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Hi, this is Yusif Hamash?


Yes, it is loud and clear.


Good. Is this still an okay time for you to talk?


Yes. Okay. Yeah, but it's a bit crazy outside, a lot of crowdedness. There is a lot of traffic, especially from the children. Let me find a quiet place.




Close the door. Yes.


Earlier this month, one of our producers, Hannah Jaffi-Wald, made this call to Youssef Hamad in Gaza. He works for a humanitarian organization, the Norwegian Refugee Council, the NRC. Use this in his early 30s. He's got two kids, big, extended family. I talked to him a few times over the course of one week, really knowing very little about him or his situation at the beginning. As you'll hear, more and more unfolds and gets revealed. It all feels so immediate and particular to these few weeks right now in the war in Gaza that we wanted to bring it to you now. It feels like it's about right now. We have other stories I should say about this war in the works, including from Inside Israel. Please stay tuned for those. But for today with Yoseph, Hannah would talk to him at night, his time. His family was living in the NRC office in Rafe, so he was in the unusual situation in Gasa, where he often did have internet access with solar panels providing power. The first day Khan had talked to him, he had just relocated with his wife and kids to Rafa, where the office was.


It's along the border with Egypt. His four sisters and their families were about eight miles away in a town called Khan Younus. So here are those conversations.


So talk to me about what did you do today.


Today I had to find a place for my extended family, which, alhamdulliah, I found it today. I found a place and I built a tent, two tents, actually, because I couldn't find a house or rent or anything. So tomorrow I will move the rest of my family here to Lafah, from to these two tents. Today, it takes me a while building these tents. Then I had to go to the market buying whatever I can find.


What did you find?


Today, day I found... That's a good question. I'm trying to remember. Some vegetables, actually, it was tomato.




Pepper. I couldn't find potato because there is no potato in all of the Gaza. And milk for the children. I'm responsible for my children, my sisters, my mother, because I'm the only son here in Gaza. I'm the only man for a big family, so I have a quite big responsibility to- I can't trust them.


Have you had decisions that you had to make for everybody that you couldn't figure out what the right choice was?


Yes. There are decision that I'm taking today. I decided to build a tent while they are an apartment in and everything is available for them. I'm taking them in this harsh weather, in an empty land and a tent. I don't know if it's going to be right or wrong. I had to- I had to make this decision several times, unfortunately. Now it became our routine is like that now I have to move again. It's not easy decision and I was trying to evaluate the situation on daily basis.


Is there anybody in the family that is hesitant? Do you have to-.


Yes, we have. I had, yes, yes. They are part of the family. Even a few minutes... A few minutes ago, I was having this debate with my sister that she was like, Okay, I'm pregnant. She says she's pregnant. She don't want to do the delivery in a tent. She said, Okay, they are still far, like one kilometer away, the tanks. She said that we cannot suffer more. At least we have here bathroom. The main debate was a bathroom, about having a privacy to use a bathroom. About having your privacy to use a bathroom because when you are fleeing in a tent, there is no bathrooms or that privacy while I'm trying. Tomorrow, I'll find a way to build a bathroom for them.


This week that I'm talking to Yusif, it isn't the first time he's moved and convinced his sisters to move too. They started the war in Jebalia in the Northern part of Gaza. On October seventh, when Hamas attacked Southern Israel and killed around 1,200 people, the majority civilians in their homes at work enjoying a music festival took about 240 people hostage. Yusif immediately moved his family from Jebelia to his parents' house in a nearby city, Bethlehia. They moved the very next day, October eighth. It seemed safer there. On October ninth, Israeli airstrikes hit Jebelia. And then again, on October 12th, 19th, 22nd, 31st, November first, second, fourth, and on, Jebelia now has massive craters several yards deep. Yusif, his family, and his sisters had all fled to various relatives and friends in the north until Israel told people in the north to move south. They had cousins in Khanones in the south of Gaza. So he and his family drove there and convinced his sisters to come too. He says on the way, the cars in front of them and behind them were bombed. In Khanones, they stayed with relatives. Yusif and his wife and his mom and his kids and his sisters and their families, everyone stayed with cousins and relatives in different apartments across the city until Yusif read a leaflet that fell from the sky.


