The children of Gaza are living in a war zone. The exhibit at UNM was a collection of drawings by children for the age of 7 to 14. These children experienced “Operation Cast Lead” — the 23 day bombardment and invasion of Gaza during December 2008 and January 2009. The drawings come from six Gaza communities, and each one depicts the trauma of living in the war zone, the death, and violence witnessed by children and how they interpreted the slaughter of their friends, families, and other citizens of Gaza.
In May 2009, a group of 13 people traveled to Gaza and saw the consequences of “Operation Cast Lead.” Art therapy classes began for the children. Despite the siege and boycott of essential goods — lack of paper, pencils, and school supplies plus power shortages was hard to overcome. In the pamphlet, it says children ended up recycling old sheets of paper in order to draw and let their emotions flow out. Also, one school sent the group a photo of children working my candlelight due to lack of electricity.
It is sad that the United States fuels this destruction. Every year, the USA sends money to Israel to continue the war against Palestine. Palestine is slowly disappearing from the map: each year their territory is smaller and smaller as more death increases by the day. Yes, Israelites needed somewhere to live after World War II; but is this a justifiable excuse for killing the citizens of Palestine? Therapy may help the children of Gaza cope with the lives they’ve been forced into. In the long run, these children will never be the same again. Their world is composed of violence. Many of these young citizens of Palestine may develop violent characters and retaliate in the future. Violence is now a constant state of life in Israel and Palestine and it will never stop until a peaceful solution is born. We are citizens of the United States of America and it is our duty to educate people in our country and in other parts of the world — there is such a thing as peaceful solutions, it is only a matter of trying to be nice and not blowing up people because they choose to not conform with our worldview.
Melanie E Magdalena