From Gaza, with Love

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

writing within the storm

Dear All
i would like to share this with you , it was written last autumn , but it still reflect my feelings , while writing from Gaza

with love , truth , justice and solidariy

Gaza - writing within the storm
Mona Elfarra and Hilary Nelson
Mona Elfarra is a doctor at the Al-Awda hospital in Jabalia Refugee
>> in northern Gaza. Hilary Nelson is active in the Palestine Solidarity
>> Campaign in Sheffield. They wrote to each other last autumn as Israel
>> escalated its military assault on Beit Hanoun, next door to Jabalia.
>> Mona Elfarra
>> hello Hilary
>> hello
>> While life goes from one day to another, worsening everyday for all of
>> us
>> living in this big prison named Gaza, I try to keep myself together. The
>> community is suffering and needs all my efforts so that we all do not
>> collapse but continue struggling against this ugly occupation.
>> Last month I could not write. I have two different feelings. When I
>> write
>> I feel it is important to spread the word and to satisfy the eagerness
>> of
>> all my friends abroad to know the truth of what is happening inside
>> Gaza,
>> which the mainstream media do not cover fairly.
>> On the other hand I feel it is a luxury to write while others are
>> suffering everyday from hunger, illnesses that could be cured easily if
>> there were no closures or sanctions imposed on us. Others are dying
>> because they did have not the right treatment at the right time. Many
>> cancer patients died.
>> I also felt that I report and write about the same things, the same
>> suffering again and again, but the world is silent and Israel goes ahead
>> with its pre-planned agenda against the Palestinian people.
>> I felt helpless, so I focused on my people and how I could assist their
>> daily needs in practical ways.
>> I know very well that writing is extremely important, especially since
>> our
>> news is not covered in the mainstream media. I also know very well that
>> this is a phase I am going through. I feel guilty too because of those
>> feelings, and that I should stay strong and not lose hope and faith.
>> I will never lose it, my life under occupation and my resistance will
>> continue until this occupation is over. My cause is not only to resist
>> this occupation, it is fighting against imperialism and its new
>> globalisation of injustice all over the world.
>> There is a big scale operation in the north, 14 were killed and at least
>> 100 were injured. Many were women and children, the village of Beit
>> Hanoun
>> is under siege. Nobody is allowed in or out of the village, children
>> cannot get milk, any moving body is shot, all the men over 16 were
>> forced
>> to gather inside one of the village schools and we do not know their
>> fate.
>> Health teams are not allowed inside Beit Hanoun, one woman (Maysoon
>> Hweehy) was shot dead while trying to defend her family from the
>> soldiers.
>> Hilary please write to me, I miss you. How are Paul and Mischca?
>> Love to all of you
>> p. s. The 4 girls received their scholarship for their tuition. I wish
>> you
>> were there to see the happiness on their young faces. There are some
>> photos. They all came from poor socioeconomic backgrounds in Rafah camp,
>> Khan Yunis, Nusseirat, Jabalia – and have a good promising future with
>> this scholarship and our support in general.
>> love
>> mona
>> ---
>> Hilary Nelson
>> Dearest Mona
>> How are you? We are really missing you and would love to see you. I was
>> hoping you were coming early in the New Year, but now I am wondering if
>> you have changed your plans.
>> It was lovely to hear from you and to hear your thoughts and feelings
>> about writing / not writing. How different times make you feel
>> differently. Sometimes the writing is therapeutic and sometimes it makes
>> you feel worse when you realise that writing isn't defeating the
>> occupation. It feels futile, or worse - indulgent.
>> I know what you mean. You have to do what you feel you can at the time.
>> Sometimes you want to be there doing practical things with the people,
>> maybe other times you need the writing as an outlet for your own
>> frustrations or grief.
>> All I can say is that what you are doing is very important for us.
>> Writing
>> or not writing, we feel whatever communication we get from you is good
>> for
>> us and good for Palestine. But we also understand when you feel too
>> weary
>> to satisfy our hunger. Just keep on being you and doing what you can.
>> Only
>> don't ever feel that your efforts are useless. You are a star to us, and
>> I
>> am sure a star for so many others who are suffering.
>> I am sure the people also give you your own reason for surviving and
>> continuing with your unending fight. They give you a reason to be there,
>> and you should take what courage you can from them, and what they can
>> give
>> to you.
>> How are the girls? I hope they are OK. Give them my love.
>> We are having a women's social evening to raise money for the women's
>> scholarship fund this Saturday. I have attached the flyer so you can see
>> what we are doing. We had a big debate about whether to cancel it or not
>> because of the awful killings of women and children last week. We didn't
>> feel it was appropriate to do any partying after such a dreadful
>> tragedy.
>> However, we decided to go ahead with it because people seem so
>> enthusiastic about this women's project. We have had quite a lot of
>> positive response.
>> Catherine Gaze gave me a cheque for £240 (almost $500) yesterday for the
>> fund. She said it was to celebrate her 60th birthday. She wrote a little
>> note stating that she would have had a very different life without free
>> education. It made me realise how important this project is, and how it
>> has captured a spirit of support and hope for many women here.
>> We wondered if you would be able to send a message to the social
>> evening,
>> just telling us something about the women or the project or just about
>> life in Gaza and explaining what it means for women there to have an
>> education.
>> We thought if we could read something out to the party about life in
>> Gaza
>> it would be good to put things in context. We don't want women to be sad
>> all night, but to remember why we are doing it, and to realise that
>> singing and dancing is also part of life which goes on in the face of
>> horrible tragedies - just like in Gaza and Iraq. I hope you can
>> understand
>> our decision, and you will be able to send us a message by Saturday
>> which
>> we can read out.
>> We all think about you a lot. Your presence in March has made a
>> difference
>> to so many women here in Sheffield who would have thought so differently
>> about events in Palestine if they hadn't met and heard you speak.
>> We had a visitor from Al Haq yesterday. An Irish man called Gareth Gleed
>> and a young woman called Mays. She is an amazingly confident young
>> woman,
>> and spoke very well at the meeting about Human Rights in Palestine,
>> about
>> international law and Gaza. It made me start dreaming again about
>> another
>> women's conference. I would love to get you and her together with some
>> other women and organise another women's workshop. What do you think?
>> Lots of love to you and your family. Don't forget to visit us soon.
>> Love Hilary



  • As you note, some things we choose to do, and others we do because they need to be done. Communication is one of those, solidarity another.

    With all Gerry Adams has on his plate, one has to wonder how he managed to write five books and tour America. Yet he knew it was necessary.

    When Sinn Fein was facing down the British Empire ten years ago, it was Nelson Mandela who sent an ANC high level delegation to show support for their struggle. Busy as we might be, nourishing the continuity of the liberation movement by leaving a record of our experience is simply another responsibility to shoulder.

    Judging by world opinion, your efforts have not been in vain.

    By Blogger Spartacus O'Neal, at 4/19/2007 1:12 AM  

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