Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Gaza War: A Portfolio of Israel’s Newborns Targets in Gaza

In the days before the war, Yahia Barzaq became the first professional photographer in the Gaza Strip to specialize in photographing newborns and babies.

Barzaq started capturing images of newborns with the assistance of his wife in mid-July 2017, initially at their home, and it quickly gained immense popularity.

Shortly after securing local funding through an entrepreneurship business contest, he established his newborn photography studio in the upscale Remal district, known for its affluence in Central Gaza.

Just three days after the studio’s grand opening, the young photographer announced to expectant mothers that he would only be able to photograph babies under 14 days old and that his schedule was fully booked for the next month.

His wife Nahrawan took on the role of styling the babies for the photo sessions.

Within a few years, Barzaq’s studio became a sought-after destination for mothers seeking to capture the earliest moments of their newborns.

 On October 2, 2023, Barzaq shared an adorable photo on his Instagram to promote his thriving business.

The following day, he posted a video discussing his challenges in his work with newborns, admitting, ‘To be honest, it’s more challenging than I had imagined.’

He would miss those challenges sincerely so soon.

His next post on October 12, 2023, featured a video capturing the sounds of shelling in Gaza.

Two days earlier, the Israeli army had begun shelling the Remal district as part of its operations to clear the area.

The devastation caused by the shelling was extensive, shocking even veteran Al-Jazeera reporter Wael Dahdouh, who had covered multiple wars before.

The events seemed to foreshadow what was to come in the following weeks.

On October 20, 2023, newborn photographer Yahia Barzaq noticed his own photos going viral, emerging in a way that no sane human would wish to witness.

Those photos were from a photo book made by Yahia Barzaq
taken by Anadolu Agency photo at the church after the Israeli strike

One such photo, captured by a Palestinian photojournalist for Anadolu News Agency, portrayed Barzaq’s photobook of a newborn baby amidst the debris of the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Porphyrius in Gaza.

I do not want to imagine what ran in his mind when he saw his studio's photo book.

The church had been partially destroyed by an Israeli airstrike on October 19, 2023, claiming the lives of at least 18 people, including baby George Sobhy El-Souri.

Little George brought out of the rubble by Omar El-Qatta
Baby George brought out of the rubble by Omar El-Qatta

In that haunting image, the baby—identified as George—tragically lost his life, becoming the youngest victim of the assault.

Baby George held by mother Yara and kissed by his sister  Juliet by Yahia Barzaq
Baby George held by his mother Yara and kissed by his sister 
Juliet by Yahia Barzaq

George’s mother, Yara, and his sister Juliet, who was just months away from her second birthday, were also killed.

Juliet had previously had a special photoshoot, not as a newborn, but as a one-year-old with a rainbow cake.

The unforgettable photo from the mass funeral of the St. Porphyrius Church bombing victims vividly revealed the small bodies of baby George and Juliet.

The funeral of the St. Porphyrius Church in October and you can 
see the bodies of George and Juliet in the beginning 

On October 21, 2023, Barzaq began sharing photos of his clients, who tragically became part of Gaza’s mounting death toll due to Israeli forces.

That baby was born in August only to be killed in October.

Days later, Yahia Barzaq recognized yet another client making international headlines: Adam Dahdouh, the first grandson of Al-Jazeera veteran Wael Dahdouh.

On October 25, the Israeli air forces bombed the house where the Dahdouh family had moved in the Nasirat camp, South Gaza, killing 13 family members.

The first Dahdhouhs massacre in October "AFP"

Among the casualties were the wife of the veteran Al Jazeera correspondent Amna, his son Mahmoud, his daughter Sham, and his grandson Adam Magdy Dahdouh.

The farewell of Wael Dahdhouh and his youngest son Yahia to the four 
 including baby Adam who is on the right of his late grandma Amna 

The same little boy, born six months earlier in March and featured in a photo shoot, was now carried as a lifeless body by his grandfather, who moved around the hospital in total shock while his mother screamed hysterically.

It was an unforgettable ordeal that millions of people, especially in the Arab world, witnessed live and were left speechless.

