Archive for the ‘gaza’ category

March 12: When a 2nd home isn’t due to wealth

March 13, 2009
J and L's kids - still alive because they've abandoned their house

J and L's kids - still alive because they've abandoned their house

In the taxi on the way back from Al Fukhary tonight, E is on the phone checking if we can visit Abd tomorrow in Al Wafa hospital to deliver the chess set. “Fil asr.” she finishes.

“Is ‘asr‘ arabic for afternoon?” I ask.

“Well, maybe. Unless it’s the word for honey.” she says thoughtfully.
“No, that’s asal.” I say.
“And as long as it’s not the word for juice.”
“No, that’s asir.”
“Then if I didn’t say we’d meet him in the honey or in the juice, I probably said we’d meet him in the afternoon.” (more…)

Feb 10: Storm over Gaza

February 13, 2009

Dial 101 for a Red Crescent Ambulance in Gaza

Dial 101 for a Red Crescent Ambulance in Gaza

On Tuesday night I went to smoke shisha with the Red Crescent volunteers for S’s 29th birthday. There were the usual accusative cries of “wen inti?” – where have you been? These folks got used to me being round the hospital 24 hours; Palestinians tend to start missing you about an hour after you left them anyway, and if a week passes without a visit their feelings are quite hurt. The frequent deafening crack of thunder outside the cafe made us all smile just because it wasn’t rockets or shells. “No attack – but still shisha!” said Sh happily, referring to the all the times I’d spent with them, smoking in the smashed up buildings as explosions rocked us. (more…)

Feb 5: Ya gotta really love parsley…

February 7, 2009

We picked a wagonload here, then went to field where shooting began

We picked a wagonload here, then went to field where shooting began

“Parsley’s good, but it’s not that good!” said a UK friend when I told him about our second day of parsley picking.

Footage of shooting at ISM website and Press TV report (more…)

The Al Haddad family’s story: Nothing left but ashes

February 6, 2009

Haddad car, brothers of Ahsan and Adi Haddad in background

Haddad car, brothers of Ahsan and Adi Haddad in background

You remember the Nadeems (I must ring and ask them how Firas’s knee operation went so I can tell you) who tried to escape from the Israel’s attacks on Tela Howa in their car, but it wouldn’t start. Also on January 15, an hour or so afterwards at about 10.15am, their neighbours the Al Haddads tried to escape in their car. (more…)

Feb 3: Parsley Picking under fire

February 4, 2009

Palestinians farmers are clearly smarter than ISMers!

Palestinians farmers (lying in ditches) are clearly smarter than ISMers!

E and I were on the same action again today, and while I was too tired to write, she got down to work. Here is her account, with my photos. Her article was originally published on her blog InGaza, and the ISM website. This picture above was taken before the shooting got severe enough for the farmers to want to leave. At this point they were lying in the ditches during firing, then leaping up and picking parsley during the quieter moments. And you think your day’s work is hard…

I was fairly certain that one of us would be shot today. (more…)

Feb 2: to the sound of F16s…

February 2, 2009

Medic Hassan with his amazing stove & son Fawzi

Medic Hassan with his amazing stove & son Fawzi

I’m told the bursts of noise that are currently shaking the net cafe a little are probably F16 sonic booms and not rockets, so that’s nice! Last night’s attacks involved 7 rockets on the tunnel/border area Rafah and a strike on an empty police station in Gaza city. (more…)

Jan 20: Ceasefire-ish

January 20, 2009

"We sheltered here because we thought it was the safest room"

Dr Ehad: We sheltered here because we thought it was the safest room

Tuesday: I woke today to the sound of shelling from Israeli ships at sea. I’m not sure they really get this ceasefire concept totally, though of course it is nothing like what it was. (more…)

A chance to breathe…

January 19, 2009

…people are out on the streets. Some shops are open. I have so much I want to write for you, and I’m just too tired and have no concentration. Somehow it’s got to be 11pm already, so I think maybe I should go and sleep. But then there will just be more to write about tomorrow… the world just keeps turning, huh. I want to convey some of the cautious hope I am seeing. But instead it seems like the enormity of these last days has hit me.

The army at the door…

January 15, 2009

March note: When the Telal Howa area and Al Quds hospital were under attack by the Israeli army at this point, no internet access was possible. I grabbed moments to text and call to a friend in the UK (via a fairly disfunctional mobile service) and he posted what he could here. The information is thus understandably somewhat confused – but far less so than the reality was! – and I’ve left it as is. Subsequent blog posts are clearer. My friend posted the last message at the top, so start at the bottom.

Short texts & updates from the blogger in Al-Quds hospital, Gaza City –

12:35 am GMT/02:35 Gaza time 16th January:

She has gone back to the hospital, as some of it is still left. There’s still lots of resources (medicines and the like there), and it feels like it’s important not to abandon it altogether, so five medics will stay the night there. The wards seem to have got the most damage. (more…)


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