Noor Swirki, 35, is a Palestinian journalist living in Gaza. Like hundreds of thousands of Palestinian civilians, she fled to the south of the enclave where she became a “refugee”.
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Before October 7, Noor lived with her family in an apartment in the residential neighborhood of al Rimal in the central Gaza Strip. Noor and her husband are middle class, employed. The 35-year-old young woman is a journalist. The couple is doing pretty well. But with the outbreak of Israel’s war against Hamas, his life and that of those close to him were turned upside down. For franceinfo, she shares her daily life.
Until then, the neighborhood of Noor and his family, although known to be the safest in the Palestinian enclave, is one of the first targets of the Israeli army. Several buildings are pulverized by the missiles. They fled to another relatively quieter neighborhood, but a few days after their arrival, the Israeli army ordered the evacuation of civilians.
On the third day of the war, the exodus begins for Noor. “We were moved twice moving southshe says. Just a few weeks ago, we thought we were safe in Khan Younes before being forced to flee to Rafah to live in a tent.”
Based in Rafah, a little over a kilometer from the border with Egypt, Noor could hear from afar the bombings on Khan Younes, the large southern city surrounded by the Israeli army. Since the first weekend of February, strikes have also targeted Rafah. We call her back to try to get some news. “There are strikes on Rafah but we are not dead. The notion of security is non-existent in a war led by Israel. We have no guarantee of staying alive.” she tells us.
The Palestinian journalist does not dwell too much on the security or political situation, but rather emphasizes the endless displacement of civilian populations.
“Here in Rafah, some have been displaced three or four times and are trying to survive. It’s very difficult to find yourself in a place where you don’t know anyone with tents as far as the eye can see and tens of thousands of displaced people who wander the streets.”Noor Swirky, Palestinian journalist displaced in Rafah
For Noor, every day is a struggle to find the minimum: water to wash, to drink and basic necessities. Because of the war, prices skyrocketed. It’s sometimes five or six times more expensive. At this stage, she still manages to get by with her savings but she considers herself particularly lucky compared to everyone around her, to this poverty which is obvious.
A mother of two, Noor says she has to work harder to care for her family and find additional resources to help her children through this ordeal. “You have to feed them when they are hungryillustrates the young woman. Find them clothes when they are cold. There is nothing on the market. And we must reassure them, protect them and above all remain dignified despite this daily humiliation.”
By recounting her daily life, Noor emphasizes the difficulty as a woman of finding herself in a tent in promiscuity.
“We have lost all privacy. We sleep with our clothes on because we have nowhere to change. Privacy is a dream of the past. We have lost our independence, our autonomy and we try to keep our dignity Nevertheless.”Noor Swirky, Palestinian journalist who took refuge in Rafah
The journalist who became a “refugee”, as she says, is saddened by this situation in which women of her generation find themselves today living like their great-grandmothers, without a stove, without an oven, without electricity. A return to the past for this progressive woman who can no longer project herself into the future. “I can’t imagine what our life will be like after this war. How we will survive with all these wounds. How much we will still suffer. All these loved ones who we will miss. It is a total war which will mark our memory, our dignity and our entity”she explains.