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4 Dec, 2014

100 days on: Gaza’s children speak out – The Independent

Standing outside a youth centre in the north of Gaza, Mohammed, a confident 12-year-old,says he works hard at sciences in school and has big dreams: “I want to be an astronaut, I want to be the first astronaut from Gaza.”

For children in the war-ravaged region, imaginations remain intact. But 100 days after the seven-week offensive launched by Israel in which homes were reduced to rubble, entire families killed – 89 in the recent offensive – and schools destroyed, achieving those dreams has become a separate battle in itself.

The situation is desperate. Around half of Gaza’s population of 1.8 million are under the age of 18 – and though 500,000 children are back at school that means hundreds of thousands are without education. Thirty thousand children were displaced by the fighting. The seemingly constant cycle of violence means that any child over seven has now lived through three wars.

But amid the destruction, children still want to play – and they want to learn.

Read the rest: 100 days on: Gaza’s children speak out – Middle East – World – The Independent.