By Abubaker Abed , The Electronic Intifada

Since 7 October, all birthdays in Gaza have become potential death days.

Families are living dark and bleak days, almost just waiting for their turn to be murdered.

24 December was supposed to be a special day for Marwa Abed. It was her fifth birthday.

And despite the situation, her family were determined to hold some kind of celebration. Her father Muhammad knew that if they had not arranged a party, Marwa would have kept asking about a birthday cake.

Marwa, despite her tender years, has already lived through two wars on Gaza.

At kindergarten she loved English and Arabic. She loved memorizing the Quran.

She is the first child of Muhammad and his wife Aya and the second grandchild of the Abed family. She is always friendly and smiling and speaks almost too politely.

“She always got up early in the morning and had her breakfast to go to the kindergarten. Her activity is inspiring, and all her teachers praised her,” Muhammad said.

Now, however, her mornings are distressing.

“From getting up early in the morning with a huge smile on her face, to crying every night because of the massive bombardment, this is her life now. She cannot sleep at night and always cries out in panic, ‘I am afraid.’ Her life is nothing but torment,” Muhammad said.