Palestinian music teacher Elham Farah bled to death in Gaza after she was shot by IDF soldiers and left alone to bleed on the street for hours. Her family members and students are recalling her as a woman known for her smile.

Fareh, the daughter of the Palestinian poet Hanna Fareh, lived in the al-Rameh neighbourhood of Gaza, teaching music for decades before retiring. She had been sheltering inside a church during Israeli airstrikes, and had stepped outside to check if her home was bombed when she was shot.

Hammam Farah, her relative, posted on X that during his aunt’s last moments, her phone battery ran out so she couldn’t reach out to relatives for help. Other civilians or rescue personnel couldn’t rescue her because of intense shooting in the area. Hammam said that IDF snipers shoot civilians in the leg in order to bait fighters who might try to rescue the injured person.


Since her death, Gaza residents have flooded social media with tales of Farah’s resilience, warm heart and good nature.

“Oh my love, Miss Ilham, my love!!!! The music classes we took with you at Cairo School were some of the best. We used to love when you would play for us and sing: ‘I write your name, my country, on the sun that never sets, neither my money nor my children, for your love there is no lover.'”

Another user shared a video of Elham playing the piano at Kamaliyah School, which was the oldest school in Palestine.

“Martyr teacher Elham Hanna Farah in 2021 returns to her childhood memories and plays inside the Kamaliya School in the Al-Zaytoun neighborhood in the Old City of Gaza, which is the oldest school in Palestine. The activity was a celebration of restoring and cleaning the place in an initiative by the Iwan Center for Cultural Heritage of the Islamic University of Gaza.”