It was Thursday night when we started to negotiate. Do we need to evacuate to the south or

Chicago
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It was Thursday night when we started to negotiate. Do we need to evacuate to the south or not? The F-16s did not leave the sky, the bombing did not stop, the live ammunition was very close. The sky was foggy, gas bombs and white phosphorus filled the sky. It was hard for us to even breathe.⁠

Our job is to document the war, to let the world know what is happening. How could we leave? For hours, we asked the question. I had a headache from overthinking. ⁠

We had evacuated from the office three times in 30 days. We evacuated from the office to Roots Hotel, but journalists there were targeted, so we evacuated to Al Shifa Hospital. After the threats the hospital received, we chose to risk it and go back to our three-room office in the Al Rimal area, near Al Saraya. ⁠

Despite the sound of the bombs, I urged myself to sleep. I wondered if this might be my last night in the office, my last night in the city.⁠

It was 6:30 when my colleague Ali woke me up. “Get ready, we are leaving,” he said hurriedly.⁠

I grabbed my bag and hurried with Ali to pick up his injured mom and my cousin. Ali drove so fast. We parked away from the Al Shifa entrance. The entrance to a hospital has become a danger zone, with several having been bombed recently.⁠

We kept walking, stopping, then walking, the soldiers a constant threat.⁠

It felt like years of walking, though it was only hours. It was packed, and we constantly looked between the crowds for each other. On the other side were people who were already in the south and came to pick us up. People in the south were searching for us, for people coming from the city. Everyone was tired. Everyone was thirsty.⁠

I can’t describe the sadness. We escaped from being killed or injured, but I did not want to leave — and did not want to leave the city.⁠

Read more from Hind Khoudary via the link in our bio. ⁠

Photo: Mohammed Talatene/picture-alliance/dpa/AP



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