Photo credit: Eman Mohammed
Date taken: 2009
Location: Northern Gaza Strip, Palestine
Farah is cradled by her grandmother, Um Mohammed Matr Abu Halima, months after Israel’s 2008-09 invasion of the Gaza Strip. The two of them experienced severe burns after the Israeli military launched white phosphorus shells at the family’s home. Farah was two years old at the time. Her brother Ali, just two years her senior, and her uncle also survived. Her father and her four other siblings were killed.
White phosphorus burns can only be managed with pain killers. The pain, the blistering, the scars, and the trauma of having lived through an explosion are all things Farah will have to learn to live with for the rest of her life. Her burns are extensive. Although it is not seen in the photograph, her stomach was also severely burned. She is lucky to have made it. And with Israel still targeting children, families with children, and residential homes in the Gaza Strip, Farah will likely make friends with another young child with scars as deep as hers.