Nfld. & Labrador·LISTEN UP

'I was really happy I was finally coming home': This teen's story of being trapped in Gaza

A two-week trip to Gaza unexpectedly turned into two months for one St. John's teen.

St. John's teen Abdallah Shahwan's recent trip to visit his aunt in Palestine took an unexpected turn

You might remember Abdallah Shahwan as the the kid who wrote to the Prime Minister after the Quebec Mosque shootings a few years ago. This time, he talks to Listen Up about a recent trip to Gaza that took an unexpected turn. (Submitted/Abdallah Shahwan)

It was far from your typical teenage vacation. Abdallah Shahwan, 14, of St. John's recently travelled to visit a sick relative in Gaza, in the Palestinian territories. 

The trip was meant to be a couple of weeks. But a flare up in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict shut down the borders, and there was no way out for Shahwan and his family. 

He recalls hearing explosions in the middle of the night. 

"It was scary for the first time being there," he said. "I was shocked, and didn't really know what was going on."

As scary as the experience was for Shahwan, it gave him a new perspective on his life in Newfoundland and Labrador. 

What happened to Abdallah? Click on the player to hear his story:

CBC audiences have met Abdallah Shahwan before.

In 2017, he wrote to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the wake of a massacre at a Quebec City mosque, telling him that a visit would help make his mosque more safe. 

About Listen Up 

We're delighted to bring you a new series about teenagers in Newfoundland Labrador. 

With Listen Up, you'll hear teens tell their own stories, in their own words. 

For the coming weeks, Listen Up airs Thursdays on your local CBC Radio morning show in Newfoundland and Labrador.

We'll also be posting the stories here online, and sharing them on social media. 

Would you like to take part? Click here to send us a pitch note about your story.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador 


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