Thursday, August 31, 2006

Its been quite a hiatus, I'll admit. And I don't know how to explain it, I suppose I'm just not accumstomed to blogging from a distance. But somewhere between attempting to plant Gazan cucumber and Mulukhia seeds in southern American soil (they're doing remarkably well, but that's another story) and cleaning up after Yousuf's potty-training induced "accidents" and wondering if it will ever end, it hit me: I'm in a rut. Or the twilight zone. Or both. I just don't know what to do with myself.

That and doing a lot of family entertaining, with my parents, who are stuck here and unable to return to Gaza. And driving around; to the coast; to the mountains; and through towns called "Whynot, North Carolina". really. Why not?

Well on a positve note Yousf and I got to pick all the apples we wanted for free at an orchard in western Carolina after the people working there saw my "Free Palestine" shirt. But I digress.

So I figured, if you'll permit me, I'd sneak my way back into my blog for a bit of therapy. I've changed the name, at least temporarily. I've thought about starting a new blog, but I'd rather like to continue with this one, even if the setting is changed. It'll need some work, I admit.

Gaza seems so far away, yet it is every day in my heart. And it pains me to watch it suffer in the distance. I miss everything, from its sweeping, desolate shores to all it embodies in madness and character. But as I watched what little news I could stomach on the television, I realized, we are not considerd as human; our tears, our blood, it is all more affordable. An entire population is still surrounded, deprived, occupied, but its ok-things are calm on the northern front, that's all that matters.

And so I watch and wait and read, feeling trapped in this zone of absolutely stagnancy, trying to figure out what to do.

So what will I do?

For one, trying to get the message out by continuing to speak. But also working on a series of Palestinian children's stories, and hopefully, starting a book about Gazan cuisine. I'll start with cucumbers.

Next up: my encounter with the North Carolina DMV-and attempt to explain why my name in my passport is spelled differently than my driver's's a sneak peak: it involved three different vists, and filing for an official change of name petition ("we don't recognize the stamp from your Minster of Civil Affairs")...hoo boy.

And of course, more on Rafah soon.


Blogger Heba from Gaza said...

Dear laila..

You ask yourself what to do!!! Do the right thing which is continue writing about what's happening in Gaza . If we have a dozen like you out there, our image will definitely change to the better and the world will know how weak, violated, and sinned against we are. Among all the journalists I read for, you are the most articulate about the Gazans' situation...I would suggest that you write about the electricity crisis in Gaza if possible because it turns people's lives into hell in this hot summer ...Plz Laila don't question your role, though away in the US. .It is most needed and most appreciated.

8:43 AM  
Blogger Amelopsis said...

So glad to see you back, Laila...may Youssef be 'accident free' and may you soon be able to eat some apples in a Free Palestine! (here's hoping)

I look forward to reading what you have to say, whether from Gaza, or 'unplugged' in SC.

3:29 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

Shukran habibti-
I hope life is treating you as best as it can in Gaza. I miss it so much.

And a breakthrough today-yousf actuallyi went to pee by himself!! AND he told me had to make kaka! I was going to cry...:)

7:17 PM  
Blogger helena said...

Laila, when we IM-ed I didn't realize you'd already resumed blogging... or was it after? (I've been working so darn hard the days all go by in a blur... )

Anyway, it's really great that you've resumed posting here. Your eager fans and supporters all await you and send you hugs. Count me #1.

4:17 AM  
Blogger Anne Rettenberg LCSW said...

Where can I get seeds for Palestinian cucumbers?

4:41 AM  
Blogger Fatima said...

It might be interesting if you post accounts of what your relatives in Gaza are living through on a daily basis.

9:48 PM  
Blogger Halla said...

welcome back

5:29 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

Hi Elizabeth-
I got them from..well, Palestine :) I doubt you can get them here. However I just saw for the first time they are selling this variety of small cucumber in a regular grocery store (as opposed to Middle Eastern stores) as "mini seedless cucumbers" (of course, outrageously prices, but stll..) so I'm sure you can find seeds for them wherever they grow them in the US or if you search farms or the internet long enough. :)

5:17 PM  
Blogger Miss Two said...




I really do read you regularly, and you're linked on my blog. Keep up the good work, you seem to be the only journalist FROM gaza I can actually read. Glad to see you're back.


5:46 AM  

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