Mosab Abu Toha Recommends...

What inspires me is the nature of Gaza: the trees, the plants, the sunrise, and the sea, namely. Nothing could disturb any of them, not the drones, not the air strikes, not the bullets. No matter how many horrific massacres they witness, they never forget how to grow or how to continue moving. They remind me of the children of Gaza, some of whom lost their parents, siblings, and homes, but still emerge from under the rubble to build a life. What kind of life does the future hold for them? No one knows—just as we don’t know how much fruit a tree will bear after an air strike destroys the house where it grew, and kills the farmer or the family that planted it.

All we know is that they will never stop growing, hopefully into productive, healthy beings.

When I’m unable to write, or when I feel like writing but cannot find the words, I return to the photos I took in Gaza: of the sunset and the beach, my family’s garden, the trees in the street, strawberry farms, my students, the plants that continue to grow beside our bombed house.

Mosab Abu Toha, author of Forest of Noise (Knopf, October 2024)  

Photo credit: Mohamed Mahdy