Esame Elaydy, a Croatian veteran and Palestinian family man, has recently relocated to Vukovar, Croatia with his eight-member family after being evacuated from war-torn Gaza to Egypt. The Croatian embassy in Egypt facilitated their transfer to Zagreb and then to Vukovar, where they are currently residing in a small and dilapidated Slavonian house that was given to them for use by a resident of Vukovar who owns a construction company.
Esame had lived in Croatia until 2000 when he returned to Gaza to take care of his sick mother and start a family. Just before the start of the war in Gaza, he went to Egypt to extend his Croatian passport at the Croatian embassy and arrange documents for his family. However, the borders with Egypt were closed due to the war, and he could not return to his family.
Thanks to the help of the Croatian embassy in Egypt, Esame’s family managed to escape from Gaza and find refuge in Vukovar. They are now warm and safe, and we visited them in their new home. The house was given to them temporarily by the owner’s workers who moved out so that they could stay there. Esame expressed gratitude towards the gentleman who gave them the house and also thanked the Red Cross for their help.
Esame’s wife is a nurse, and their children are elementary school students, high school students, and college students. Two daughters studied in Gaza and hope to continue their education in Croatia. The eldest daughter, Batoul, had a hard time leaving Gaza as she left her friends and relatives there for the first time. However, she is now safe and can finally sleep after being up all night due to bombings in Gaza.
Esame is currently arranging documentation for health certificates and registering with the police and employment office so that they can start school as soon as possible. He plans on moving his daughters who are studying IT or nursing back home if possible but may have to go through tenants first before finding suitable housing options for them.
Esame shared that while he had been in a war before this one, nothing compares to what happened in Gaza where one bomb can kill up to 300 people indiscriminately. Now that his family is safe and healthy again, Esame’s focus is on ensuring that they have access