MANILA: A prayer for peace from Filipino beauty queen Gazini Ganados has taken to social media in the wake of Israel’s war on Gaza as she said it was her Palestinian father who taught her how to express his love.
The half-Palestinian, half-Filipino model, who represented the Philippines in the 2019 Miss Universe pageant, shared screenshots on Instagram of video calls with her father in Gaza as Israel’s aerial bombardment of the Palestinian enclave densely populated was taking place.
“I can only imagine the trauma my siblings are going through and I hope they will remain kind and hopeful in this cruel situation. Pray for everyone’s safety, ”the 25-year-old said on Instagram.
Born in Dapitan City, in the province of Zamboanga del Norte in the Philippines, Ganados was raised alone by her Filipino mother. Separated from her father, she finally met him in January 2020 after an interview with Arab News and has since been in contact with her father and half-siblings in Gaza.
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She said, “He taught me to say ‘I love you’ in Arabic, which is a big step because I rarely show affection. Ana Uhibboka Pa. Give your loved ones a hug, a kiss and show them how much you really love and care before it’s too late.
Eleven days of Israeli aerial bombardment of the Gaza Strip – which is controlled by the Palestinian group Hamas – killed at least 230 people, including more than 100 women and children, exacerbating the already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, damaging thousands of homes and disabling critical infrastructure.
With the situation still tense, Ganados told Arab News on Thursday that she believed peace would come. “I know this war has an end and that peace could come, but only if those who wield the power to kill really decide that their energies are better spent elsewhere.”
“I asked my dad if there was a way for me to help and it is unfortunate to know that I could only pray for the safety of my family,” she said.
His prayers came true when a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas was announced on Friday, ending the worst violence in years that has left more than 50,000 people homeless in Gaza, where they have already limited access to water, food and health services.
The recent attacks have been the deadliest outbreak of conflict in the region since Israel’s seven-week war on Gaza in 2014, in which 2,300 Palestinians were killed as Israeli forces shelled residential buildings, hospitals and hospitals. schools.