From Gaza, with Love

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

hello ... iam still there ..from Gaza with love

Dear all
responding to the request of Mr and Mrs. Angus Wright in France, i send this peice with love

I am a mother. I have 3 children, 2 girls and one boy. My son is Mohammed who is studying environmental sciences in the UK. My eldest daughter, Basma, is studying in Gaza, Alazhar University. She is married and living 700 meters away. My youngest daughter, Sondos, is 13. I am a physician by training and a community activist. I used to work with the Union of Health Work Committees, and now I’m the health development consultant for Al-Awda hospital (Jabalia refugee camp). I was one of the founders of this hospital in 1997, as well as community based programs that aim to improve health quality and link health services with cultural and recreation services, particularly in the most needy areas in Gaza.
I love Gaza, and would not replace it for any part of the world. It is my home and I have a cause to fight for here. We all struggle on different levels to achieve our national goals: freedom and an independent Palestinian state.

I was born and brought up in Khan Yunis town, southern Gaza Strip. I love the countryside, which has been largely destroyed over the years by the Israeli occupation. My late father’s citrus fruit grove was completely uprooted and destroyed, as well as our nice home, where my mother used to stay 6 months of the year. It was destroyed with many Palestinian farmers fertile agricultural land during the course of the Intifada. This land was a lifeline for many families, who had no alternative income.

Gaza became a big prison for its’ citizens, especially during the last 5 years. We have faced different episodes of violence, but this time is the worst, these atrocities have left one third of the population suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSS), as an outcome of going through traumatic experiences of home demolition, killing of family members, being at a site of shelling, assassination, and having the feeling of living in a big prison. The borders are closed most of the times which means we are not allowed in or out of our country, it has been closed completely for more than a month . And there is economic hardship, with high unemployment that reaches to 70%. Most people live under poverty levels in crowded towns, villages and refugee camps where the housing conditions are very limited and lack basic infrastructure.

When Israel launched its latest preplaned incursion into Gaza,under the pretense of the captured soldier release,on 28th of june ,the jet fighters destroyed Gaza’s main power plant. Since that date we don’t have regular electricity.we get 6- 8 hours of electricity each day, ; water is not available most of the time. We are subjected to artillery fire, gunboats and jet fighters shelling day and night. It is worse at night, and especially the sonic booming - when the airplanes break the sound barrier at high speeds and make great explosions. It makes me flinch in the daytime and jump out of my bed during the night. My heart rate goes fast and I hold on tight to my daughter. We need to pacify each other.

When it is dark children are afraid to stay on their own. Many children in Gaza suffer from nightmares and have become bedwetters.

Hospital services are severely affected. There are 22 hospitals in Gaza without electricity; they use alternative electrical generators. But these need fuel and we get fuel from Israel, and the borders are closed since the attack, so medical facilities are working under threat of lack of power and lack of medications. Many surgical operations had to be postponed; essentials drugs have been spoiled, due to lack of proper refrigeration.different sorts of medications are lacking in Gaza ,

Patients with chronic illnesses lack their regular medications. The bad health situation became worse due to the economic sanctions by the west since the election of our new government. Pre-mature babies on life support machines are under threat of death due to lack of reliable continuous power; so are many patients who needs regular renal dialysis.

Poverty and nutrition
Malnutrition amongst Palestinian children due to poverty and lack of proper balanced meals, affects 30% of the population. This will increase with the current lack of clean drinking water, and expected prevalence of diarrhea and other communicable diseases..

I live by the seaside, and since the start of the recent military operation against Gaza, I can see a deserted seaside. Families are afraid to take their children to the sea and children are afraid to go there as well after what happened with the Gallia family, when gunboats attacked a whole family, and killed most of its members by the seaside in the north of Gaza
. All the su or canceled, due to the emergency and dangerous circumstances. Families cannot afford the least expenses of transportation to the beach.
Children lacks recreation as well as safety.
160,000 employees have not received their salaries for 6 months when the economic sanctions were imposed on the Palestinians after the election election.

We live all the time in a state of fear of military assaults. I go to my work and kiss my daughter in the morning, not sure I shall see her in the afternoon. I am unable to plan any social event as simple as visiting friends or relatives.
While driving my car to work, and listening to the helicopters or drones in the sky, I cannot avoid thinking of danger, and telling myself, they might hit the car in front of me or the car behind me; I become restless, and panic until I reach my work. NO PLACE IS SAFE IN GAZA

During the incursion of north of Gaza
At Al-Awda Hospital in Jabalia camp I met with the medical staff who were exhausted after continuous emergency work during the incursion. Many injured arrived to the hospital and the staff worked round the clock. There were massive causalities. The 3 operating rooms were also working round the clock. The injured had serious injuries in the abdomen and chest. There were a good number of children in that attack who I visited while they were recovering in the hospital.

