Names in Black Ink: The Poignant Story of Gaza's Innocents Amid Conflict



by FARUK IMAMOVIC

Names in Black Ink: The Poignant Story of Gaza's Innocents Amid Conflict
© Getty Images News/Ahmad Hasaballah

Amidst the rubble and chaos of the continuing conflict in Gaza, a poignant detail stands out, bearing testimony to the depth of fear and despair among its residents. In a chilling act of desperation, some parents are inscribing their children's names in black ink on their legs and abdomen.

This act, however heart-wrenching, underscores a chilling reality: the unpredictable nature of the conflict and its toll on innocent lives.

A Glimpse Inside the Morgue

Inside what appears to be a morgue at a Gaza hospital, three children lay still on a steel tray.

Their trousers pushed up, revealing black ink inscriptions. Dr. Abdul Rahman Al Masri, head of the emergency department at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, divulged the chilling reasons behind this to CNN: “We received some cases where the parents wrote the names of their children on the legs and abdomen”.

Parents in the region are engulfed in fear that, amidst the chaos, their children might become unrecognizable or lost. Dr. Al Masri poignantly added, “This means that they feel they are targeted at any moment and can be injured or martyred”.

This sentiment encapsulates the apprehension of an entire community, faced with the harrowing consequences of an escalating conflict.

A Distressing Trend

While the act of inscribing names might be a new phenomenon in Gaza, the pain and loss are not.

The supervisor of the room at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, where the deceased are prepared for burial, labeled a recent Sunday as "an exceptional day." Opting to remain anonymous, he reported that the death toll from the night of Saturday to Sunday had surpassed 200.

His observations echoed Dr. Al Masri’s remarks about the grim trend of parents inscribing their children's names. “Many of the children are missing, many get here with their skulls broken... and it’s impossible to identify them, only through that writing do they get identified”.

The black ink, a seemingly minor detail, serves as a heart-rending reminder of the profound impacts of conflict. It's a symbol of parents' last attempt to ensure that, in the midst of indescribable chaos and loss, their children’s identities remain intact. Amid the destruction, the resilience and love of these parents shine through, even in such a tragic gesture.