It said, You must evacuate immediately and go to shelters in the city of Rafa. The city of Klanunas is a dangerous combat zone. Forwarned is forearmed, was signed to the Israeli Defense Forces. That's when he fled to Rafa with his wife and his kids. By that point, over 15,000 people in Gaza had been killed, the majority civilians. The place Yusif works, the N-R-C, had rented an office in Rafa in the area the Israelis were now saying was a safe zone. Yusif moved his immediate family into the office where he was when I called him, where he is now, in Rafa. But his sisters and their families aren't so sure they want to follow this time. Yusif, from the moment he got to Rafa, has been pushing his sisters in Janunis to come. He's been at that for almost a week.


To be honest, well, each one of them have its own personality, and they have to persuade her the way I know. Each one of them. One of them, she's worried about her father-in-law and mother-in-law. I was like, Okay, they are not safe and they are on the street. I'll build them a tent. But I want to make sure that you are with me here. I'll bring them also. The other one, I had to do the same option with her. Okay, I'll bring your father-in-law and their entire family. I'll take care of them, but I want you to come here.


What about the woman who's pregnant?


I keep doing... Yeah, the woman who was pregnant, she's the youngest and she's the most stubborn one. Yeah, she's the youngest. When we came to the south, there was no military operation on the ground. She refused and her father-in-law and mother-in-law refused. I had a fight with them and I told them, Listen, I want my sister with me. We had a bit of argue because they didn't expect what's coming.


I hadn't thought about how each time you have to mentally convince yourself that the place that you're in, which is feeling okay at that moment, might not feel okay very soon.


Yeah. Who would ever imagine that the Israeli tanks will be in the center of Jebelia Camp? Or who would ever imagine that they would be in Shifah Hospital? These things, we never imagined that it would be a real thing that we are seeing by our own eyes. We never thought about that.


Yusif was lobbying his sisters to move as hard as he could, but honestly, he himself wasn't always totally sure about bringing them to Rafa. The evacuation order, it wasn't for all of Khanones. There was no available housing in Rafa, not that he could find. In Khannionis, they had mattresses, a bathroom, and his sisters had moved cities twice already with kids, in-laws. So maybe they were fine. But then Yusif says he heard the Israeli military was now in a part of Khannionis. He'd been staying in with his family just a few days before. So maybe they weren't fine. Yusif kept searching for new information. He'd ask everyone he met, look everywhere online except a few places he avoided.


I don't open my Facebook, for example, or Instagram because all my friends from God are there because I don't want to know who is dead. I don't want to know. I don't have the time to respect these people who I lose. By coincidence, few days ago, I found out that my uncle is dead. I didn't know about that before. A friend of mine told me that, We were just having a chat. I mentioned him. I didn't know that he's my uncle. I was talking like that. Yeah, he's my uncle. I'm sorry for your loss. I was like, What?




Didn't know that. It was like two weeks ago he's dead. He's killed two weeks ago in Jebelia, while I didn't know.


How did that come up in that conversation?


When were we mentioning where his parents living in Jebelia? I was like, Okay, my relatives living there, they are from that jury family. I was like, Yeah, I know, and he's like, Yeah, he's my uncle. Sorry for your loss. I was like, No, he's alive. He was killed in an accident. I know. I know. I felt a bit stupid and it was really weird feeling that I didn't know that my uncle is dead since two weeks. He was killed. Do you- The other thing, okay, just to continue on this story. Yesterday, my brother, who lives in Sweden, my cousin, who is the son of my uncle I mentioned, he was asking my brother to check if I have information about his father.




Don't want to be that also to deliver the news for him that his father was killed.


Have you told him?


No, I told him there is no connection between the south and the north and it's impossible to reach anyone there, which is true. There is no phone calls, there is nothing that you cannot reach anyone in the north. I was like, I will try to check what's the situation, but I didn't want her to be the one who is getting the news.


Yusif, so you just couldn't bring yourself to tell him what you had heard?


Yes. Even my mother, who is with me now, doesn't know.


Is it her brother?




You're not going to tell her?


Definitely not. I'm saying that here because I'm sure they don't understand English first of the world. I can think they won't listen. Sorry for that. But they're in Gaza, they won't listen to this podcast to know from this podcast that. Another time that my brother-in-law, his sister was killed with her seven children. Also, they called me because his family reached out to me because they cannot reach him and asked me to tell him that his sister was killed with her entire family. That was painful. It wasn't easy. I don't want to be in that position again. It's one of the first times that I really speak about these things. It feels really weird for me that I always in front of everyone around me. I'm the man who's managing everything and supporting anyone in need. If you need anything, the best one to call is Yusif. Now I'm helpless, useless, and I cannot do anything. I cannot even manage my own need.


