Sending a laptop to Gaza

I sat outdoors at a cafe on the Mediterranean Sea in al-Arish, a dusty seaside town in Egypt’s northern Sinai. I drank a tea and smoked a water pipe; it gave me something to do while I waited for Ismail — that’s not his real name — an Egyptian Bedouin tunnel smuggler who was going to deliver a package for me into Gaza. Ahmed Moor writes from al-Arish. 

Fighting our way to Gaza

I should have known that my trip to al-Arish was not going to be straightforward. The last time I set foot in the usually sleepy Sinai tourist town, just 40 kilometers away from the Egypt-Gaza border (or, should I say, iron wall of oppression) at Rafah was back in March 2009, when I met up with the first Viva Palestina convoy. Ten months later, another convoy was on its way to the besieged Strip. Jody McIntyre writes from al-Arish, Egypt. 

Gaza Freedom March: detained at the US embassy

On the afternoon of 28 December 2009, I was with several persons who accompanied CODEPINK cofounder Jodie Evans to the US Embassy in Cairo to present a letter from Massachusetts Senator John Kerry in which he expressed “strong support” for citizens of his state who were traveling to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and requesting they be given “every courtesy.” Ali Abunimah writes about being detained at the US embassy in Cairo. 

Surviving in the "Palestinian Wing"

Seeing Hedaya slowly regain her smile and her strength is so comforting. At every visit, her beautiful facial features appear more visible and distinct. Um Nayef, her elder sister who accompanied her from Gaza to Cairo, in turn embraces me warmly when I come in and with the Palestinian dialect says ishtanalik, we miss you. I grin and hug her back. We sit down, share a few jokes about Hedaya’s health and exchange hellos with whoever is in the room. Dina Makram-Ebeid writes from Cairo. 

Tunnel vision

I heard some people here in Egypt wonder if the Israeli Air Force must be running out of places and people to target. But perhaps the surveillance drones we heard and saw flying over the Rafah border crossing today hunted down more spots on which bombers could fix their cross-hairs. Kathy Kelly writes from al-Arish, Egypt. 

Forgotten at the Gaza-Egypt border

Silenced and out of the international spotlight, the hundreds of Palestinians waiting in al-Arish said that their plight at the closed crossing is either ignored or politicized. Many were running out of money, while others had completely run out, having waited for the opening of Rafah for weeks without earning an income. Eva Bartlett writes from al-Arish. 

Putting a name to Gaza's injured

Bedridden but painfully conscious, nearly paralyzed with no feeling from the waist down, 16-year-old Abdul Rahman is one of the hundreds who were injured by intense Israeli shelling and firing on Gaza between 27 February - 3 March 2008, during an operation dubbed “Hot Winter” by the Israeli army. Eva Bartlett reports on this aspect of Israel’s siege on Gaza. 

Frustration mounts amongst the stranded at al-Arish

Any patience we might have once had has dissipated during the past weeks we’ve been stranded here in Egypt — any patience that would have held us over as we have been badly missing our loved ones in Gaza, the patience we might have once had steadily running out along with our money. To learn about these seemingly forgotten Palestinians, EI correspondent Rami Almeghari, also stuck in Egypt, heard the accounts of some of the thousands of people trying to return to their homes and lives in Gaza. 

Stranded at the border

My wife and myself, like thousands of other Palestinians, are currently stranded in Egypt since the Rafah crossing to Gaza was closed in mid-June. We are now staying closer to our home of Gaza. The destination this time is not Cairo. Rather, it’s the coastal town of al-Arish now that my wife has completed her medical treatment in the Egyptian capital. In the evening of 7 July, we cheerfully smiled for the first time since my wife was hospitalized in a Cairo hospital a month ago, after the doctor assured us she could leave the hospital. However, EI contributor Rami Almeghari and his wife have been unable to return home. 

At the doors of Gaza

I considered myself lucky to be able to rent a small “chalet” in al-Areesh and to have the money to manage my expenses. This, however, is not the case for about 5,000 Palestinians who are stuck in Egypt and were not allowed to go back home. The humanitarian situation for the Palestinians in al-Areesh here is very harsh. You can find hundreds walking or sitting in the streets, some sleep in the mosques or the public garden after running out of money. The grocer from whom I buy things told me that every day dozens of men come proposing to sell their cell phone or hand watches to him.