May 25: Back home in England

Mona Sammouni with someone she loves that was saved

Mona Samouni - both parents lost, but still someone to love

I’m back in the UK. It is nearly a year since I left here to be part of making the FreeGaza project happen, pretty much expecting to end up in Israeli prison – the one thing that didn’t happen! Instead, we reached Gaza and it became inextricably part of my life. I don’t really have the words to thank you all, old friends and new both, for the emotional, financial and political support you have given both me and my Gaza friends over this year.

It was amazing to me to find I had an audience beyond my friends (who have always been very wonderful) for this blog, but I don’t flatter myself that was about me; I share the same frustration as you with the corporate media. Thank you for being determined to seek out ways independent of them to hear Gaza’s stories.

Khan Younis child's picture of Dec/Jan attacks, Al Amal (Hope) Centre

Khan Younis child's picture of Dec/Jan attacks, Al Amal (Hope) Centre

I’m available for talks, or maybe blog post readings even, this summer in the UK, you can see more details here. If you’d like to have me, I’ll do my best to get to you. In September I will begin my midwifery degree…with a plan to do my student placement in Gaza, of course!

my last harvest day, Latamat - the army shot nearby, but not at our farmers

14/4, my last harvest day, Latamat - the army shot nearby, but not at our farmers

This blog may go quiet (for now!) but Gaza stories of course will continue. Today – the Hope Convoy, refused entry to Gaza by Egypt, have set up their sleeping bags in the Rafah border hall. Three British medics are already there, hunger striking at Egypt’s refusual to let them in. And Israel just dropped a bunch of fliers over Gaza making it official that the border farmers and residents are targets for shooting “if within 300 metres”.

As E points out in her blog: “Since the end of the war on Gaza, January 18, Israeli soldiers have killed at least 3 people in the border region, including a child, and have injured another 12, including 3 minors and 2 women, and many of these injuries have occurred at distances greater than 300m, greater even than 500m, from the fence. The injured and killed have been clearly unarmed, visibly no threat to well-armed Israeli soldiers.”

May 25: from the sky - death threats with diagrammes

May 25: from the sky - death threats with diagrammes

Please continue listening, via E’s blog or any of the others in my links section for example, and take action as you can – for the fishermen, the farmers, the prisoners, the emergency workers, but in the end for all Palestinians who live under Israel’s Occupation.

The Occupation will end. The wall will fall. Palestine WILL be free.

Mr Deeb can remember a free Palestine...

Mr Deeb can remember a free Palestine...

...let's believe that Dr Halid's littlest girl will live in a freed Palestine

...Inshallah Dr Halid's littlest girl will live in a free Palestine.

PS. I will be still tweaking and tidying a few things on the blog to try and make it a good historical document of these Gaza days, and a useful campaigning and information resource. And, I hardly like to mention it when nothing’s settled, but there is a possibility it may turn into a book. And if that happens I will for sure post a notice here!

PPS. What with the above things, I’ve got quite a few tasks to get through, if anyone would like to lend a hand briefly then let me know. I’m not great at delegating but would like the chance to try to improve…

PPPS. Speaking of the Gaza border…check out the animation Closed Zone – it’s got it exactly right! And my friend Ruth has just arrived for a week in the West Bank if you would like to hear what she finds there at her Ruth in Palestine blog.

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5 Responses to May 25: Back home in England

  1. James Wiegert says:

    Thank you for writing again before ‘going quiet’. I imagine your family felt relieved to see you safely home.

    You said you once wondered whether you’d be imprisoned by the Israelis. I wondered whether you’d be hospitalized in Gaza with shrapnel wounds or phosphorus burns, like so many Palestinians, and feel relieved you weren’t.

    Israeli government officials- and, even, it sometimes seems the ‘average’ Israeli citizen- have become so paranoid about ‘persecution’ by their Arab neighbors and, even, their own Arab-Israeli citizens, that no one can predict what they’ll do next. (Let’s hope, at least, they don’t attack Iran, as they’ve been threatening to do.) But even so I hope you can indeed qualify as a midwife and return to Gaza, as you say you’d like to do. No doubt your Gazan friends are waiting impatiently for you to do just that.

    Good luck with your summer speaking tour, and your studies. (Of course, you’ll need more than luck to complete your studies, but then you’ve seen more of traumatic injuries than some surgeons, which may not help directly in birthing babies but that background can’t hurt either.)

    If you draw up a mailing list to keep former Tales-to-tell readers and others posted on your activities, please put me on it.

    Take care.

    Yours truly,
    James Wiegert

  2. LFB says:

    Same here – a contacts list for you might be helpful, for us it would be really good, because we can continue to hear news.

  3. Jose says:

    Thanks for your posts, especially when there was no media coverage during the Gaza Attack, many People feel outrage at the situation in Palestine, You actually Did something about it, Thank-you

  4. Glad you’re back home safely. Your posts really have been a far better source of information on what’s been going on in Gaza than we can get from the mainstream media.

    I’ve decided to take a module ‘Studying Hamas’ as part of my degree next year. It’s a bit of an odd module in my European Studies and German course, but it should give me insight and background political knowledge from a different angle of the situation.


  5. Meme says:

    Thanks again for your inspirational talk at Shambala. Reading your blogs has given me a better insight into what has been going on there which people should be more aware of instead of distorted info from the news.

    I hope one day I can be as courageous to do as good work as you all have been doing out there.


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