Don’t cry for me. Cry for yourselves.

Sam Bahour
7 min readMay 12

The voice of a Palestinian child in Gaza, taken from this world by Israel — “the only democracy in the Middle East”.

Note: This was written in 2014, a decade after Iman Darweesh Al Hams was murdered by an Israeli soldier in Gaza and after Israeli courts cleared the solider who killed her from any wrongdoing. Today, as I watch more Gazan children killed by the Israeli killing machine, I remembered Iman and this article. Sadly, this article remains as relevant in 2023 as it has throughout the past 75 years. I pray that all the children killed this week will find Iman well and they are all supporting each other and resting in a peace they never found on this earth.

As the latest horrific obscenity of Israel’s aggression against the Gaza Strip continues, the death toll mounts. Palestinian children are paying the highest price, both those who are killed and wounded, and maybe even more so, those who survive.

Since I have written for decades about how Israel’s prolonged military occupation and endless violations of international law — let alone their blatant disregard for their very own self-interests — would get us to this very point, fresh analysis and fresh vantage points are difficult to find. The only words I can muster now, while the images of the carnage are freshly etched into my mind, are the words that may have come from one of the child victims whose life was cut short by a U.S.-supplied Israeli F-16 fighter jet missile.

Below is the imagined letter from the victim:

Dear Humankind,

Hi. My name is Iman; it means faith in Arabic. I doubt you will have seen or remember me; only particular photos make it to your TV screen, those are the ones you will remember. I’m a Palestinian child from Gaza. I like my dolls, playing with my sister, and swimming. I was told that many of you are crying for me, but please don’t cry for me. I just arrived at this place and wanted to write to let you know that I’m OK. Really, I’m fine. I just miss Mommy.

There are a lot of people here, just like back home in Gaza. Lots of Palestinian kids too, some have been here for a very long time. Why would you want to cry for only me?

Sam Bahour

Writer, businessperson, activist.