Earlier this month, Israeli forces bombed the Said Mish’al Center for Culture and Science in Gaza to the ground, claiming it was being used by Hamas for military operations. The center was beloved among Gazans and was celebrated as a place where people could express their pain, grief, happiness, and perseverance through song, dance, and theater. Thousands of Palestinians in Gaza mourned the destruction of the center, which had survived three Israeli offensives over the past decade.
Aside from being a place where people could go to to escape their hardships for a moment, the center was also a space where, according to the director, the people of Gaza resisted the occupation by preserving the Palestinian culture and passing it on to future generations. As Center Director Sameer Mish’al told Mondoweiss, “The occupation has always tried to stifle the voice of the Palestinian people. This place was like a beam of light. Through our work, we protected our culture.”
For more on this story see: ‘It is a war against every part of Palestinian identity’: Israel destroys popular Gaza cultural center