More than one way to get home! (Alternatively: of Love, Borders, and Desperation)
I've spoken a little bit about the situation at the Rafah Crossing-Gaza's only outlet to 1.4 million Palestinians in previous posts. Israel has hermetically sealed it, along with other commercial crossings further north, since the end of June and the capture of the Israeli soldier.
That move left over 2000 Palestinians, including many elderly and sick people who go to get treated for cancers and other complicated illnesses whose treatements are unavailable in Gaza, in Egypt; Many thousands of others have been waiting in al-Arish, or Cairo, including my friend, and tragic bride, Yasmin. She flew in to Egypt to meet up with her fiance and travel together to be married with their families in Gaza. HE beat her to Gaza; she waited for late luggage to arrive and was consequently sealed out. Now, he cannot get out, and she cannot get in; they missed their wedding date, of course, as she sits helplessly awaiting some good news that will allow her to reunite with her husband-to-be.
Included among those 2000 on the border itself was colleague and activist Fida Qishta, with whom I spoke in NY and Connecticute earlier last month. She flew into Egypt just as the border was shut down, and met up with her family at the border town, who had just left Gaza to meet up with her, when the border closed.
Yesterday, a group of armed Palestinians resorted to exploding a hole in the crossing to allow the people through, including Fida. I heard from her today by email, and here is what she briefly had to say:
i just got home yesterday , so that was the best . hope you doing good , you can send your friends and tell them that i got home , i will try to send you some pictures i got at Eygpt crossing. How is Yousuf , hope doing well .
will send you soon . i have here 75 msn , and i have to reply all of them . i miss you so much , i told my mum a lot about you and she wants to see you when you get home inshallah safe .
love , fida