DENVER — A Palestinian man has called Denver home for the past two years. But in recent days, his heart has been aching for his home in Gaza, where his parents and relatives are struggling to survive.
Fouad Alkhouri moved to the United States as an exchange student from the Gaza Strip in 2012. His parents and a few other close relatives are still in Gaza, which has become a warzone in the Israel-Hamas conflict.
“As somebody who is so many miles away from them, I’m left to worry and stress out the entire time,” said Alkhouri. “They're extremely distraught. They're extremely tired physically, emotionally.”
Alkhouri said his parents had to evacuate the area they've been staying in three times due to nearby buildings being targeted.
"Luckily they're in a safe spot now, but it doesn't seem like any place around the Gaza Strip is safe,” said Alkhouri.
He is fearful his parents will not make it.
"Your mind will run through the worst, and your mind will think your parents will be next,” said Alkhouri.
Alkhouri wants people to know the war is not only impacting innocent Israelis, but many innocent Palestinian families like his own who just want normalcy.
"If you stop a Gazan in the street and you tell them you want war to start tomorrow and the death of countless people or would you rather just be able to go to your job, have a normal life get back to your family, of course they will choose the latter. Because these people are not inherently bad. They’re not inherently in support of war, all out destruction,” said Alkhouri.
He stresses the innocent Israelis and Palestinians who are impacted by this conflict are just that — innocent.
"When people connect, we're able to achieve a lot more. We're able to put humanity before interests. We're able to advocate to make the world a lot better, a lot more prosperous and achieve human rights for everyone,” said Alkhouri.
Alkhouri said there will one day be an end to this war, he believes it won't happen until both sides feel they've achieved something.