Amal Al Haddad says she has lost 20 loved ones in Gaza since the conflict began and her life has been on hold as she waits to hear from her remaining family.
“I lost about 20 people killed in Gaza, it [includes] children and women,” Al Haddad told CHEK News in front of the B.C. Legislature on Sunday. “I have my family, about 19 people still in one place and around their houses they have a lot of attack and found a lot of pieces of our neighbours. They killed my neighbours, around 30 people in one house, all of them killed in the same house.”
She and around 1,000 other people were at the B.C. Legislature in Victoria for a rally on Sunday, calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, and to humanize Palestinian people living in Gaza.
“Every moment I feel I’m dying slowly,” Al Haddad said. “Please help Palestinian people, help Palestinians in Gaza. This is a human, not for a Muslim, not for Palestinian, please stop this.”
Asiyah Igbokoyi is one of the organizers of the rally in Victoria, and says she hopes the narrative around Palestinians dying in Gaza will change.
“What we’re out here to say and what we’re out here to do is to really humanize Palestinian lives throughout Western media throughout everything. All you see is people compared to dogs, you see that their lives are less valued than anything else, and it’s quite incredible and very disgusting,” Igbokoyi said.
“The fact that you can look at a dead baby, a dead child, a dead mom, a dead any[one], I mean over 4,000 people dead 1,700 of them are children, in fact, that you can look at that and say, ‘well, they’re Muslims, they’re Palestinians or Christians or Jews, doesn’t matter because they’re from one place,’ is absolutely ridiculous.”
Igbokoyi says she hopes that people will listen to the stories of Palestinians living in Victoria and what they and their families have gone through.
“Listen to people’s experiences,” Igbokoyi said. “We’re not dismissing the lives of Israelis that have passed, we wish them well, and Ya Allah we wish that they find rest and they find peace, but we are here to speak about Palestinians because Palestinians have not had that voice. Not properly, not truthfully, not accurately documented.”