Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Underground Economy

I've been on the move again, this time out of Gaza with Yousuf and my family, after a gruelling two days on the crossing attempt to pass, and a week waiting for the crossing to open. I've been exhausted and thus the delay in blogging, but I promise to post pictures and more about the trip soon.

For now, I leave you with one of the finishe products of my journey, a short documentary my colleague and I made in Gaza about Rafah's underground economy, which aired on CBC last week (yes, the voice is mine)...

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Photos of life in Gaza

A young boy braves the waves

A flower shop

A view of a street in Remal

Yousuf, future horse jockey

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Temporary life, temporary security

The streets are alive again. The Jundi park was humming with boisterous children and families, makeshift sheesha cafes, and peanut and corn vendors Thursday.

The fruit vendors, too, have resumed marketed their produce on donkey carts via megaphone along the city streets.

But overshadowing it all is an uncertain feeling that this sense of security, like everything else here, is temporary. The "interim" agreement is temporary. The refugee issue is "temporary". Our legal status is "temporary".

You can sense it in people's tones; the fear of the unknown; of abandonment; of complete and total catastrophe and implosion. Even the head of Rafah's preventive security branch. "How can I serve and protect our society if I can't even protect myself?" he confided. "Forget about a two-state solution. Forget about everything. We'd do well to just stay alive now."

Meanwhile, Israeli executions and attacks continue unabated. OCHA reports that a total of 53 Palestinians- including five children- have been killed and 185 injured from May 16 to June 1.

This does not include two young brothers, 11 and 12, searching for scrap metal to sell this week, when they were gunned down by Israeli snipers positioned near the border. The soldiers said they thought they were planting a bomb. The reality is-soldiers are authorized to shoot at any moving object that comes within 700 metres of the border.

Over the same period, two Israeli soldiers were injured in Gaza, and two Israeli civilians killed.