Wednesday, December 21, 2005

I'm dreaming of a Gaza Christmas...

A Palestinian man (actually, he happens to be my neighbour who runs a small flower shop) sets up a (rather sickly...) Christmas tree in a Gaza seaside hotel. Air raids or not, life-and Christmas-go on in Gaza. Posted by Picasa


Blogger Ibrahamav said...

What is sickly about it? Can't you let him enjoy his holy day without you making light of it?

4:56 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

Ibraham, what is your problem? The post is meant to show how fond and proud I am that we celebrate religios diversity in gaza. I am JOKING about the tree. FYI this man is muslim, not christian, so are 99% of gazans, but it is a tradition we have in gaza to celebrate xmas together, eid together, etc. Can't you let m e make one comment without blasting it?

5:08 PM  
Blogger Erika said...


I expected a really sad "charlie brown" tree but it looks quite good! Actually, your neighbor has adopted a universal Christmas-tree-decorating tradition, which is there is **always** a spot on the back you can't quite reach to decorate!! I always suspected that was absolutely interfaith, but now your photo proves it :) It looks really solid in its stand (and that is the very hardest part!) That's the joy of a diverse community--more good reasons to celebrate.

6:26 PM  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Actually it is a holdover of Pagan tree worship that originated in Germany but became popular once the Queen Consort (Victoria's) beg her to allow him this indulgence. The fad took England by storm and from there to the rest of the world.

When your comments become editorial rather than honest it gets my dander up. There was nothing sickly about that huge tree that he needed a ladder for to decorate.

7:24 PM  
Anonymous NYC said...

Gets your dander up..huh? I knew you where some sort of beast. Thanks for the conformation.

11:32 PM  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

You're welcome, for whatever nonsense you wish to post.

11:40 PM  
Blogger Erika said...


Sigh. Laila SAID it was a joke!

As for its being "sickly"--well, once you've chopped a tree from its roots, it IS on its way to becoming mulch, after all, and can be kept nice-looking for a fortnight only with a lot of care.

You're right, of course, that Christmas trees are an adaptation of much older pagan customs--which is true of many Christmas (and other Christian) traditions. So much so that from time to time, some of the stricter Christian sects outlawed the mainstream Christian celebrations as "too pagan." That bit of history doesn't seem to prevent all kinds of people from enjoying the beauty and festivity of Christmas trees.

11:49 PM  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Not much funny considering the death and destruction.

But the tree, as a mainstream event, is rather new, less than 200 years old.

12:22 AM  
Blogger Erika said...

well, there you go--humor is VERY individual. You might think is something is hilarious that would only get a blank look from me--or vice versa. It happens.

Laila's point was that despite all, life, and Christmas, was moving on. I caught the humorous intent with the title--the play on that much-overplayed Bing Crosby song.

Your sensitivity to the fate of the evergreen is, of course, commendable. It's rare for so large a tree to be dug up, roots and all, to be replanted outdoors after Christmas, but in the US, at any rate, it's done often with small trees.

12:51 AM  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Sorry, I meant the tradition. The tree was probably only 10 years old.

1:02 AM  
Anonymous Jamie said...

Ibrahamav, I have always agreed with your past comments. But I have to say that you took the "sickly" remark the wrong way and blew things out of proportion.

I did not see Laila's comment to be at all mocking. She is simply showing us Christmas in Gaza and mentioned good-humoredly that the tree was not exactly full and lush. That was it. I did not detect one ounce of malice- especially as her neighbor is the one doing the decorating.

9:28 AM  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

There is always that risk when communication is not face to face.

3:25 PM  
Blogger umuld said...

I seem to remember ibbykins ideal Solomon (the Wise or of the so-called temple fame)who had 500 wives and 300 concubines, each one of whom had their own cult statue up in the temple. Now how many of those traditions have hung on in the Jewish tradition? I'd rather honor a tree anytime than a blood-smeared statue.

3:49 PM  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Doesn't seem that we honor blood-smeared statues in the last 2300 years, but it does appear that palestinians currently sacrifice children to Moloch. Is that what you'd rather do? It does seem that it is what you are doing anyway.

9:54 PM  

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