been so happy to see his new granddaughter.And yet, I know that as one family member leaves us, another is born. It reminds you that life is a circle, a continuous thing.