Yesterday, I woke up early to attend my little sister’s celebration in her school. She is 9 years old, and she got an A+ this semester. She is very clever, full of energy, loves mathematics and is better than me at everything. I have witnessed her growing up from the moment that my Mum told me that she was pregnant. I was so thrilled to see her playing with dolls, clapping, smiling and dancing – she was so full of life.

In the afternoon, when I opened my Facebook, I was shocked to see the pictures of Marah, who had passed away after a long struggle with kidney illness. Marah was 9 years old and her memories are imprinted in my heart.

I thought of how her life could have been if she had been able to access appropriate healthcare. Perhaps she would have joined my sister and achieved equally high marks? Maybe she would be playing, dancing and singing and then running to her father and kissing her mother? How little time she had enjoying her childhood before she experienced such medical miseries.

Marah is not the first Palestinian kid who has died waiting for the borders to be open and there are currently tens of children who await their destiny whilst they are denied their right to travel to obtain suitable treatment outside Gaza as well as elsewhere in the Occupied land.

The unfair siege attacks our families and communities, stealing our beloved children and friends. I can’t trust tomorrow any more. I wake up with fear, and sleep with fear. Who will be the next? My little sister? My neighbour’s son? You, or me? Who knows?

How ugly this life is, when it stole a pure spirit of a child. How painful it would be to see your little child born in a place of misery, and die in the same place of misery, carrying with her soul her own misery.

Marah, rest in peace.

Salsabeel Zeineddin, Gaza