From Gaza, with Love

Sunday, February 28, 2010

back to gaza 29th -December 2009 -with love

Hello –my journey back home -29th 0f December 2009
From Manchester to Gaza via Cairo

Conflicting feelings roars inside me; while saying good bye to my children at the Manchester airport I am torn between the two most loveable things in my life—my children and home, where I am with friends and workmates, community and extended family. In the end I have to say goodbye and start my journey back to Gaza.

Fifteen hours’ delay in Istanbul as I lost my connection flight to Cairo due to the snow that hit Europe in unprecedented levels.

Passengers were complaining and restless due to the delay. I felt strange: This is nothing compared to what we face in Gaza when we try to leave and cross the border. It took me three days to be able to leave Gaza for Cairo last November and I was lucky to be able to leave at all (all things are relative in life). I started missing my kids, but also felt relief to start my journey home again.

As Palestinians living in Gaza we deal with the abnormal as normal; everything is relative.

Two hours after I arrived in Cairo I met friends from the Gaza Freedom March at the Sun Hotel, friends from different parts of the world. I met many of them through years of activism and solidarity with Palestine, people from France, Italy, Argentina, Australia, the US, the UK, etc.

Barbara, Gregg, Josie, and Norma

As part of the Gaza Freedom March, who were denied entry to Gaza, these friends decided to accompany me to Rafah and say goodbye on the border. On Saturday we all left on our way to the border, but soon we were stopped and were not allowed to continue to Rafah. We returned to the hotel.

I left C airo the next morning, carrying 8 suitcases of aid to Gaza. Norma joked, telling me “you are a camel!” I felt relieved to be able to carry the aid they hoped to carry to Gaza. I laughed at the idea of being a camel and felt sorry they could not enter Gaza. It is not just the aid, it is also the solidarity with Palestine and Palestinians in Gaza under siege and occupation.

On my way to Gaza

The distance between Cairo and Gaza is 500 km. As the car started, I was daydreaming of returning home, back to my apartment, workmates, friends, and community!

The car was ordered to stop at thirteen checkpoints!

The procedures at the Rafah crossing were too fast and easy! In less than seven hours since my journey’s start I was at my apartment.

Home sweet home

I wake up to the usual sounds of shelling against the Palestinian fishermen, and some heavy shelling further away at the northeast borders of Gaza.

Viva Palestina


At 2:30 am I heard a continuous sound of car horns under my window. I realized that the convoy was allowed to enter Gaza at last, and they are actually in Gaza! I rushed to the small airport to join the reception of the convoy, very excited to meet Heather of PSC York.

Rachel and Paul Quakers from Cambria

Thank you all for your great solidarity


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