On October the 9th 2023, I am asked to speak at an international live-streaming webinar about “youth participation in humanitarian emergencies and why it is important”
The webinar starting at 7 pm Palestinian time, was a very exciting opportunity for me, individually and to have the honor to represent Palestinian youth.
At 6:55 pm Palestinian time, I got the following text (this is translated from the original language of Arabic)
“Rand my moon, the bombing is non-stop and very close to where we are, I don’t know if I will wake up tomorrow, I think I'm going to die tonight, I just hope they find my body and bury me. I love you and I'm sorry”
One of my closest friends in Gaza sent this text message to me, I had been trying to contact her for 3 days and there were no cell connections or internet.
Her name is Marah Al Bari, she is 24 years old. She has a bachelor's degree in English literature and she has been unemployed for 6 months
As soon as I finished reading it, I was live. I did not have time to replay to her text, collect my thoughts, or control my emotions
After finishing my 30-minute, speech 4 people were crying, and the rest were speechless. None of them knows how it really feels, nor me, to send such a message.
None of them but me knows what it's like to receive one
About the Author
Rand Sayej is a 26-year-old Palestinian. She is the youngest of four children; she finished her undergraduate studies at Bir Zeit University, Ramallah, Palestine. During her university years, Rand grew interested in the humanitarian structure and the Palestinian cause from a humanitarian point of view. Through volunteering and networking, Rand received many pieces of training in crisis management and emergency navigation, as well as humanitarian structure, signature, and localization, allowing her to employ her knowledge in her career and as a volunteer with many local and international humanitarian organizations. Her art and writings bear witness to a lived human experience through pen and brush. She is captivated by sunsets and Palestinian beauty.
The whole series so far here.