‘Only Thing Left of Our Destroyed House is This Key’

Mariam Abu Duqqa


Editor’s Note: Journalist Mariam Abu Duqqa gives us an insight of how she feels about her demolished house in Gaza which the Israelis long destroyed. Together with her family, she lived in a six-story building of six apartments hosting scores of family members, relatives and neighbors. All this, is now rubble and wreckage. Abu Daqqa continues to report on the mayhem in Gaza despite the fact more than 120 of her colleagues were targeted and killed since 7 October, the biggest crime in the history of mankind.  

“This small key which I hold in my hand, used to be a key to my apartment,” she tells the camera in a daze.

“This is what has remained from our house, a key to a home that no longer exists,” she laments in an absent-minded way.

“Our house had been targeted long time and was finally struck and demolished into the ground,” she says this almost tracing the steps of when it collapsed into the ground and how they escaped.

“Our house was part of a three-story building of six apartments with our storerooms in the basement where we kept the rest of our belongings, odd stand, table, chair, bric-a-bracs and other things which we thought that we might need one day. 

“Too late now. No more, everything had been targeted, destroyed, perished into thin air. What remained of it is this key – the house of memories, of childhood, the home of the family, our forgotten laughter and happy times,” Mariam talks in reverie.  

“From the day I knew our home was targeted I kept thinking, and on a daily basis, just thoughts that came to my mind about how are we going to live after the war, ‘where will we live, is it here, somewhere else, where, which part of town.’

Idol thoughts but very real, everything of ours is destroyed, blocks of apartments long gone and what remained turned into debris and wreckage. I don’t think that we will even find a house to rent. Thinking about this is difficult and painful, a creepy character in my head bellows in the back of my mind.

Who is going to rebuild our houses and all the other houses. I try and think about working hard again to make money to rebuild our home but what about the others all, the great majority of the people of Gaza have left their homes hastily and with just this key….”

The scale of destruction in Gaza is phenomenal. Figures can’t tell the truth. One has to see the images to fathom what the Israelis did right across the strip to be able to comprehend the extent of their vengeance – mass murder, mass destruction of property, a genocide for years to come. 

Marwan Asmar is a journalist from Amman, Jordan

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