I must admit that when I saw the photos again while writing this post, the shock was as intense as the first time—perhaps even worse—because I hadn’t closely examined or focused my eyes on little baby Adam.

Adam’s memory is still mourned by the Dahdouh family.

As the first grandson of Wael Dahdouh, he was cherished and doted upon by his uncles and aunts, especially his eldest uncle, Hamza who loved him like his son.

On January 7, Hamza joined Adam, his mother, his brother, and his sister.

The uncle and nephew were killed within three months by the Israeli army

Five days after the murder of Adam Dahdouh, Gaza's newborn photographer published yet another photo of one of his clients who was killed in the war.

A sleeping beauty of a baby.

On November 2, 2023, he posted this photo of the beautiful baby, Randa.

This is Randa Ibrahim Abu Shaaban from four years ago.

Randa or Anda was also killed on October 24, 2023, at the Nuseirat Camp, just 24 hours before baby Adam Dahdouh was killed.

Randa was killed in an Israeli shelling along with her mom, Aya Adel, father Ibrahim Abu Shaaban, and her younger baby sister, Salma, who was only six months old.

Baby Salma killed by Israel
Little baby Salma, Randa's sister was killed too

Her aunt, Nesma Adel, and her cousins, Sherry and Habiba, were also killed with them.

Randa with her mom Aya, her aunt Nesma and her daughter Habiba
Randa with her mom Aya, her aunt Nesma and her daughter Habiba 
"Randa's aunt Haya Adel"

Habiba and Randa were not just cousins but best friends.

Over 25 people were killed in that shelling.

Last photo for Randa and Salma
The last photo of Randa, Salma and their father Ibrahim
with her grandmom who survived the Israeli shelling
After half an hour of sending this photo to Ibrahim's cousin,
Israel shelled the house.

Randa's family, including her aunt and cousin, fled from the north to south Gaza and stayed at the Abu Shaaban clan house in the Nuseirat camp.

Cousins Randa and Habiba when they were
alive "Haya Adel"

What are the chances that two babies photographed by the same photographer years apart would be killed in the same camp 24 hours apart!?

Logic suggests it could be 1%, but it is a high percentage in Gaza now, considering we are speaking about the only newborn photographer in one of the highest population densities globally. About 2.5 million people are living in an area of about 365 square kilometres. “If you are an Egyptian from Cairo, then imagine New Cairo; yes, Gaza is as big as New Cairo.'"

On January 6th, Yahia Bazraq published a photo of another baby killed in an Israeli shelling, whose photos and videos of a dead body went viral.

Baby Lara Aliwa was only 9 months old when she was killed in a shelling that destroyed her grandfather's house in Deir El-Balah.

Here is another photo of Lara and her mom. 

Late Palestinian Dr Samah and her daughter Lara in their photoshoot
by Yahia Barzaq 

The video of her grandfather, renowned dentist Jamal Naim, carrying her dead and unable to put her down in the refrigerator at the hospital, also went viral.

"She's only 9 months old. What did she do wrong in her life?" The grieving grandfather told the people in the morgue, who advised him to pray for mercy for her soul.

The esteemed dentist, who came back to Gaza from Germany where he had lived for 17 years, tragically lost three daughters, three grandchildren, and a mother in the massacre. In total, he lost seven members of his immediate family.

Lara would have celebrated her first birthday last 17 April.

Little Lara when she was alive and dead 

That is the last video of Lara alive which her late mom recorded less than 24 of their murder in the Israeli shelling.

Lara’s cousin, Liya Rady, was killed too along with her little cousin.

little Liyah
Little late Liya once wished the world a good day 

Liya also had her photo session when she was born, and Yahia Bazraq photographed her when she was only a few days old.

The photos from that photoshoot were beautiful indeed. 

