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'I saw the trauma in their eyes': Sask. man trying to bring home wife and kids stranded in Gaza

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A Prince Albert man is living his worst nightmare as his wife and four children, aged 3-12, are stranded in Gaza amid the Israel-Gaza war.

Abdullah Algherbawi worries for his family. With limited electricity and Wi-Fi, he is rarely able to contact them.

“Normally when you ask someone, ‘How are you?’ they will tell you, ‘Not too bad,’” Algherbawi said.

“But the answer there, ‘We are still alive.’”

In a recent video call, Algherbawi saw the toll it has taken on his children.

“I saw the trauma in their eyes,” he said.

His 3-year-old daughter begged him for help.

“My little girl told me last time, ‘Dad, get me out of from here,’” he said.

“I told her, ‘Yes, I’m doing that,’ because I cannot say that I don’t have anything in my hand.”

(Photo courtesy of Abdullah Algherbawi)

Algherbawi’s family became Canadian Citizens in February. They went to Gaza in June to visit family for the first time in years.

He returned to Canada for work a month later, while his wife and children planned to stay until November.

“What's happening now, it's destroyed our plan, and I don't know when they can come back here,” he said.

Now his family is caught in the crossfire of the conflict. Algherbawi said his family has moved six times in the past two weeks and each place has been destroyed.

“There is no safe place,” he said.

Algherbawi said he has already lost two relatives since the war began on Oct. 7. He said he’s pleading with the Canadian Embassy for help, but it’s made no promises. His family are among hundreds of Canadians stranded in the area.

“We are continuing to communicate with Canadians wishing to exit. We know they are facing extremely difficult conditions and are doing everything we can to support them,” Julie Sunday, assistant deputy minister for consular, security and emergency management with Global Affairs Canada, said in a press conference on Friday.

Meanwhile Algherbawi is dreaming of the day he’s reunited with his family.

“Sometimes I’m just sitting and imagining that I’m in the airport and they are coming, so that maybe will be the best moment of my life,” he said.

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