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Gazans express grief following Moroccan child’s death

Gaza Strip (The Inside Palestine) – Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip have expressed on Sunday their grief and sorrow over the death of a five-year-old Moroccan boy at the bottom of a well in a tragic end to a five-day rescue operation that gripped the region and the world.

Rayan Awram fell down the 32-meter deep well on Tuesday afternoon while playing outside his parents’ house in the village of Ighran, close to the city of Chefchaouen in Morocco.

The ordeal of “little Rayan” gained global attention and sparked an outpouring of sympathy, with the Arabic Twitter hashtag #SaveRayan trending.

Throughout the major digging operation to extricate him from the bottom of the well shaft, Moroccan authorities had cautioned that they did not know whether the boy was alive.

The race against time to rescue Rayan was followed live across the world until a tragic conclusion was announced late on Saturday by Morocco’s royal cabinet confirming that Rayan was found dead.

From hope to sorrow

Palestinians in Gaza, like others around the world, followed closely the developments in Rayan’s rescue operation, with hope that the boy would be returned to his parents alive.

“Unfortunately, all of our prayers were not enough to protect Rayan and return him to life… May his soul rest in peace with other Muslim children who lost their lives,” Suzan al-Shaer, a young woman in Gaza, told The New Arab.

The 35-year-old mother of four added: “I felt as if Rayan was one of my children. I cannot imagine his mother’s sorrow during this time. I am sure she was afraid of losing him, but at the same time, she might have had some hope that he would return to her.”

Palestinians also expressed solidarity with Rayan’s family on social media platforms.

“I cannot imagine what Rayan said to himself when he fell into the 32-meter well. How did he cry? Did he scream for his mother and father? what did he think? Did he lose hope, or did he keep wishing that he would come out alive from the well?” Fathy Sabbah, a Gaza-based journalist, posted on his Facebook page.

“I am terrified as I try to imagine how he lived these past four days in the well and at a temperature of four degrees. Really, it is a nightmare and tragedy,” he added.

Others used the opportunity to draw attention to children suffering in Gaza.

“RIP #Rayan. A wonderful human sympathy by the world with the Moroccan child Rayan. But don’t forget that there are children in #Palestine who suffer by the Israeli occupation every day,” one Twitter user said.

Source: The New Arab

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