It’s been nearly six months since the end of the latest war in Gaza, but the devastation left behind makes it seem as though the last bombs dropped only yesterday.
Psychologically, too, Gazans are still shell-shocked and traumatized by a conflict that killed some 2,192 people — mostly civilians, and many children — and destroyed more than 96,000 homes in less than two months. The fact that this was the third conflict in a span of six years made it all harder, not easier.
“People are not alive,” Ahmed Alghraiz, a resident of the Nuseirat refugee camp, in the center of the strip, told VICE News. “The last war was so hard because they were bombing without knowing whom they were bombing or killing. And now, people are living just counting days, every day is the same, just the date changed.”
“If I weren’t a dancer I would die,” he added.
But Alghraiz is a dancer — one of the first to bring breakdancing to the streets of Gaza a decade ago. The Saudi-born 26-year-old actually studied to be a nurse — “but there are no jobs in Gaza,” he said, so he found another way to bring healing to his community.