If your uncle comes up, your mom mentions him, or your wife says, Oh, I wonder how he's doing, you will not say anything.


It happens, and I didn't say anything. Yes, it happened yesterday, and I was like, No, I'm not going to say anything. My brain was circling around and I was like, Okay, you have to tell her. She have. She deserve to know that her brother is dead. I was like, No. It's her right to know and she will blame me a lot when she knows that I was knowing without telling her. I have to shut down. My brain is like, No, you turn off. It's not your role now.


Not your what?


It's not your role. Not your role. You don't need to be.


Functioning now. Yeah, focus on building tents.


I have to be honest, I have plenty of to-do list. On my list is many things. My priority now it's the time to secure my family and manage their needs more than anything else. For me, looking for their safety, it's not about them only, it's more about me. I cannot imagine for a moment losing one of them, one of my sisters. It has to be me before them. Because I don't have the strength to even to think about losing one of them. That's why I'm doing it. Not because of you, it's because of me. I don't have that. I'm weak to have the strength to handle losing any one of them. I don't have that strength.


Do you think they do it for you?


They came to khaniness with me before me. No one agreed. It was really hard and I had to fight with my mother. But they came because I want them to be with me.


So they do it for you?


That time, yes, that's for me.


And this time?


This time, I think I'll prepare everything. I will prepare the tents. I'll find you a place. Then I'll move you once when everything's ready to have you. What pushed me to finish everything today is that Benjamin Yatal and Netanyahu, he was threatening Hezballah. He was saying, Hezballah, you should stop what you are doing because if it's not a war, we will turn Beirut into Georgia and Khanyunis. I was like, Okay, now it's Khanonis. I need to evacuate them from there. They are the center of the Qallunaat.


Did you send them that quote?


Yep. Because a lot of people stay until the last moment and when they evacuate, they were evacuated under bombing. I don't want my sisters to experience that.


What does the tent look like?


There is two types of tents. Now I became expert.


By the way. I was going to ask you how you know how to build tents so quickly.


When I get it through an RC, where I work, and it was with instruction that was easy. The other one is like a wooden sticks with plastic. The hardest part was finding a place, a suitable place to rent a small land, not in round with the streets. It's agricultural area. It's a bit sand everywhere.


So you rent a land? You didn't just- A lot of airstrikes. Wow. I'm sorry, what?


It was massive airstrike.


Just now? Yeah. Yeah.


Yes. Another airstrike. They're getting crazy somehow. All of these are in Janunez.


The explosions are in Janunez right now?


Yeah. Another one. Okay. What's going on? I'll call you in a minute, okay? No problem. I just need to check, okay? No problem. Just one minute.


I'll call you back. Take your time. Bye.


Because it seems really massive there. Okay. Bye.


Hi. Hello? Hi.


Yes, sorry. Is everybody okay? Just want to make sure that they're still alive. Yeah, they're alive.


Do you literally write, Are you alive?


Yeah, it was a funny message for my sister, Are you alive?


Wait, that's funny?


Yeah, because I had to send a smile and Emojis laughing. That's why we are talking always. Even when I'm with them, it's like, Okay, we have one more day to live. Let's enjoy it. Maybe two.


Days, okay. You wrote her, Are you a live smiley face?


Yeah, smell.


Oh, my God. Yeah. And she writes back yes, or she laughs?


Yeah, she laughs and she said it's a bit calm. I don't know what she means, a bit calm, but yeah. Okay.


I'll let you go. I've taken so much of your time. Thank you so much. Tomorrow, what's going to happen is your sisters are going to move?


Yeah, this is going to be the early thing for me to do in the morning because I don't want them to move under the bombing. I want to keep with them when it's a bit calm and manageable without risks. I'll do it in the early morning. But maybe because of this rain, I need to assist the situation tomorrow morning. I promised them that we will make decision together this time tomorrow morning. But you've.


Already made the decision that you want them to go. Yes. Okay. I hope you have an easy night and I will check in with you tomorrow.


That's a good phrase, easy night. Okay, Inshallah. Thank you.


Thank you. Okay, bye. Thank you.




Hi, Yusuf. Hello. Did your sisters move today?