The staff’s main concerns were the electricity, fuel to run the generators, and vital medications for the operating room.
e small girls held my hand and said: look there, we were in the sun for a long period, next to the donkey place. It was hot, I was thirsty, my baby brother was crying, and I was terrified, I wet my pants.

I always think of the safety of the Israeli kids and civilians and I am totally against hurting civilians, but I do believe that the comparison of suffering is unfair, and not objective. I have an offer for Israel to send 1.5 million Israelis to live in Gaza, under these circumstances!!!!!!!
we both suffer, it is an outcome of injustice and occupation.


  • When my Lakota artist friend was honored in San Francisco for his work with incarcerated American Indians, he presented a room-size mural depicting three people behind barbed wire. One was Irish, one was Native American, and one was Palestinian.

    By Blogger Jay Taber, at 8/09/2006 6:52 PM  

  • Mona - whoever doesn't understand after having read THAT .. can't be helped anymore! NO Israeli would bear the hardship you are forced to go through .. I am sure.
    If you don't mind I will pass this post on - I feel more people have to read that to get a clear picture.
    Thanks so MUCH Mona ... you're a wonderful person and doing a fantastic job!!

    By Blogger Karin, at 8/09/2006 9:35 PM  

  • Mona it gladdens my heart to see that you're still there and still posting, truly.

    But that my wishes in solidarity with you for peace and some semblance of justice in Gaza and all of Palestine would be granted.

    Wishing, however changes nothing, only actions do this. Your courage and stamina are admirable and I thank you for sharing some of your daily experiences with us.

    I hope that it helps at least a little bit to know that many of us will be marching in protest this weekend (as many others have done already all over the world) to add our voices to those of others who demand the minimum right now...a ceasefire in Gaza and in Lebanon.


    By Blogger Amelopsis, at 8/09/2006 10:22 PM  

  • Please check your e-mail!

    By Blogger Karin, at 8/10/2006 6:53 PM  

  • Madame courage, en espérant que justice sera rendue.

    By Blogger Peckinpache, at 8/10/2006 7:35 PM  

  • Oh Mona, this is such a clear and careful statement. Like the former commenter I know wishing is not making change--but still I wish, and work. I too have three children, and am deeply involved with our local health clinic. At many little points our lives intersect--but not at the main point, for I type near a forest, without bombs or shells or the kind of fear and grief that seems daily for you.
    May you and yours stay safe; may the occupation and wars end.

    By Blogger jarvenpa, at 8/10/2006 10:27 PM  

  • I live in the USA and we rarely hear about what life is like for Palestinians. That is because our government is so pro Israel, which I do not understand.
    May God forgive the US for funding what Israel does in Gaza, the West Bank and now Lebanon!!

    By Blogger Nutmeg, at 8/10/2006 10:43 PM  

  • May God forgive the USA for enabling Israel with the aid $ to do this in Gaza, the West Bank and now Lebanon!

    By Blogger Nutmeg, at 8/10/2006 10:45 PM  

  • The USA is rushing bombs and jet fuel to Israel. No one but the Americans (well, and the Israelis) believe the USA is not at least an enabler of Israel's war crimes

    By Blogger Moses, at 8/12/2006 4:20 PM  

  • Dr. Mona

    The feeling of shame and humiliation that we carry, while we watch you from the sidelines, is also mixed with pride and admiration.
    From Syria to Gaza with LOVE.

    By Blogger Abufares, at 8/12/2006 8:08 PM  

  • Yes, our U.S. government is completely complicit in what the Israeli government is doing. The good news, if one can call it that, is that more and more Americans - and Israelis, I believe - are beginning to turn against their respective government's actions in the Middle East. The Bush administration has been a disaster since 2001, both in its international dealings AND its domestic actions. Only 33% of Americans currently approve of Bush, and many of us are amazed that it continues to be THAT high.

