The small Slavonian house in Vukovar is now home to the eight-member Palestinian family Elejdi, who have recently relocated from war-torn Gaza to Croatia. Esame Elaidi, the head of the family, has given interviews before, while he was waiting in Egypt for Croatia to help him rescue his wife and six children – five daughters and a son. He is a Croatian veteran, who lived in Croatia until 2000 and then returned to Gaza with his sick mother and started a family there.
Esame went to Egypt to renew his Croatian passport at the Croatian embassy and arrange documents for his family just before the start of the war in Gaza. At that time, the borders with Egypt were closed, so he could not return to his family. Thankfully, the Croatian embassy in Egypt helped Esame’s family escape from devastated Gaza where they lived in a school with one meal, canned food during the day and were thirsty, cold and sleepless.
Now they are warm and safe in their new home in Vukovar. The small house was given to them by a resident of Vukovar who owns a construction company. Before they arrived, his workers lived there temporarily so that they could stay there. Esame is grateful for this gesture of kindness and wants to thank the gentleman who gave them this opportunity. He also thanks Red Cross for helping them during their transition period into life in Croatia.
Esame tells us that most of them followed through media updates on their journey and that everything is now fine for them in Vukovar. They have been contacted by representatives from Ministry of Veterans and Disability Protection to provide documentation so that they can receive one-time aid as well as support with finding employment opportunities. Esame hopes that these issues will be resolved soon so that he can focus on helping his children settle into their new school environment after leaving behind friends and relatives in Gaza.