Ehtesham A Arif, Student, Jamia Ahmadiyya UK
On the late evening of 3 November, my nephews revelled beneath the spectacle of a vibrant display of fireworks exploding in the night sky. Laughter and cheers resonated from the distant school playground where children delighted in the mesmerising show, the sounds of their joy only momentarily masked by the incredible bursts of fireworks. Surrounded by the infectious delight of these young souls, all under the age of 12, a weight settled upon my heart.
The weight I felt while witnessing their joy was something I never anticipated. I asked myself why I was feeling this way? Why did I have this sick feeling in my stomach?
Of course, I knew.
In my mind, a harrowing contradiction unfolded as the children, a few feet away, basked in the dazzling fireworks lighting up the sky, while over two thousand miles away, the children of Gaza also endured the echoing spectre of explosions in the heavens. Yet, for those young souls in Gaza, there exists no exhilaration or laughter in these tumultuous sounds. Instead, the sounds make them cry, tremble, and seek shelter, yearning for solace in their fathers’ arms, if they are fortunate to have one.
It was a stark contrast: The children next to me were excited to hear the sounds of explosions in the night sky, while Gaza’s young souls endured explosions in fear and trauma.
Nearly half of the 2.2 million population of Gaza are children. Many of these children have endured profound loss, and the humanitarian crisis has escalated to such an unprecedented degree that a disturbing medical acronym has emerged solely for the children of Gaza: “WCNF” – meaning, “Wounded Child, No Surviving Family.’ An acronym which should not exist.
As of 7 November, the death toll in Gaza has passed 10,000 – among them, a devastating count of at least 4,008 children have tragically been killed. www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/11/5/true-massacre-gaza-children-death-toll-crosses-4000-as-raids-intensify Gaza has become a graveyard for thousands of children, as said by UNICEF Spokesperson James Elder. www.unicef.org/press-releases/gaza-has-become-graveyard-thousands-children#:~:text=%E2%80%9CThe%20more%20than%20one%20million,dehydration%20are%20a%20growing%20threat.
Numerous experts have labelled this catastrophe as one of the most severe humanitarian crises. Videos depicting victims as young as a few months old have circulated on social media; and yet, the unwavering resolve displayed by the Palestinians amidst this turmoil is undeniably commendable.
Even amidst the loss of their children, parents exclaim nothing but praise for the Almighty which offers a poignant source of solace. As the global community bears witness, many have been deeply moved by the resilient spirit exhibited by the Palestinians, which has offered a positive perception of Islam to many around the world.
A lasting solution
For many weeks now, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa has persistently implored world leaders to embrace their responsibilities and facilitate the establishment of true justice to end the suffering we are all witnessing in Palestine. https://www.pressahmadiyya.com/press-releases/2023/10/global-muslim-leader-calls-for-de-escalation-of-palestine-israel-war/
These calls by Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa have not recently started. He has been consistently warning the world leaders over the past 20 years to end global oppression and injustice. (“World War III: Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad warned for almost two decades, but the world failed to take heed”, Al Hakam, 4 March 2022, Issue 207, pp. 8-9)
Pundits and analysts have started to say World War III is a high probability now, yet they ignore that Huzooraa has been warning, in a clear world, over the last two decades, that the world is heading towards a global conflict that would be like no other.