Hope even under rubble: a suitcase from Gaza

This suitcase holds great memories, and it is part of my identity.

I keep it at the door with other evacuation bags, ready to leave the house when things worsen.

Kholoud Dahlan

Dr. Khalid's leather suitcase inherited in 1956 from his grandfather

The suitcase is made of pure leather. My father gave it to me in 1965, and he used it to hold important documents, such as passports, in his original village Hamameh, in historical Palestine – before we had to flee to Gaza in 1948.

It became my school bag then I traveled to Algeria for university, and I used it during my studies. I studied science, medicine, and psychology. I studied for 13 years.

I keep all the important documents in the suitcase from the last 45 years – all my certificates and my sons’ and daughters’ certificates, property documents, photos and all passports. It is a mobile archive.

I will have hope even under rubble”

Dr. Khalid Dahlan, in Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel

Kholoud Dahlan

A sepia photograph of Dr. Khalid's family

War is dirty, and no one can get any victory out of it. It only brings losses and tragedies.”

Dr. Khalid Dahlan, in Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel

I have two daughters and three sons. I keep their school records since elementary school in the bag.

It was with me during all wars, the 1967 war, the 2008 war, the 2012 war and the 2014 war, and within that war, my home was destroyed; I left home only wearing my trainers and holding the suitcase.

Despite the reality that we are living in, I am still optimistic, even under bombardments. Without hope, we can’t continue our lives.

I will have hope even under rubble.

War is dirty, and no one can get any victory out of it. It only brings losses and tragedies.

I always believe that my children live better lives than my generation, and I believe that my grandchildren will have an even better future.

I inherited optimism from my father, and I hope that I passed it to my children. I also inherited this bag from him.

I inherited optimism from my father, and I hope that I passed it to my children.”

Dr. Khalid Dahlan, in Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel

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