BRANTFORD, Ont. -- Who could have imagined that when Dr. Hassan Abuzaiter went with his young daughter Salma to Gaza to work in a hospital they would become trapped in a deadly conflict that has claimed nearly 2,000 lives?
That's the rhetorical question wife and mother Wesam Abuzaiter, left anxious back home in Brantford, has for people asking about their health or question the prudence of going to the war-torn region in the first place.
"When they went there, we never imagined that this would have happened," Wesam Abuzaiter said emphatically.
"It is a situation I would never want anyone to be in. It's a horrible feeling."
In early June, Salma, 8, accompanied her dad, a pediatric emergency room physician, on a trip to visit her paternal grandmother and other relatives while Dr. Abuzaiter worked shifts at European General Hospital.
Dr. Abuzaiter, who grew up in Gaza, returns to the hospital regularly to keep his medical licence active.
But when Israeli forces attacked Gaza nearly two months ago, Wesam, a pharmacist at Brantford General Hospital, said she immediately tried to work with authorities to get the two out of danger.
"They have been there almost two months. So far, no one has communicated anything to me about their getting out."