News & Commentary

2021: Filmmakers ask children in Gaza, “What is your dream?”

A poignant look at their personalities and aspirations as the reported death toll tops a staggering 4,000 children

“We often measure the tragedy of war in the suffering of children, but rarely do we hear from them,” writes the New York Times’ Opinion team.

“Two years ago, filmmakers asked children in Gaza, where nearly half the population is under 18, a seemingly simple question: What is your dream?”

“The video above reveals their answers which, in light of the violence that has embroiled the region in recent weeks, are all the more poignant.”

More than 40% of those killed in Gaza have been children, “with 3,900 reported child victims, and another 1,250 missing and presumed buried under bombed buildings,” according to article published by The Guardian on Sunday, citing the UN.

“With little rescue machinery, and hospitals overcrowded and running out of supplies, the chances of survival for those trapped in rubble are painfully low.”

“The numbers are obviously catastrophic,” says Unicef spokesperson Toby Fricker in the same article. “Verification doesn’t occur in real time, which is why we say ‘reportedly killed’, but, generally speaking, in all conflicts we substantiate initial estimates and in Gaza they have tended to be pretty consistent.”

“The number of children killed in nearly a month of fighting dwarfs the total recorded by the UN for years of conflict in Gaza before that,” The Guardian continues.

“Between 2008, the first year UN statistics are available, and September 2023, a total of 859 boys and girls were killed by airstrikes and fighting inside Gaza. Over the last 29 days, an average of 130 have been killed each day.”

As of Monday, the death toll had surpassed 4,000 children, per Gaza’s Health Ministry, which has been widely regarded as credible for these types of figures, historically.