Gaza City

Handicapped Gaza woman beats the odds

At the age of 24, Saeda Alkhaldi, a woman from Gaza City who suffers from polio, restarted her education starting from elementary school until she had her bachelor of arts six years later. Her will made her strong enough to make her way into academic life, despite her disability. Now Saeda is a board and staff member at the Gaza Strip Society for the Disabled, where she is in charge of the women’s activities department. Rami Almeghari reports for EI

The failing of Gaza

Transportation is one of the few sectors of Gaza’s economy that is relatively constant. No matter how dire the financial situation, collective taxis are always shuttling people along the main roads of the Gaza Strip. This past week saw an exception to even this rule, reflecting the severe desperation of Gaza. There are a few reasons for this. Many people are afraid of what the future may bring. Militarily, Hamas has shown its domination over Fatah by ousting the latter in 48 hours. Philip Rizk writes from Gaza. 

The desecration of democracy

Hamas’ violent takeover of the Gaza Strip last week resulted in two governments: the Hamas leadership headed by deposed Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza and a new emergency cabinet led by the Western-backed economist Salam Fayyad in the West Bank. Both are calling the other the perpetrators of a coup. What are the sources of this division? A fear overtook the Gaza Strip after Hamas took control of institutions this past week, which are rightfully theirs to control. EI contributor Philip Rizk writes from Gaza. 

Awaking to a different Gaza

In Gaza people awake today to a new reality. Last night, my host Isa told me military coups were the sort of thing he heard and read about, he never thought he would experience one. Yesterday Gazans did. Although the final Fatah stronghold was still standing by the evening Hamas fighters were already making the rounds in the streets, three and four jeeps at a time, loaded with armed men wearing all black, their faces covered with masks, holding their guns in the air, a few, rather uncomfortably, waving to the people. Philip Rizk writes from Gaza City. 

Visiting The Dead in Gaza

Jamal’s car was sounding more and more rickety I noticed as we drove to his house for lunch. He was late since he had spent the entire day at the Rafah border with some neighbors who were trying to cross to Egypt for medical care. They had gotten there at the crack of dawn only to turn back in the late afternoon without success. Of the thousands gathered a select few had made it across, but they were not among the lucky few. I have to be honest, I have no idea what the hell must be like crossing that border because I have never had the privilege or bad fortune to attempt to do so. 

War games

I can’t sleep. I get up maybe once every two hours. Go to the bathroom, walk around a little, and then doze off again. Only to be awakened by the drones, followed by the manic hovering of helicopter gun ships. This time they were directly over our apartment building. I would have been afraid, except this happened once before, maybe two years ago. Panicked and fearful at the time, I called my cousin, who reassured me that when an Apache is directly overhead, it means its intended target is about 500 metres to one kilometre away. It is information I wish I did not know. 

The ghostly streets, the ghostly skies

17 May 2007 —We’re used to things going from bad to worse very quickly here. But we never expected the situation to get as bad as it has over the past few days.After a terrifying 24 hours, we awoke this morning to sporadic gunfire, and ghostly streets. It was a welcome change. Sleep-deprived and anxious, my colleague Saeed, on his first visit to Gaza, and myself headed to Rafah in the southern part of the Strip to continue shooting a series of documentaries we are working on. 

As Gaza Burns

Things have been crazy in Gaza over the past two days. Very crazy. In between working and actually trying to keep our wits about us as we’ve been holed up indoors for two days no, I’ve had little time to blog. Things are tenusouly calm at the moment with on-again-off-again gunfire, which is better than it was only a few hours ago. But things in Gaza have a way of changing very quickly-for better or for worse. Volatility is its defining characteristic. We happen to be sort of be in the eye of the storm as it were. 

Gaza: Calm before the storm

This must be what they call the calm before the storm. By 7pm all the main street intersections in Gaza City were filled with guards wearing face masks. It seems every time a new security plan is declared in Gaza the situation gets worse. This morning my friend Jamal greeted his neighbor Baha’ Abu Jarad as he left his home for a days work; ten minutes later Baha’ was dead. Jamal, shaken up, informed me of the incident over the phone, while trying to hold back tears. 

A cheerless Labor Day in Gaza

Forty-eight-year-old Riyad Hammad from the Maghazi Refugee Camp in central Gaza woke up on Friday morning whilst his wife sat before a wood-burning stove. He headed for a nearby store, not to buy cookies, or anything else, but rather to bring some used papers and pieces of carton outside the store’s front door to his waiting wife. Since being cut off of work following the outbreak of the intifada in 2000 and the imposition of Israeli closures, Riyad has been collecting torn-apart carton packing material and used papers in order to save a few shekels due his inability to afford gas and electricity.