3 youth in Gaza on crutches in front of rubbleI am 28 years-old and I have lived my whole life in Gaza, Palestine. We have a lot of problems in our country but we try to adapt.

One day I decided to wake up and ignore all problems and just feel positive and full of optimism. It was really an unbelievable feeling.

I walked and saw young people in the street without jobs. They were with full of frustration after many attempts to find any work because the unemployment rate in Gaza is increasing due to the siege.

These youth are graduates from the universities. They studied to be doctors, engineers, lawyers, accountants and many other specializations.

Every day it’s the same scene. The same gathering, the same frustration. With the start of the Great March of Return, a sudden change occurred and all of us felt the situation will get better after we express our frustration and participate in the event.

All of these youth have participated in the march. They march because they want to change their lives for the better.

Since the beginning of the Great March of Return, every day, as usual, I promise myself to think today is good day and every thing will be better. But then I see the same scene. It is the same group sitting but now they have changed the normal chairs to wheelchairs. They have been disabled: one of them lost his leg, another lost his hand or finger or eyes. And some of them couldn’t join because they can’t move.

Palestinians, wounded in previous weeks during mass protests against Israeli forces along the border of the Palestinian enclave, dubbed “The Great March of Return”, await medical check-up at the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) clinic in Gaza City on April 25, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD HAMS

It’s an awful scene. It is really bad that these youth now are preoccupied with how to get healthcare that will save their limbs from amputation or how to travel outside for medical treatment instead of thinking about their future.

It’s hard to feel optimistic and hard to feel positive. It also hard to support them because they are disabled and they need special care.

Moreover, the number of young people facing this situation is increasing rapidly from March 2018 until now. The Zionists used weaponry and tactics that are illegal under international law and made them disabled. All of these injured young people try to travel through the Rafah crossing to Egypt to receive medical care to save their limbs from amputation. But always they are forbidden from travel for “security reasons” and honestly no one knows what the Egyptian side exactly means by this. Though their bodies were prevented from traveling by the siege of Gaza, their dreams continue to travel.