Liyah and Lara were killed along with their little cousin 3-year-old Taysser or Tito and their aunt Shaima

Tito and Liyah 

Dr Jamal Naim, the dean of Dentistry at University of Palestine mourned his beautiful daughters and his brave uneducated mom who raised successful men in a series of beautifully heartbroken Facebook posts in Arabic called "My seven Moons" 

He started with his mother who was born in 1937 in Beit Hannon and gave birth to ten children who all are successful in all fields. He then spoke about his daughters and their children "1994-born Samah, 1996-born Shaima, 2007-born Battol who dreamt that she was martyred five times and told him about it before it would happen for real.

On February 5th, we saw the photo of the cute little baby Mariam Hassan Abu Alba.

Mariam was killed along with more than 70 members of her family in their house during an Israeli shelling in North Gaza’s Jabaliya camp on January 7th.


Mariam may have paid the price for bearing the name Abu Alba.

Ibrahim Abu Alba (1964-2008) was among the founders of the military wing, the 'National Resistance Brigades,' of the leftist Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) in Gaza during the second intifada.

On February 17th, we learned that the angelic baby Fatima Aqila was killed along with her parents, as well as the rest of her family, who perished in the ongoing genocide.

She was only 8 months old when the Israeli army shelled her family’s house.

Here is a video showing her photobook that was destroyed during the shelling.

On February 21st, we were struck by the photograph of the beautiful Kenzy Abdel Rahman Gomaa and her rosy cheeks.

Kenzy tragically lost her life in an Israeli shelling that demolished her grandfather Dr. Nasser Abu El-Nour's home in East Rafah on February 20th.

The Abu El-Nour family endured a massacre that night, resulting in the loss of eight lives, including Kenzy, who was the youngest victim.

Dr. Nasser Abu El-Nour served as the Dean of the Faculty of Nursing at the Islamic University.

Dr Nasser Abou El-Nour
Kenzy's grandfather Dr Nasser Abu El-Nour 
Dean of Nursing faculty in Islamic University of Gaza 

All of Gaza’s seven universities have been destroyed so far in the war.

The Palestinian Ministry of Higher Education, as cited in a preliminary report issued in March, stated that 74 Palestinian academics, including university presidents and deans in the strip, were killed in the war since October. According to the Ministry’s preliminary report, 3 university presidents and 7 deans of major colleges were killed.

Meanwhile, the Euro-Mediterranean Observatory for Human Rights mentioned in its own statistics that the number of deans and university professors who have been martyred reached 95, including 68 with professorial degrees. It is noted that these numbers are not final, as information about others who are still missing or detained continues to be received.

Back to Dr. Abu El-Nour and his family, Kenzy perished alongside her grandparents, Nasser and Magda Abu El-Nour, her mother, her two aunts—Amal, Mona, and Ayat—and her uncle Abdel Rahman.

Her father, the lone survivor, bears the weight of this tragedy with disbelief.

What remains of Kenzy are a photo and a video from October 2022.

Two days later, on February 23rd, we learned about Little Red Riding Hood, Shams Ibrahim Mushtaha.

Tragically, Shams lost her life along with her mother and several other family members in an Israeli shelling.

Shams comes from a well-known wealthy family with a history in commerce. In Gaza, there is a street and many businesses named Mushtaha in Gaza.

Additionally, there used to be a large residential tower named Mushtaha that was destroyed by the Israeli army during the 2021 war in Gaza.

Shams and her family, along with their businesses, are notable because they share the same family name as Rouhy Mushtaha. Rouhy Mushtaha is one of the founders of Hamas' Political Office.

Earlier this year, Rouhy Mushtaha's name came into focus in February again when Israeli media speculated that he could replace Yahia El-Sinwar if the latter were to be killed.

That report was published in Egypt’s Al-Masry Al-Youm on 20 February, three days before Shams and her family’s murder.

This makes all members of the Mushtaha family, regardless of age, potential targets of the Israeli army.

On February 26, Yahia Barzaq shared a photo he took of Mohamed Fargallah.

Little Mohamed, his mother, and other family members were killed in yet another Israeli shelling.

Mohamed's sister Mariam survived the attack but had her leg amputated.

Mariam was born to her parents after an 8-year wait, and Mohamed came after Mariam, five years later.

Yahia Barzaq was already known for his photos of IVF babies and stabilization needles for infants.

