Friday, July 28, 2006

Update from Gaza and Lebanon

Its difficult blogging from way over here. I feel impotent, a far-and-away observer, distant and a little too comfortable. and I don't like it. its so easy to get lost here in your own little world, whatever that world is; its not wonder the average American knows-and cares-so little about the outside world; Between the longest work hours on the planet and corporate-controlled media in the hours you do have to yourself, I don't blame them in some ways. That, and insanely expensive health insurance. More on this later.

News from back home: Yassine's parents were able to flee to Syria, where he has two Aunts in refugee camps there. His brother's stayed behind in Baalbeck to guard their home, lest the refugee camps, too, become "accidental targets". His sister and her family are still in Tyre in the south, and communication is on and off with them.

From Gaza: things are grim. We speak regularly with my father's cousin, who tells us that because of the closures, vegetables are being dumped on the local markets, with tomatoes selling for 3 shekels a box (less than a dollar). the problem is, there is no refridgeration=no electriciy, adn we are talking about high summer; so people can only buy what they can cook, and eat, that day.

and another email from Fida about life in Rafah under siege, verbatim:

Life here awful , I cant believe it , is this Gaza ? I can't even imagine what's going on , no body out help or even feel what's going on , its horrible... people every day killed and no body say look to these Palestinians or Lebaneses.

The food , the water , the electricity , all of this awful , I came back with some money and I thought I will help a lot but I gave them to some families and now I'm looking to these families and looking to my hands and there is nothing I can do .

its awful at all .

I feel its night mare . I cant believe it .

I came back and thought I can do some thing , but the Israelis destroyed more and killed more , and now in Rafah a lot live in the schools after they lost there houses.

I don’t want to cry again but its some thing never stop .

I feel so sad .

You know ? We have the electricity for 12 hours a day now , and the water 2 hours every 4 days , not every day . can you imagine this ?

Can you believe it ? can you believe 3 families all of them killed , no body stayed alive , can you imagine ?

[end]

28 Comments:

Blogger ياسمين حميد said...

My heart is with you all

1:30 AM  
Blogger Torontoman said...

I don't even know what to say. I'm feeling something, but the words escape me. Please don't give up hope. You can not oppress people indefinitely. Like the people of South Africa, the Blacks in America, and the Jews in Europe, the tide will turn. People are learning the truth, slowly but surely. Don't think it is too late. Hang in there, and the day will come when smiles will be abundant again. This is not inspiring rhetoric, it's a statement of a fact. We are praying for you and asking others to as well. Peace be with you.

6:07 AM  
Blogger Naj said...

..You are right. It is not easy to believe how things are taking us to really the basic concerns with life. And..we are expected to live normally..it is not a War.!
I was celebrating yesterday because for the first time since the bombardment of the Power plant we got electricity for 12 hours. Usually it has been 5-8. We get water once every 20 days. so we buy water. Anyway this is not the point. The point is till when a 1.4 million will be talking and thinking about, and struggling for these basic needs. That is the type of converstation you have all the time...! The only thing! What is your electricty schedule like..? did we get Fuel from Israel today or yuesterday? is anyone negotiating about the Rafah crossing? These are the question that you ask.
Best,

1:22 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

What is the best way to help?

9:03 PM  
Blogger shlemazl said...

"What is the best way to help?" They can help themselves if they want to end this by following the following programme:

1. Free Gilad

2. Disarm Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Al-Aqsa.

3. Take to court those that are intent on continuing terrorism and do not accept the existance of Israel, previous agreements with Israel and therefore do not agree to the cessation of violance.

4. Enter peace negotiations with Israel and establish the Palestinian state.

4:12 AM  
Blogger Khaled said...

shlemazl
How about releasing the 10.000 prisoners in israeli capms before the negotiations that will not lead for any thing?
If negotiation would release any prisoner it could release Jordanian prisoners who are waiting since 1994.

6:31 PM  
Blogger Amelopsis said...

Schlemazl your notions are insulting to anyone with a rational intelligence.

Laila, I again thank you for continuing to blog. Our everyday lives in the west are indeed too comfortable and it makes it easy for many to ignore the situations, or to simply express their sadness and do nothing more. Some of us do what we can by expressing our support, attending rallies and spreading the word so that Palestinian and Lebanese lives cannot be treated as nothing more than 'collateral damage' in death. Safe wishes for yours and Yassine's families, and to Fida who I hope knows that her work, (and that of every individual who returns there to assist others and continue to live) is much appreciated, even by those of us with no direct connection to the region.
Peace, (I hope for it.)

