“My name is Thaer Jouda, I am 11 years old and I live in Tal Zatar in Jabalia refugee camp northern Gaza Strip.”
Thaer is the only survivor of the bombing of his family’s house days before the end of the cruel war on Gaza (2014 War )In Jabalia refugee camp, Thaer and his family were in the backyard when a drone directly targeted the house to kill and injure his family. Thaer lost his mother Rawya ( 43 years old ), his sisters ( a 14 years old Tasnem , and a 13 years old Raghad ), his brothers ( a 8 years old Mohamed and a 6 years old Osama) and his sister Rahaf -11 years old- had been badly injured.
Thaer suffered horrific injuries, He lost his right leg and a finger on his right hand. He required multiple skin grafts to his arms, chest and left leg where burns scared much of his body. Thaer would have over 30 pieces of shrapnel removed from his face and chest and to this day still has fragments in his body.
Essam Jouda -Thaer’s father says “Everything has changed within a second, the house was demolished without any forewarning, within a second my sons, my wife, and the others were all dismembered bodies”. “Thaer transferred to Al-Shiffa Hospital in Gaza, and then to Germany to receive treatment for 15 months.”
”Currently, Thaer can not ride his bicycle, he cannot do athletic sport, and he is not as energetic, active, and fun as usual, Thaer is not the same Thaer anymore. “ Essam continues.
Thaer adds- “I will never forget that day , I can clearly remember what happened , I was sitting with my family when IOF Warplane targeted us. I tried to hide myself , but I could not, I went down helpless and incapable . I lost everything, my Mom, my brothers, my sisters, my leg and even my finger. I also got my bones broken and my body distorted. In addition to that, I had 6 operations in Gaza and another 17 operations abroad in Germany.”
He continues “For six months, I knew nothing about my family, every time I ask about them they told me, your family is fine. Finally and after six months, my father told me the truth that I lost everything, and my Mom is in paradise right now.”
In an attempt to keep Thaer’s hope of a better life, his father says.
”Thaer and I are friends , I spend my time with him, I always take Thaer to the club, school, and our relatives.”
Currently, Thaer is receiving treatment in the United States of America.
”It is good opportunity to complement the treatment in the USA, I hope that I get prostheses that would help me to survive, to walk naturally, to run and to ride my bicycle just like the other children. “ he says.