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Times of Israel Features BGU Student Displaced From Home

Times of Israel Features BGU Student Displaced From Home

January 3, 2024

Current events

Guido Cohen, an Argentinian immigrant who is pursuing his bachelor’s degree at Ben-Gurion University.

The Times of Israel — Three years ago, I finally made my dream come true and moved to Israel from Argentina. My family, including my grandma, uncles, and cousins, made aliyah about two decades ago, and visiting them with my parents was a regular thing when I was a kid. You could say that Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha is like my childhood neighborhood. It’s a small community of around 220 people, and it feels like one big family, a close-knit community. 

When I first got to Israel, I volunteered in the army for a few months. After finishing my service, I enrolled in a year-long program for new citizens to brush up on my Hebrew. A year ago, I got accepted to a bachelor’s program at Ben-Gurion University in Beer-Sheva, and I was excited about starting my sophomore year in Politics, Government and Economics. Unfortunately, the beginning of the academic year for Israel’s universities got pushed back. It’s a shame, I was really looking forward to it.

Ahead of the High Holidays, my parents came from Argentina to visit. Initially, I planned to stay in the kibbutz for two weeks and then return to Beer-Sheva on Sunday. They got a house in the kibbutz for their visit, and on Simchat Torah eve, a Friday, we had dinner together. Unexpectedly, I ended up spending the night.

At 6:30 in the morning, we were awoken by sirens. It was the first time my parents experienced a “red alert.” I explained to them in Spanish that we needed to head to the safe room, where my sister usually sleeps. I told them that we had 15 seconds to get there, lock the door and window, and then wait for 10 minutes after the Iron Dome interception before we could come out.

On Sunday, at 10 am, we finally left the safe room – more than 24 hours after we had entered it. Later that afternoon, kibbutz members were transported to Eilat in buses and private cars.

As we left the house, we saw things that I wouldn’t wish on anyone to see. Burned houses and destruction. Death and so much blood. The beauty of the kibbutz with its family atmosphere and joy, it all looked like a horror movie. Seven kibbutz members were murdered on October 7.

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