10:39 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

I'm going to link your post to my blog. Like to remove people from their comfort zone and bring them into reality. Thanks for such a great blog. Amy

4:05 AM  
Blogger su said...

I agree with amelopsis and, for shlemazl to imply that the capture of a single soldier somehow justifies the deaths of scores of innocent men,women,children in Gaza is abhorrent. It is not easy for us in the west to ignore what is going on it is pure moral laziness- it actually takes a conscious decision to avoid and ignore the news reports and images of what is happening in Palestine and Lebanon.

8:55 AM  
Blogger Abu Shaar said...

My sister Fida wrote a harrowing account in the Observer of her ordeal getting into Rafah after she left the US, as well as the situation in Rafah.

12:27 AM  
Blogger Amelopsis said...

Wow. Fida's writeen a powerfully heartful article.

I hope so much for the masses of people to feel the connection of one human to another, simple civility or a semblance would be all that's needed, yet for so many it's apparently too much to ask for.

serious question abu shaar: I'm curious, is Fida your sister biologically or is that a sister of metaphorical respect?

8:02 AM  
Blogger I love Munich said...

To Shlemazl ... maybe it is time you at least TRY to look at the whole issue (I HATE to call it that way as people are suffering - and that transfers it from "issue" to "tragedy") from a different perspective - do you think you are able to? It can't be that ALL are wrong ... and only YOU are right!

Look at Khaled ... he is 100% right! TEN THOUSAND Palestinian men sit in Israeli jails, MANY without any trial and ever having seen a lawyer - AND without a drop of blood on their hands ... the so-called "security-prisoners"!

To amelopsis ... I can only echo his first sentence - it IS insulting and as there is SO MUCH suffering and pain on this planet already - you do not have to contribute to this and add even more.

I wish to GOD I could help Fida ... believe me, I'd bend over backwards.

Just remember, Shlemazel, one day you will be judged according to your thoughts and deeds - never forget that! Better start working on that ... today, the right way!
Laila ... it tears me apart to read all that ... what can we do to help except pray?

STAY STRONG FIDA .. ALL PEOPLE IN GAZA, LEBANON AND IRAQ!!

1:43 PM  
Blogger Abu Shaar said...

Fida and I have different parents and have no biology in common other than that we have in common with all humanity.

8:51 PM  
Blogger Amelopsis said...

Thanks abu shaar, yes we are all sisters and brothers.
(if only more could accept this we would be so much better off)

1:42 AM  
Blogger janinsanfran said...

I hope your relative in Baalbeck is still okay. And of course your family in Gaza! Everyone in those afflicted places!

4:46 AM  
Blogger Torontoman said...

Be mindful of the events that are taking place around you. Sometimes it's hard to open your mouth and say the words that need to be said. Sometimes people around you don't want to hear the words. They want to live in a bubble where they're safe. You can shut your eyes, but you can't shut your heart to the killing of hundreds of people - men, women and children. Please speak the words that you know to be true. The time has come where we can't just read the news, and say to ourselves that we know what's really going on but everyone else doesn't. Tell your friends, tell your family. We will not live in a world where lies about these crises go unchallenged. You can say you haven't the time, you can say you haven't the resources, but one thing you can't say, is that you didn't know.

5:37 AM  
Blogger IM y4kki said...

Munich, you believe everything you hear.

Khaled - there are about 7,500 Palestinians in Israeli prisons. They are there on charges of terrorism mostly. Terrorists have to pay a price.

naj you wouldn't be facing these problems had you resorted to trying to improve your country rather than buying weapons. how many bottles of water does a rocket buy you?

10:23 AM  
Blogger Halimi said...

Assalamu a'laikum,

I found ur blog by chance and what a view the blogs give. Please continue to write and give your views to the world.

God is great. InsyaAllah, Palestinians will get their victory one day.

5:38 PM  
Blogger White Wings said...

who can imagine these stories? I guess people who live them
You are right, we get too comfortable in our comfortable trivialized lives and forget, I feel guilty every day, my heart and prayers are with Lebanon and Palastine

11:45 PM  
Blogger TheBuck said...

I read your blog, and as a jew and supporter of Israel - I do wish all the inocent (non-hamas) Palestinians well, I hate to see whats going on in the world - on both sides.

I have a question for you - do you think Arafat made a mistake by not accepting the camp David accords that would have given birth to a Palestinian State?

6:36 AM  
Blogger shlemazl said...

To "I love Munich":

" It can't be that ALL are wrong ... and only YOU are right!"

It can't be and it isn't. Canadian's support Israel's actions by a ratio of about 2:1. Among the Tories, support for Israel is almost unanimous.

It's just that on this blog you start screaming and shouting at anyone who disagrees with you.

10:05 PM  
Blogger Amelopsis said...

Schlemazl, the TORIES form a minority govt. , meaning the MAJORITY of Canadians didn't want them in power in the first place.

You neglect to mention the Tories are less popular than the Liberals since Harper's support of Israeli war crimes - and the Liberals don't even have a party leader! Criticism of Harper's response is widespread and well documented.

That said, this blog is not about Canadian politics! You are a self proclaimed "Raving atheist Shameless Zionist Pro-Bush NeoCon Professional Jew" and you come here to whore for your own blog linking to it as proof that every backward thinking conservative agrees with you! You DO NOT speak for a majority of Canadians!
-----
FYI: Canadians in Toronto will be protesting at the Israeli embassy, and marching to the US consulate building this Saturday.
-----

Laila, no updates lately from you, I hope all's well. I recently read an article of yours in the Guardian (I think?) and it was great.

1:04 AM  
Blogger shlemazl said...

amelopsis:

"the TORIES form a minority govt. , meaning the MAJORITY of Canadians didn't want them in power in the first place." True.

"You neglect to mention the Tories are less popular than the Liberals since Harper's support of Israeli war crimes - and the Liberals don't even have a party leader!"

NOT TRUE and irrelevant. The point is that that Canadians either think that Israel is acting correctly or is too soft by a ratio of almost 2:1. See the link I gave above.

"Criticism of Harper's response is widespread and well documented."

There is always plenty of criticism of country's leaders. The point is that the vast majority of Canadians support it.

"That said, this blog is not about Canadian politics! You are a self proclaimed "Raving atheist Shameless Zionist Pro-Bush NeoCon Professional Jew" and you come here to whore for your own blog linking to it as proof that every backward thinking conservative agrees with you! You DO NOT speak for a majority of Canadians!"

As it happens, on this point I do. I was responding to a specific point made by I love Munich" that "It can't be that ALL are wrong ... and only YOU are right!"

I get a reasonable amount of traffic on my blog, including a lot of visitors from Iran, Egypt, Saudi and other Muslim countries but about 0 from here. My objective is to express my point of view and not to let clear lies stand.

Clearly I am not the only one to be right.
-----
"FYI: Canadians in Toronto will be protesting at the Israeli embassy, and marching to the US consulate building this Saturday."

We've had demonstrations in support of Israel too, as you can see from this blogger (of Iranian origin): http://thespiritofman.blogspot.com/2006/07/pro-israel-rally-in-toronto-photos.html
-----

4:36 PM  
Blogger Shaggydabbydo said...

Hi shlemazl

You say on you blog, "Israelis are tough, but their life under fire isn't as easy as some think."

The majority of Israelis do not have a clue what it is like for the average Palestinian, and those that have been given a taste of it via Hez are starting to fall apart.

Palestinians have been going through it for decades, not a few days.

Get some perspective!!


No regards, I don't think you deserve any, and you've broken many mitzvot so I guess you should start making recompense.

Shaggy

9:14 AM  
Blogger shlemazl said...

"The majority of Israelis do not have a clue what it is like for the average Palestinian, and those that have been given a taste of it via Hez are starting to fall apart."

You are a fan of "Hez", are you? The day isn't over yet.

"Palestinians have been going through it for decades, not a few days."

...and have either themselves or other Arabs to thank for it.

7:43 AM  
Blogger Heber Brown, III said...

Just a note of support. Thanks for your insights and pictures. I can't trust commercial unAmerican media to provide unbiased news. The propaganda machine known as unAmerican media will always support the position of the state.

Toward that end, I have purchased the DVD entitled "Peace, Propaganda, and the Promised Land" created by the Media Education Foundation. I'm organizing a Documentary & Dialogue event to show the movie and hear from a panel comprised of myself (Christian minister), a Muslim activist, and a Jewish Rabbi against the occupation.

I've also written my congressman many times about the Middle East.

I've prayed already and just "hoping for the best" has gotten old. Now it's time to get off the sidelines and do something about what I see.

Min. Heber Brown, III
Young Clergy for Social Change
Baltimore, MD

2:22 AM  
Blogger Abu Shaar said...

That is one eye-opening documentary, "Peace, Propaganda, and the Promised Land".
Google Video has it

3:38 PM  
Blogger Amelopsis said...

Indeed that video provides insight that is important. One need not wonder why the MSM coverage is as it is when one comprehends the machinations and manipulations taken in order to ensure that the coverage has a strong bias of sympathy with Israel.

8:25 PM  

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