Sami Abu Salem

Play shows that for Gaza women, everything is not fine

It takes an Arab to live in the midst of political divisions, years of siege and occupation, and still say, “everything is fine.” Specifically, it must be an Arab man. Ask any woman in Gaza and she will tell you the opposite. That is, at least, the main message that comes across so clearly in the latest play staged in the Gaza Strip bearing the name “Kull Shi Tamaam” (Everything is Fine), written by local playwright Atef Abu Seif — a prolific author from Jabalia refugee camp. Sami Abu Salem reports from the occupied Gaza Strip. 

Ramattan reporter reaches Gaza on board the Liberty

Tears filled the eyes of Ramattan News Agency’s Head of African Operations Hayyan Jubeh when he caught his first glimpse of the skyline on the coast of Gaza along the horizon of the Mediterranean Sea after a 37-hour voyage launched from Cyprus. Jubeh, 48, a Palestinian filmmaker from Jerusalem, is one of 44 international peace activists on board the ships. Sami Abu Salem writes from the Gaza Strip. 

Sisters killed in Gaza "reborn" through cousins

Three young Palestinian sisters; Shahd Okal, eight months old, Maria Okal, five years old and Somaia Okal, 15 years old, and their mother were killed when an Israeli rocket hit their house on 26 July 2006 while they were swinging inside their house. But on 18 March 2008, Shahd, Maria and Somaia were born in the same Izbet Abed Rabbu neighborhood of Jabaliya town in the northern Gaza Strip. Sami Abu Salem writes from the occupied Gaza Strip. 

Israeli sniper bullet takes 12-year-old girl's life

“I put my hand on her chest to stop the streaming blood. She told me that she could not breathe, her body trembled and she closed her eyes,” said Ra’d Abu Saif of his 12-year-old daughter Safa’s last moments after she was shot by an Israeli sniper last Saturday. Safa was shot in the left side of her chest while she was inside her home in Jabaliya, northern Gaza. Sami Abu Salem reports from Gaza. 

Israeli missiles silence baby's laughter in Gaza

The innocent laughter of six-month-old baby Mohammed al-Bor’i stopped forever on Wednesday night when shrapnel from an Israeli missile and rubble struck the infant in the head, minutes after he enjoyed his last meal. “The baby sucked milk, he was playing with his mother; I was reading a book when a rocket hit the Ministry of Interior,” said Nasser al-Bor’i, the baby’s father. Sami Abu Salem reports from Gaza. 

Closed borders, closed future in Gaza

Nine-year-old Najla Rajab, with her two brothers and mother, was among tens of Palestinians demonstrating today in Gaza City, calling for permission to leave Gaza. Najla said that she wants to travel to Saudi Arabia to see her father and to re-enroll in her school in Jeddah, but she has not been able to since Israel has closed Gaza’s borders for months. “We came to Gaza to spend the summer vacation. Now we are stranded here; I cannot go back to my school in Saudi Arabia,” said Najla. Sami Abu Salem reports from Gaza. 

Palestinian journalist's letter to Alan Johnston

Dear Alan: From the depth of our hearts, I would like to say that we are really shocked and terribly sorry for what has been happening to you. Three years ago, the first time I met you at the French Cultural Centre when you were covering an art activity, I realized that you were the journalist the Palestinian people are in need of. The journalist who does not cover only bloodshed, violence and politics, but also knocks on all doors in Gaza: occupation, art, love, religion and all areas that show the entire world that we are human too. 

Palestinian Reporter Wins the Ethnic Media Award in Washington DC

Palestinian reporter Mohammed Omar, 22, won the best Ethnic Media Award, organized by New America Media in Washington DC. Omar won the award for his story “”Sharon, Why Did You Destroy My House?”: Operation Rainbow a Year Later” published by Washington Report on Middle East Affairs and the Norwegian “Morgenebladet” last year. Omar, who is heading to attend the “New America Media’s First National Ethnic Media Awards” in Washington DC told WAFA that he is the first journalist from the Middle East to win this award.His story sheds the light on the daily suffer and human details of Palestinian family who was turned to homeless as Israeli Occupation Forces destroyed their home in the refugee camp of Rafah, south of Gaza, last year. 

Mother and Two Children Killed in Israeli Attack on Gaza

15-year-old Somaia Okal ignored her sister Maria as she asked her to leave the swing for her, while their mother Asma, 30, played with her 8-month-old infant Shahd, in Jabalia, north of Gaza. This Wednesday, an Israeli shell hit their house and put an end to the laughing and chatter of the innocent Maria and Shahd. The mother was also killed, and Somaia critically wounded in the head; the 5-year-old, Amani, was wounded in the foot. Samir Okal, 35, a father of seven, did not expect that the Israeli tanks will hit his house as he lives in the “serene” neighbourhood of Abd Rabbu, which enjoys a reputation for “safety.” 

Terrorist Donkey Joins Family in Death

The paramedics and witnesses could not differentiate between the pieces of flesh of the eleven-year-old Nadi al-Attar, and those of his grandmother, 57-year-old Khairiyya, or the donkey’s, scattered on the branches of lemon and boxthorn trees on both sides of the dusty road in Beit Lahia, north Gaza. Yesterday, the old woman and her three grandsons Nadi, Shadi (14), and Ahmed (17) were riding a donkey cart, heading to their field to collect ripe figs that fetch a good price in Gaza’s markets when Israeli rocket hit their cart and blasted two of them into small pieces.