Unfortunately, not yet. They were refusing to leave without the bathroom, but today there were a lack of tanks and airstrikes. No, I promised them that tomorrow it's going to be... There will be a bathroom tomorrow. I'll make my best to make it happen.


I want to jump in and say a little bit about what Yusif doing his best looks like, an incomplete summary of that particular day. He spent the morning trying to track for the Norwegian Refugee Council where he works. The trucks were full of aid, things like bedding, tents, buckets for water that should have arrived at the border. But he couldn't check online if they were there because the system was down and the phones weren't working. So he went in person, wandered around looking at plate numbers, could not find the trucks. Then he went to the market to find medicine for his wife, Minal, who's sick, could not find medicine. In the midst of all this, he got a call from another relative who was fleeing and needed a place to stay in Rafa. Yes, you can come, Yusif told him. One more tent. Near his sister's tents, Yusif saw a guy building a bathroom, hired that guy, but he's busy until tomorrow. The bathroom guy told Yusif he needed to find supplies, so Yusif spent hours searching for cement, stones, and a water tank. He found a water tank, but it was in a different part of Gaza.


Yusif paid more than the price of the water tank to get it transported. I was picturing a hole in the ground that you were going to dig near the tents, but you're building an actual bathroom with water and walls.


Yes, actually, that was a condition from my sisters.


Is that the first thing for you tomorrow?


Definitely yes. It will be happening for sure tomorrow because two hours ago or less, there's an air strike near them and it takes me half an hour or more, just trying to call, trying to call. I couldn't reach anyone. That freaked me out and I cannot handle the situation again.




Managed to reach my sister, I said, fine, there's a lot of gas and a lot of bombing, but we are fine. This is when we agreed, Khalas, tomorrow you are moving and I will come to pick you tomorrow.


Oh, you did? Yeah. So she definitely agreed.


Yeah. Sorry. Are we recording something because my son is just annoying me.


That's okay. I like hearing him. How old is he?


Two and a half.


Two and a half.


I'm just asking him to close the door. Last night, I had to stay awake until Ahmed, who cannot sleep without being kissed a thousand times in his cheeks until he sleep. Sometimes when he feel that I'm tired of kissing him, he give me his hand to kiss it.


So that you have it close to you?


Exactly. He like to give me some rest sometimes. Okay, you can kiss my hand. I don't know how we get this habit, but I don't mind it. For me, it's okay. I'm really grateful for the rain. It starts raining, then that's reduced the sound of bombing. Also you can use it, Oh, this is a thunderstrike. We are lucky today we can manipulate that.


You'll tell them in the night if they hear a noise.


Yeah, it's raining. It's raining. It's raining. It's for the thunderstrike. It's raining. I don't know. At the beginning, it was a bit easy to convince them that this is fireworks or thunderstrike. But then even my daughter, Elia, which is five years old, now can understand that this is a strike. Even my son, Ahmed, who's two years and a half and he can say, like a bombing, this is from airplane. He keep using this word, gusif, gusif, which means strikes. What the hell? That's another massive to this.


Is it close to you?


No, if it was close, you would hear it.




Failed to convince them that this is not a war and I felt that they know that this is a war in that age. They see how we are shouting, My sister is crying, or, It's not enough anymore for my children to when they feel panic from bombing to run towards us. They start scream without even running towards us because somehow they understood that we don't have that ability to protect them. That's something really awful. When you understand that your children understand that you cannot protect them. When I start to feel useless in front of my children and when I found that I cannot protect my children, I deeply regret it because- You regret what? What is the meaning as a father? I regret having children here. What is the meaning for me as a father if I cannot protect them?


You regret having children? Children, having children in Gaza?


Yes, definitely I regret. I made them, I made that decision and I had children in Gaza. While I know the consequences. But I wasn't imagining that we will go through this because I am a man of responsibility. I'm responsible for these children to secure their life and future. If I know that they will live through this, I would never, ever even get married to you.


You would never get married. Is that what you said?




Yeah. Is a part of that feeling like I should have known not to do this or?


I should never did that decision. Hello?


Hi, Youssef. Do you have a couple of minutes?


Yeah, of course. Yeah.


How did the day go?


It was really, really long day. I had to start really early and there was a lot of things to do.


Did they move?


Yeah, Yeah. They moved? I brought them on.


Yeah, they moved. Wow, you did it.


It took you- It was really a lot. Last night they were texting me about a lot of bombing. The house next to them was bombed, another house behind them was bombed, and so they wanted to move. They wanted to go, Khalas.