    By Blogger DrewL, at 8/13/2006 2:58 AM  

  • Dear Mona, my husbond just showed me your blog said I had to read it. I am glad I did! Thank you for giving us such a clear image on how it is to live inside Gaza at the moment. We have two small children together, I am from Norway and my husbond coming from Suriname (S. America)while we live in the Netherlands. We both are very very concerned about the power Israel and the US have and are misusing so much it seems like it all is gonna end in Armageddon here.
    My heart bleeds for you and your people, I thank you for making me understand what you are going through. I can only express my full symapthy with you and tell you that I constantly think of you. May God (or Allah) be with you and the Palestinian people. You seem to be such an amazing woman, you are doing a fantastic job, I wish I only had a few of your abilities or talents!

    Thank you Mona, and please keep blogging!
    All of our love

    By Blogger Merete, at 8/13/2006 2:37 PM  

  • Have a read of Seymour Hersh's latest article in The New Yorker magazine (link below) regarding what's happening in Lebanon. His U.S. government sources provide some very enlightening - and not so surprising - insight on what's transpired.

    By Blogger DrewL, at 8/14/2006 6:37 AM  

  • Hi, Mona.
    I am chilean and I support Palestine.
    My English is not very good.
    Do you speak Spanish?
    Todo mi apoyo para la causa palestina y les envío un gran abrazo.

    By Blogger Makeka Barría, at 8/14/2006 7:47 AM  

  • Mona,

    As always, I wish you and your family continued health. May G-d continue to bless you and keep you safe.

    But I find your blog to be a familiar refrain among Palestinians who take no responsibility for the acts of their government (Hamas) or its citzenship. Your people are a proud and noble community, but it continues to suffer, as you adequately describe, because it seeks the destruction of your neighbor Israel. It's that simple. Palestinians have had countless chances to grasp the elusive peace it seeks. Jews, especially in Israel, are not the demons that decades of Palestinian insitement have efforted to villify. Israelis want a just and lasting peace -- they always have. But your government, and the majority of its people, see the destruction of Israel as the only viable method to achieve your national aspirations. How else do you explain all that has happened since Yassir Arafat said "no" to the historic Camp David accords -- Accords that would have given you virtually everything you asked in exchange for peace.

    "We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. But we cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us..." -- Golda Meir, Former Prime Minister of Israel

    By Blogger Ron, at 8/16/2006 9:55 PM  

  • There is much sympathy for Palestinian suffering among Americans, and yet the Palestinian people bring their own misery upon themselves. At a time when Israel was pulling back and giving up control over Gaza, hopefully as a prelude to giving up control over other Palestinian lands, the Palestinian people threw their victory away and summoned new conflict into their homes.

    You cannot support Hamas and still earn our sympathy. Hamas have demonstrated that they will use every woman and child at their disposal to spread hatred, ignorance, and death.

    Choose a new path while your families can still do so.

    By Blogger Michael Martinez, at 8/17/2006 3:40 AM  

  • Dear Mona,

    I am an Israeli, currently living in London. I have had my share of military service in Gaza. While I always tried to do my job in the most humane manner possible, I always knew it was fundementaly wrong. I will make no excuses. One evil should never justify another. What my country is doing to you is wrong. I think the majority of Israelis know that, and would rather see a different course taken. However, too many are too short-sighted and emotionaly blinded by the rocket attacks, and others simply do not have the energy to make a stance on someone else's behalf.

    I admire the hope and honesty in your voice, it gives me the will to continue working for peace and justice.

    A Salaam Aliki,

    - Yishay (

    By Blogger Yishay, at 8/17/2006 4:54 AM  

  • Every time I hear someone quote that Golda Meir quote I want to smack something.

    A wife abuser would use that excuse.
    So, murdering children is the responsibility of the children and not the bastards doing the killing?

    One person, one vote regardless of race or religion. Why is that so difficult to grasp?

    By Blogger Moses, at 8/17/2006 8:07 AM  

  • None of you commenters who so readily defend the killing of Palestinians by the occupiers of the land seem to have any modicum of understanding of the geography or history of the region.
    That you defend such mindless death by suggesting 'they asked for it' is just as reprehensible as the attacks and occupation are.
    Fortunately, Mona is made of strong stuff and will see your mindless preaching and heartless justifications of death for what they are: the banter of the ill informed.

    By Blogger Amelopsis, at 8/17/2006 3:33 PM  

  • Abu Shaar hates the Golda Meir quote because it hits home. But wow. For someone who indicates that they've heard the quote before, you've managed to miss its point in spectacular fashion. Golda Meir eloquently explained what is STILL true today -- in short, Arabs have the power to have peace by first looking inward. Hate Jews less than you love your own kids. Why is that so difficult to grasp? Personally, comments like yours make me think that Ms. Meir's quote was hauntingly accurate and sadly still has little hope for ever coming to pass.

