I used to love winter

Winter always brought feelings of joy but now all I can think about are the children of Gaza soaked in the cold rain without means of getting warm and dry
A cartoon by Mohammad Sabaaneh of a small child looking out the window of her home, which has been completely destroyed except for the wall with the window. It is raining. In the speech bubble in Arabic and English it says "Me too, watching the rain from the window"
Cartoon by Mohammad Sabaaneh @sabaaneh

In my childhood, winter held a special place in my heart. I adorned myself in my favourite heavy jacket, donned gloves, a hat, and winter boots, delighting in strolls beneath the heavy winter rain. Upon returning home, I would shut the doors and windows, shedding my wet clothes for my mom to dry. She would then prepare warm food and a hot drink, and I would gaze at the winter’s beauty through the windows, experiencing a blend of love, optimism, and smiles.

Nevertheless, over the years, these sentiments gradually faded as I came to realize that winter wasn’t universally a season of joy, as it had been for me. My affection for winter dwindled as I observed the multitude of people without homes, especially in war-torn regions where the cold could prove fatal or lead to drowning in rain-induced floods.

Although a trace of joy lingered with the arrival of winter, the season lost its former allure of passion, love, and delight. With each chilly breeze and falling snowflake, my thoughts dwell on the countless families who have lost their homes and now reside in makeshift tents, wholly unsuitable for human habitation. When temperatures plummet, my mind turns to the children lacking warm clothing, and enduring freezing conditions, particularly in Gaza, a bitterly cold coastal area during winter.

These children lack warm food or access to safe drinking water to make something warm to drink. Their tents cannot withstand the winter rain, leaving their small bodies soaked. This is the harsh reality they face.

The Israeli occupation persists in altering our feelings towards once-cherished details that brought us immense joy. Now, all I desire is for winter to conclude, accompanied by a profound sense of guilt if I find any pleasure in it.

My prayers and thoughts extend to all those enduring the hardships of winter. I pray especially for the children for whom winter means suffering and cold, lacking sufficient warmth. May they receive the assistance and protection needed to endure the harsh cold.

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