The School Newspaper of Lawrence High School.

The Budget

The School Newspaper of Lawrence High School.

The Budget

The School Newspaper of Lawrence High School.

The Budget

This conflict must stop

The violence against Palestine must come to an end
More+than+a+story%2C+many+area+Muslim+residents+have+deep+connections+to+the+conflict+unfolding+in+Gaza.+Lawrence+residents+marched+through+downtown+along+Massachusetts+Street+on+Oct.+21+in+protest+%28seen+in+illustration%29+and+regularly+grapple+with+the+violent+images+shared+over+social+media.+Photo+by+Sama+Abughalia
Arabella Gipp
More than a story, many area Muslim residents have deep connections to the conflict unfolding in Gaza. Lawrence residents marched through downtown along Massachusetts Street on Oct. 21 in protest (seen in illustration) and regularly grapple with the violent images shared over social media. Photo by Sama Abughalia

Nothing will take away the memory of the bombs going off.

My mom sent us to the hallway and told us to recite Quran verses to calm and protect us. I was 8, holding my younger cousins as the house shook from the blasts.

Being born and raised in Libya, I’ve lived through a revolution and civil war. My family protected me from the reality of the world we were in. My mother would download episodes of Austin and Ally to play on repeat, attempting to block out the sounds of blasts. When I was sick, my parents woke me up at 5 a.m. to go to the clinic for cortisone shots so we could beat the shootings that would arise later throughout the day. 

No child should have to live through that. No parents should have to tend to the well-being of their children around warfare and violence. 

I struggle to describe this as trauma. I wasn’t hurt, physically. I never had to wrap up my limbs in gauze or uncover my dead siblings from rubble, but I do understand the feeling of fear one has when they’re unsure of tomorrow. 

Many Middle Eastern and Northern African families have similar stories of terror and suffering caused by an oppressive power overtaking their countries. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is yet another instance where we see people attempt to justify the deaths and injuries of innocent people in the name of anti-terrorism. 

I resonate with the pain of the Palestinian children whose worlds have been shattered.

Dead bodies on the ground, mothers and fathers pleading with God to save their families.

I see myself in the children’s faces.

I see my country’s scars of destruction in the piles of rubble.

I see my faith being the last thread of hope that these victims hold onto. 

I hear my native language in their hopeless cries.

Fathers should not have to carry their children’s limbs in plastic bags because that’s all they have left of them. Mothers should not have to write their kids names on their arms and legs in order to identify them in case they get bombed. Children should not have to go through makeshift amputations without anesthesia. Human beings should not have their only safe haven, granted to them by international law, destroyed.  

This conflict may just look like a piece of history, but it will permanently affect these children for the rest of their lives — physically and psychologically. They have no way to tell their stories, but I do. 

I feel their pain because my country still carries the burden of its conflicts. As I drive through the neighborhoods, unable to count all the bullet holes in houses, I remember the time I had to leave my family behind during uncertainty and danger. Many children continue to suffer from the aftermath of these attacks. Not only are they homeless, many of these children have now been orphaned and irreparably injured. 

This is not a political problem. It’s a humanitarian one. 

By calling the conflict between the country of Israel and the largely unrecognized land of Palestine “complicated,” people lose sight of a simple truth: Innocent people are dying by the thousands. The need to protect their lives shouldn’t be complicated. In fact, it’s the simplest part of the entire catastrophe.

The deaths of the defenseless should not be up for debate. By dismissing the grief of Palestine because of the existence of Hamas, too many attempt to relieve themselves from the guilt of the brutality that people there face. You do not have to be Palestinian to acknowledge their struggles. You just have to be human. 

How is shooting at children on the street “eradicating terrorism?” How is carpet bombing unprotected refugee camps part of efforts to take down Hamas? How is forbidding the basic human necessity of water anything less than oppression? 

A death toll of at least 18,200 in Palestine — 7,700 of them children — in the past two months is not necessary to end the existence of Hamas, the group whose Oct. 7 attack on Israel killed 1,200 and provoked the ongoing Israeli attack. The actions of a few does not warrant the punishment of the many. 

This is not a war on terrorism. It’s genocide.

Genocide isn’t a word I use lightly, especially when pertaining to a situation so connected to the Jewish community. The world’s understanding of it is deeply rooted in the Holocaust and the pain of those atrocities rightfully makes people hesitant to carelessly use that term. Yet I struggle to believe I’m not allowed to accurately describe what I see. When I check the news, I weep at the images of children who look like me dying. Children who face death only because they are Palestinian in Gaza. Calling it anything but genocide is a disservice to those who are being killed at a rate that’s almost impossible to comprehend.

The world needs to recognize the injustice and hypocrisy. The United States should stand firm in the fight for basic rights of Palestinians. It needs to take accountability for its actions and realize that children are dying because of its weapons and silence. Nations have a responsibility to protect human lives and not wield the playbook of terrorism carelessly.

Peace is possible. A ceasefire is the only option.

Give these children back their peaceful nights where they can see the stars in the sky instead of the rockets flying by.

Free Palestine.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributors
Sama Abughalia, The Budget Co-Editor in Chief
This is my third year on staff and my first year as an editor in chief. Although I’m really only trained as a photographer I hope I can learn new skills as a mediocre designer and possible a sub-par writer. I am very involved in school and spend most of my times attending events. I may not be able to help edit your story but I can definitely make a witty come-back when faced with an attitude.
Arabella Gipp, Designer
I am a second-year designer on the journalism staff. When I'm not designing, I play volleyball, listen to music, and watch Greys Anatomy.

Comments (0)

All The Budget Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest