Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The only thing that's certain

My mother saw a group of men collecting some wood off the beach the other day. She assumed they were custodial workers and thanked them for their work, asking why the Municipality didn’t send people out to clean up the beach more often.

It was then that she realized they were actually not trash collectors but Palestinians searching for driftwood to light a small campfire with. Not only that, but as she would learn, it was the Palestinian Minister of the Environment, Yousuf Abu Safiya (who has a permanent post that predates this January’s elections) and two of his co-workers. It appears they are also stuck in Egypt, and staying a few flats down from us. They came over later at night as we discussed everything from politics to the adverse affects of the water’s nitrate content on children in Khan Yunis.

Apparently he tried calling Mahmud Abbas’s Office today to ask whether they knew when the border might open. Their answer: “well, we heard maybe today. But if not today, for sure tomorrow, or the day after…or Friday….”

As a cousin in Gaza joked “there’s only one thing for certain, and that’s that nobody knows when it will open!!”


Blogger Lee S. Tesdell, Ph.D. said...

Im Yousuf...

As you mentioned in an earlier blog entry, for the Palestinian people, "to exist is to resist." That slogan which someone painted on Israel's apartheid wall, says it all. You will get home to Gaza, Yousuf will reunited with his father and family, and there are better days ahead. To make those better days come more quickly we in the U.S. have to "make some noise" as you have written earlier. We will continue to "make some noise" in support of your "existing" and together with many Israelis who also want justice for the Palestinians, and a good bit of patience ("saber Ayoub"), we will see better days.

5:41 PM  
Blogger helena said...

Laila, the story of the Pal. Minister of the Environment (!) doing this is hilarious, outargeous, shocking, and wonderful all at the same time...

So glad you've made it. Yayyyy!!!!!!

5:06 PM  

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