GAZA – (WARSOOR) – Suzan Matar watched the building that housed her eight-year-old business crumble live on television.
It was one of the several landmark structures targeted by Israeli fighter jets during its 11-day assault on the besieged Gaza Strip.
The nine-floor al-Johara Tower in the heart of Gaza City was struck by several missiles on May 12. It housed Matar’s law firm, which was previously an apartment owned by her father.
The 34-year-old was at home watching the news when she found out the building was targeted.
“Finding out this way consumed me. I felt helpless,” Matar told Al Jazeera, crying. “I couldn’t stop it. I couldn’t tell them, please just leave my office alone, please don’t do anything to harm it. It was my baby.”
Starting her business was a “lifelong dream”. On a regular day, Matar and her colleagues would spend up to 12 hours in the office that she described as a “second home”.
She had many of her personal belongings in the office, including several awards, pictures of her late fiance and gifts from her friends.
All of that was destroyed in a blink of an eye. But what remained, she said, are “endless memories engraved in my heart”.
Matar knows rebuilding her business will not be easy. Like many others, she wonders how so much will be brought back while Gaza remains under siege. More importantly, she asks, who will pay for all the damage.
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