    But your follow-up comments, Abu Shaar, reveal your intent.

    "One person, one vote regardless of race or religion. Why is that so difficult to grasp?"

    Let's translate, shall we? We Palestinians outnumber you 4:1, and we'd much prefer to vote ourselves (and you Jews) into yet another theocratic, Islamist, fundamentalist, hateful regime that would gleefully destroy the last vestiges of Jewish life in a land that has been the cradle of Jewish culture for thousands of years.

    I'm quite confident that once we Jews surrender ourselves to your democratic system and your people assume leadership by virtue of your inability to use birth control -- I'm sure nothing bad will happen to us, or our Holy places.

    Grow up, Abu Shaar. And urge your people to finally take some responsibility for their problems.


    By Blogger Ron, at 8/18/2006 6:00 AM  

  • Very well said Amelopsis, I could not agree more.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/18/2006 9:03 PM  

  • The odd thing is that most people tend to side with the Palestinians in this ongoing conflict once they finally learn the history of how Israel came into being. Prior to learning the truth, most Americans assume that the Israelis are in the right and the Palestinians are in the wrong, mainly because that's the propaganda we hear in the U.S. on a regular basis.

    Much of that propaganda is fed through the media and is sponsored by Israeli lobbying groups such as AIPAC, which exists partly to ensure that the U.S. sides with Israel on everything. And much of the propaganda serves to brand as an anti-Semite anyone who would criticize Israel. This tactic generally succeeds because of the general guilt complex resulting from the Nazi holocaust during WWII. It's an effective political tool to keep U.S. leaders supporting Israel, even when it's not in the United States' best interests to do so.

    Too many Americans are completely ignorant of the plight of the Palestinians, and the Israeli propaganda machine in the U.S. helps to ensure that this situation will not change anytime soon. It's a travesty. I hope that one day, U.S. leaders will screw up enough courage to tell the Israelis to bug off so that we can begin to help the people that really need it the most.

    By Blogger DrewL, at 8/20/2006 6:37 AM  








    By Blogger ATHENA, at 8/20/2006 1:35 PM  

  • Israelis have had countless chances to grasp the elusive peace they seek.
    If Israelis truly longed for peace, you would live in peace. If your people long to fight, you will fight and suffer.

    By Blogger Chris, at 8/21/2006 4:24 AM  

  • While I find it hilarious being referred to as a "fanatic" (Athena isn't doing the Palestinian cause any great service by throwing around that term irresponsibly), I also feel sadness for us all. I think I can hopefully speak for everyone on this board that we all seek a just and lasting peace. I brought up the failure of Camp David to make a point. The discussions ended with no agreement, no counter-offer from Arafat, and not even a commitment from the Palestinian delegation to continue discussions with their Israeli counterparts. All this despite a precedent-setting offer of 98% of the territory that still is in question today (an offer that I doubt will EVER be repeated). So I'm asking the readers of this board, where is this process going?

    Even if the West Bank/Gaza were completely emptied of Jews, I believe the majority of Palestinians would still not be satisfied. Most Israelis believe (as I do) that only the Palestinian flag flying over Tel Aviv and Jerusalem will signal the end of this argument. Until then, Israelis are forced to fight for their very survival. My G-d, look at what has happened with the handover of Gaza. Missles and murder almost immediately. What would you suggest the Israeli's do now? Hand over the West Bank so Jerusalem could be that much more accessible to these maniacs?

    Dr. Mona's posts make me sad for us all. I am a father and a Jew who wants to embrace my Palestinian neighbors as brothers. I would love to visit Nablus and Ramallah as a tourist, and learn about Palestinian culture without fearing for my life. I think most Israelis feel as I do. But until the Arab world recognizes Israel's right to exist as a Jewish State, I don't know what there is to talk about.



    By Blogger Ron, at 8/21/2006 5:02 PM  

  • Israel NEVER withdrew TOTALLY from Lebanon. Don't be such a liar. Israel still had illegal control of Lebanon's border, sea port and air. Don't be foolish to think you can pull a fast one here.

    And what about the rich desirable Shebaaa farms that Israel still occupies - ILLEGALLY? Can you answer that one?

