From Gaza, with Love

Sunday, February 28, 2010

In Gaza I live

In Gaza I live

Hello family, friends, and supporters,

I'm so sorry it's been so long since I've written. I'm sorry also that I've not yet responded to the wonderful emails of support so many of you have sent during my illness.

I returned to Gaza after a short visit with my children, who are studying in Manchester in the UK. I am on my own here in Gaza, so busy, and life takes me from one day to another with no hope for political change on the horizon. I am very busy with cultural and health programmes and women’s empowerment and rehabilitation programmes, with the great support of Sheffield Women PSC and Manchester and Liverpool Friends of Palestine in the UK, as well as MECA in the US, comrades who support our vision for women’s issues as well as our political views for a future Palestine that is a free country based on equal rights and justice for all.

I am trying to write on my blog, but I cannot access it. I do not have my children’s technical assistance any more, and need to be more independent and technologically acquainted!!!!!

I will keep trying to access my blog--it is the bridge of love between me and my friends outside of Gaza; it is my method of ventilation while living in such difficult circumstances, with closure, siege, and occupation.

In talking of friends in Gaza we find our ways of coping with our situation, one of the many ways our friends care and support while we do not stop dreaming together of a better future for all.

Sport is another way of coping, and the most convenient is walking by the seaside. While walking I meet some of the fishermen in the early hours of the day, around 5 am, while they are struggling hard to live and can see the Israeli gunboats patrolling the sea as they harass and shoot at Palestinian boats.

I meet small children walking for long distances to reach their schools, as many families cannot afford to pay for transportation!!!!!! Tiny smiling faces have to leave their homes so early in the morning to reach school on time.

Shops here are stuffed with all sorts of goods; we get them via the tunnels at the Egyptian border. But few people can afford them—all goods are very expensive! Only a small new class can afford them. This class emerged in the void of the now-displaced previous elite, and the majority of people still suffer.

Israeli attacks continue; as I am writing there are incursions into the Gaza border areas of Beit Lahia, Beit Hanoun and Khan-Yunis, which you probably don’t hear in the news—Gaza is only remembered when a big disaster occurs !!!!!!!!

Last month we received the Viva Palestina convoy. I met activists from the UK, PSC York, Liverpool, Sheffield, Cambria, Birmingham, and Bristol. But they were only allowed to stay for such a short time, only 48 hours, a tremendous shame!! They did not have nearly enough time to see Gaza

Recently I helped in fundraising for the MRI machine at the Red Crescent Society for Gaza Strip. We reached our goal!

This highly sophisticated equipment is vital for Gaza’s patients who suffer daily because of the deteriorating health facilities, the lack of many essential medications, and the border closure that prevents people from crossing. Many patients need further treatment abroad, but the Rafah crossing has been closed for almost two months now. It will open next month, and when it is open it is very unpredictable and open only for three days, and the number of those who cross the border are much less than those who actually need to cross, including patients, students, families, etc…

Friends:

I continue to be empowered when thinking of you and your great support and nonstop solidarity.

I find my self-esteem when I meet daily with people I work for, when I see children happily painting, dancing, reading, and involved in the different cultural programmes even amidst a life that is so hard and unfair, when I meet with women who leave their homes to receive nutrition and dental care services and lectures in the courses I run, when I feel the satisfaction of the team that runs those courses under such a difficult atmosphere.

Love,

Mona

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