Video: Surviving War in Gaza, One Text Message at a Time

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Surviving War in Gaza, One Text Message at a Time

Every morning, Ahmed Mansour, a Palestinian filmmaker in the U.S., texts his family in Gaza to check if they are still alive. Israel’s siege on the territory has caused widespread communication blackouts, making it difficult for him to reach his parents and siblings.

“Free, free, free Palestine!” “Cease-fire now!” “Every morning, I write on the group, ‘Please, are you all OK?’ This is the fourth day I’m trying to reach Mom. You know, I come from a relatively small family. Father. Mother. Muhammad. Reema. Reham. Mahmoud. Rula. Ruwaa. Shaimaa. My childhood memories. I smell the food that my aunts and neighbors were cooking. And when the summer comes and the breeze of the beach. But now? Every day since Oct. 7, my body is here, but my heart is connected to each one of my family. So far they are alive, but they are not OK. Shushu is the youngest girl, and I am the youngest boy. I kind of helped raising her. We’d always play together, and we were kind of the spoiled in the family. So Shushu and I and my mother were always inseparable. There is not a single safe place in Gaza. Whenever I read that they bomb a house in Nuseirat or bomb a house in Maghazi or in Zawayda or Deir al Balah or Rafah, I immediately think, Is it my sister’s house? Is it my parents’ house? I never thought that this chat group is the most important thing in my life. It breaks the news if my family is alive or not. I keep trying and praying. Trying and pray.”

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