Yusif, the house next to them was bombed last night?


Yes. Yeah, last night it was, Vitash, when they start texting me that the bomb is around us, what? Yeah.


But there was an airstrike that hit a property right next to them.


Yes, but it's a drone strike. Okay, we have different types of missiles that the Israelis are using. There is the F-16, which war planes and this American-made weapon that are destroying their neighborhoods. The drones have smaller bombs that destroy a house or half of the house. They were afraid that the bombing might be in the same house because it's for four floors and they are the first ones. That's why they didn't argue me and like, Yes, let's move.


Did you think about going in the night?


Yeah, I told them I'm coming.


You texted back, I'm coming.


Yes. They were freaking out that I would come. My wife prevented me. My sisters were texting me, Do not come. There is a lot of bombing in the street in front of the house. Do not come.


Yusif waited till the sun came up and then drove to Khanunis. He says on his way there, he could hear gunfire and explosions all around him.


The first thing I did in the morning is I went there, back up in the car, my sisters and their children, and I came and then I sent another car, like a small van, small bus to walk and have the bags and everything, and my brother is in law.


Was there a part of you that felt a little frustrated? I told you guys you should have come earlier. I didn't want it to get to this.


That's exactly what the first thing I said today when I met them.


That was how you greeted them? Yeah. What did you say?


First thing is I told you we don't want to because it was a lot of bombing, a lot of attacks. I told you before, we don't need to run away under shilling and bombing. But now we did it. Every time had to be the same situation.


Overnight you're worried about their survival and you're panicked and you want to drive to get them in the middle of the night. But in the morning you greet them with, I told you so. This is what I said was going to happen.


Yeah, I was blaming them. There is no discussion. We are leaving.


You didn't hug them and cry and say, I'm so glad you survived. You said.


Get in the car. No, we have a different type of relation. It's not about tagging them. I was laughing. You should have died. I should be in the morgue now. This is how I'm with my sisters.


Did they laugh?


What did they say back? Hadir was like, Actually, they were start to give me orders quickly. You need to talk to our cousin, I imagine, because he was with us. You need to invite him. You have to talk to him nicely and push to bring them with us because they take care of us for a long time. Now we have to repay them. Also go to our uncle, Iman, because they wanted to have invited by you, not us. It's a bit weird. Like, Okay, I'll do this. You bag the luggage and you do that. They refused to leave before cleaning everything.


They wouldn't leave without cleaning the house?


Yep, cleaning the house, kitchen, bathrooms.


Even though you're fleeing, bombing.


Yes, because they would. That was actually from them. But this is how they think and I really respect it because we leave it better than the way we see we have. This is how we show respect and we have to clean.


Then you left? Yeah. Okay.


Then we left. What did it- It was the first time for them since the beginning with the war to see the sea.




Were very excited and happy.


How did they respond to the tents when you showed them where they're staying?


Yeah, I was expecting that they will feel like, It's not nice. But they were happy. It's like, Okay, it's nice. It's good.


Did you feel nervous?


Yeah, I want them to see that, to prove for them that I did my best. I was checking on them inside the tents. What do you think? It's warm. There's two layers for the tent, one for the training and one inside. I was trying to convince them as you know these sale people who are trying to convince you to buy something.




Was you? Exactly what they were saying. That wasn't me today. I know it's nice. Good. We'll do go to the bathroom here. We'll get something there. Here we can turn on the fire.


I was like, Oh, one minute. I'll get you internet tomorrow and I will get you lights here. Our neighbors have a solar panel. You will connect us some lights. I was doing that, a little salesman, and they were happy.


They were? Did they give you the response you wanted?


Yeah, it's like, Yeah, it's nice. Also, in our way coming, we went through one of the camps that people are just building tents in the streets. They saw how miserable the situation is. I meant to go there before taking them to our place.


You did it on purpose.


Exactly. Because I want them to see how people are living. So to prove for them that I did my best, managing what I could. When I met them today, I found out that they didn't eat for two days. They only eat rice. So first thing I was thinking about preparing a really big meal for them and they were surprised I had barbecues and kebab.


They had a meal? You had a meal together?


A very big one. It was very expensive one. But I was like, I'll feed you until you had more than enough. After fasting for two days, it was worth to provide them with something really good.


Did they appreciate it?


A lot. They were very happy. I was very happy also having this meal. Hello, Hannah.