    As for the Camp David talks with Clinton and Barak, that was a pure fiasco as usual. Arafat was mostly left out of these "talks of peace" and negotiations fell through because of the usual pampering that goes on for Israel which leaves nothing to be desired by the Palestinians. Arafat wasn't STUPID. The Palestinians aren't STUPID. The sooner you Zionist Israelis learn this, perhaps there would be a sliver of hope for your common way of "thinking".

    As for the lack of beauty in the Gaza Strip: Tell your government to stop sending in the IDF with tanks, machine guns and bulldozers.

    Tell your government to stop uprooting Palestinian farm lands, groves, and trees.

    Tell your government to stop torturing, murdering, and imprisoning Palestinian children and their families.

    Tell your government to stop Lying to its people and to the North American people who have up to now sent Israel well over 700 billion dollars since Israel's ill-begotten inception (a mild way of putting it) - stop lying about the "terrorism" at the hands of the Palestinians when in fact it's the Palestinians who suffer TERRORISM - that no people on this earth have ever suffered, in history or today - at the hands of a sociopathic Zionist government such is Israel's.

    Follow those steps, my dears, and maybe you will find there's a pulse in your bodies after all.

    By Blogger Rhiannon, at 9/15/2006 7:24 AM  

  • Israel NEVER withdrew TOTALLY from Lebanon. That is a lie.

    Since 2000, Israel occupies ILLEGALLY the rich soil of Shebaa Farms, and still controls the border, sea port, and air space of Lebanon, which is again ILLEGAL.

    As for the beauty of the jewel that the Gaza Strip can be (as well as the West Bank):

    Tell the Israeli/USA Zionist governments to stop sending the IDF into the territories with tanks, machine guns, and bulldozers.

    Tell them to stop destroying the fields and farm lands, olive groves, trees and other vegetation belonging to Palestinian families and farmers.

    Tell them to stop humiliating, injuring, crippling, murdering, and illegally imprisoning Palestinian children and their families.

    Tell these governments to stop bombing hospitals, recreation centers, and schools.

    Tell them to stop bulldozing Palestinian homes.

    If these TERRORIST governments stop the raping of Palestinian Society, Israel wouldn't have to worry about suicide bombers and the West Bank and Gaza Strip would be beautiful, and not the garbage dump that your IDF soldiers keep turning these lands into.

    As for the so-called "peace talks" of Camp David. There was a good reason for Arafat to say no to negotiations. Once again, the Clinton and Barak didn't give Arafat what he wanted for his people. It was a lop-sided agreement with Palestinians not getting much in the bargain with Israel always benifiting as usual.

    Arafat wasn't stupid and neither are his people.

    The arrogance that you Zionists and/or typical Zionist supporters show in your speech is typical.

    By Blogger Rhiannon, at 9/15/2006 7:55 AM  

  • The Israeli Zionist dream for Palestine is coming true.

    Deprived of food, water electricity, money, medical care, safety, leadership, and official outside help, the Palestinians are turning on each other as they struggle to survive.

    But Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has made it clear that this is only the beginning.

    “Nobody dies from not having electricity”, Olmert is said to have told his cabinet, and “no one in Gaza should sleep.” Emphasizing that last point, low-flying IDF jets break the sound barrier over Gaza virtually every night.

    The Palestinian government disaster was deliberately contrived by:

    United States
    European Union
    United Nations

    To add more to the Palestinian misery, the Israel Defense Force is conducting daily raids, bombings, attacks, kidnappings, and interference with human movements.

    The goal is to contrive the utter collapse of Palestinian society, while goading as many as possible into leaving, dying, or killing each other.

    The Olmert government or its Zionist backers hardly care which.


    While the outside world has been more or less fixated on Lebanon, the IDF and the Mossad have been conducting intensive warfare and political harassment in Gaza and the West Bank. This is nothing new.

    The Israelis have taken much of the parliament, many cabinet members, and the Deputy Prime Minister hostage; they use the euphemism “arrest” for what they do.

    In pure Zionist fashion, they have threatened to assassinate the Prime Minister and have bombed his and other government offices.

    Israel has progressively disassembled the democratically elected Palestinian Government by kidnappings, and it is doubtful that without an international outcry that so far has not been forthcoming, I hardly doubt these prisoners will ever be released.

    Instead they may join the ranks of the estimated 10,000 Palestinian hostages the Israelis have held without charge for over 25 years.

    By Blogger Rhiannon, at 9/16/2006 7:07 AM  

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