Mrs Rania Abu Enza had been waiting for the war to end to photograph her twins, Wassam and Naeem, at Barzaq’s studio.

She had waited 11 years for a baby and kept all her stabilization needles for that photoshoot.

Months earlier, she had three IVF babies in her womb, but only two survived.

Rania even planned another photoshoot for them in Ramadan attire and purchased sweet Ramadan-inspired outfits for the twins, whom she affectionately nicknamed Abu Ward and Soso. They were born in October.

In early March, the Israeli army bombed the house where the Abu Enza family was staying in Rafah. 27-year-old Rania woke up to a nightmare. 14 members of her family were killed, including her husband and children.

While the Israeli army didn't kill Wassam and Naeem, it also bombed Gaza’s largest fertility clinic in December, killing more than 4,000 embryos, along with 1,000 specimens of sperm and unfertilized eggs.

At other times, the US conservatives would consider them as human.

Back to baby Mohamed Fargallah, Little Mo shares the same name of freelance photographer Mohamed Fargallah “Most probably from the same family.”

Freelance photographer Mohamed Fargallah was killed in early December in Nasirat camp. The family of Fargallah lost a lot of members since October in North Gaza.

Then came the photo of little Elul Mohamed Yaghi in a special Ramadan photoshoot.

Elul, tragically killed in early March, was the daughter of the renowned photographer Mohamed Yaghi.

Mohamed Yaghi, celebrating his daughter Elul's 1st Birthday
Mohamed Yaghi, celebrating his daughter Elul's 1st Birthday
Born in 2023, Elul, which means September was not a newborn when Mohamed and Dania Yaghi took her to Barzaq studio to have a Ramadan photoshoot.

Another photo for the photo shoot shared by Barzaq at
Gaza Martyrs social media accounts.

Tragedy struck when the Israeli army bombed the Yaghis' house in Deir al-Balah. That Ramadan photoshoot was her first and last photoshoot.

Late Elul with her late parents Mohamed  and Dania Yaghi
Late Elul with her late parents Mohamed 
and Dania Yaghi

It was also during her first and last Ramadan.

According to the latest figures available, 137 journalists and photographers have lost their lives. 

Last and I am praying that he will be the last Barzaq's client to be killed in this war is Baby Mohamed Bahaa Kahlout who was killed on 23 October in Rafah.

The Kahlouts family lost too many people in this war including many children because one of the leading members of Hamas bears the same last name.

Little Mohamed Bahaa El-Kahlout carried by his dad from the hospital to the cemetery
On one October morning in Rafah

Yahia Barzaq stopped publishing photos of other former clients who met similar fates as martyrs.

Instead, he has been tirelessly collecting donations to relocate to Egypt with his wife and two sons, aiming to revive his business.

Mostly his studio at a fancy mall in Remal district has been destroyed like everything in the upscale neighborhood.

Without a shadow of a doubt, there are more victims within his portfolio of clients—whether deceased, injured, or suffering from malnourishment.

Disturbingly, at least 10 children lose a limb daily. Dr. Ghassan Abu Stita, a renowned reconstructive surgeon and the current Rector of the University of Glasgow, highlighted that Gaza has tragically set international records for the number of children with amputated limbs.

Since the onset of the current conflict, over 12,000 Palestinian children—nearly 70 children daily—have been injured in Gaza.

Shockingly, one in three children under the age of 2 in Gaza is acutely malnourished, as reported by UNICEF. The grim reality extends to mothers as well; on average, two mothers lose their lives every hour in the strip, according to the UN.

I can’t ignore Barzaq’s portfolio of his little clients currently in Heaven.

Share their photos and stories, please. It is the least thing we can do to keep their memory.


  1. AI generated nonsense. Who knew Hamas could use a computer. Release the fucking hostages and stop the suicide. If you let them hide behind you you deserve what you get..

  2. Stop the suicide! Give back the hostages and stop allowing Hamas to hide amongst you .

  3. They all look well fed, clean and healthy. Return the hostages..

  4. Zeinobia, your blog gets the greatest anonymous comments I've ever seen.


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