Hi, Yusif. How are you doing?




This call, five days after I started speaking to Yusif, was the first time I talked to him when he was not agonizing over his sisters and how to get them out of. They were there. Their first day in their new place, settling in. There still wasn't a bathroom. But Yusif had asked a neighbor if his family could use their bathroom until his was up and running. He went to work that morning, made it a couple hours into the day when he got a call from his youngest sister, Asil.


It's too complicated.


Wait, tell me what happened with your sister.


Asil today wanted to go to the bathroom and she waited. So there is in the land next to us, they have a bathroom and they're friends of mine. My neighbors is hosting more than 60 people, so they have to wait in line on this bathroom. It's a single bathrooms.


Oh, wow. How pregnant is she? When is she due?


She is at the seventh month about to finish it, and she cannot wait she's pregnant. It's embarrassing for her. She started to cry and then she called me.


While she was in line?


She tried several times and she were hopeless. Then she starts to cry and decided to go back to. Shes decided that. She called me and she told me, I'm leaving to hang on this now. That's changed the day. I had to go back to meet my sister, take her to the bathroom, spend an hour or more. I stopped the line.


How did the 60 people waiting respond to that?


Well, it went okay. There was someone inside and I told them no one is getting inside. No one goes to the bathroom, khalas, until my sister finished.


Was she seriously thinking about going back to khanirness?


I don't think so. It shows me that she needs me. I need to find a solution now. She's above the limit.


The whole week, Yusif had been telling me that he needed his family close to him so he could think rationally about what was going on around him. Now they're here with all the joy and irritation that comes with having family close by. They're together in Rafa. They've moved from the very north of Gaza all the way down, the furthest south they can go. There is nowhere else. They're at the bottom edge of the Gaza Strip on the border with Egypt. Yusif can think a little bit about what's next.


What makes it a bit harder on me that I've been outside Gaza. I know how it looks like outside. First time I've been outside of Gaza was last year.


It was for your job?


Yes, to Norway, with NRC. When I arrived to Oslo, Norway.




The airport, they stamped my passport and she said, Welcome. It was weird for me. There is no interrogation. They are not going to question me anything. They are not going to look for me as a terrorist and they are not going to check my bags or my body. They just allow me to enter. It feels weird in a way that I want them to check me and interrogate me. This is not a huge value. Come on, guys.


You have to ask me some questions. You didn't do your job. Yeah.


Come on, you have to ask me something. You have to ask me where I live or who is my neighbor or what I do or what's my relation with the militant groups in Gaza. You have to ask me about anything. Come on. I saw how the world is massive. For me, Gaza was a bit big. You know how... Gaza is very, very narrow piece of land. For me, it was huge. But when I saw the world outside of Gaza, I was like, Guys, we are living in a small neighborhood.


What felt different?


Everything is different. I cannot imagine how I was feeling when I saw the first time an airplane or an airport, I felt like I'm four years old. I was saying always, I'm gas in more than any gas in here because I never been outside. When I went outside, I understood how it feels. I saw how people are living their life. I totally understand why they don't really care about us. They are busy with their lives. There is my entire generation never been outside of Gaza. What my children, what they have been through is something unimaginable and they don't deserve that. What is the world expecting from this generation after 15 years? When they lived through all of this?


What do you expect?


More violence. How they are going to think rationally?


Do you worry about that with your own children?


I made that decision and when this war finished, if we survived, I would take them outside. I'm not allowing my children to go through this situation again.


You want to leave?


I know it's going to be really, really difficult. Gas is part of us, and I know it. But it's really hard to think about that now, to be honest, in the middle of the war. But I made the decision that without thinking about it, they are not going to stay here. It's 10:30 now. You want to go to bed. Pretty. Yeah. At least it's gone now. I could catch some before they start shooting or something.


Yeah, you should do that. Okay. Okay.


Have a nice night. Bye.


Youssef Hamad, in Gaza, talking to Hannah Joffey-Wald. This story was produced by Nancy Updike, edited by me and Nancy and Emmanuel Barry, mixed by Catherine Raimondo, fact-checked by Jain Ackerman. Special thanks today to Shane O'Lowe, Nabilh, Shalcat, Hanny Hawasley, Hans Paba, Brian Kastner, George Sadot, and Mark Galasco. Our show comes to you from WB Easy Chicago and PRX Public Radio International. We'll be back this weekend, just a couple of days from now, with a new episode for you.