Parenting under fire

Washington Post

By Hazem Balousha, Steve Hendrix
Joury Mghames, 7, hides under a counter in her Gaza home's kitchen during Israeli bombing May 19, 2021. (Loay Ayyoub for The Washington Post)

Ayman Mghames couldn’t stop the nightly Israeli bombing that was making his 7-year-old daughter, Joury, cry. But just maybe he could turn the volume down.

Just after midnight on the fourth evening of the bombardment, the Palestinian musician and rapper left the kitchen where his family of four was sheltering and retrieved a pair of noise-canceling headphones. He fit them over the little ears, dialed up a YouTube video of “The Smurfs” and hit play.

“She started laughing,” Mghames recalled. “She said, ‘Dad, can you hear me?’ Now she sleeps in them.”

Mghames, 36, who had been in another bedroom when an Israeli missile struck their house in 2009 and killed his father, knows well that headphones won’t protect his children from the bombs that have already killed more than 200 Gazans in the past 10 days, including more than 60 children, according to Gazan health officials.

But like countless parents, Palestinian and Israeli, cowering in homes, shelters and stairwells under the air war raging between Israel and the Hamas militant group, he is doing anything he can to shield them from the trauma of being under fire.

Publish : 2021-05-20 13:02:00

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