From Gaza, with Love

Friday, January 23, 2009

Gaza needs many years to heal

Hello friends

I am still in Cairo. With a sad heart I am watching home from a distance. The hardest days were when I went to the Rafah Crossing point. I was only one kilometer away from Gaza, but could not enter. I was told that as a Palestinian with dual nationality, I can get in but not out.

While at the border I was greatly touched by the expressions of solidarity with the Palestinian people. I met doctors from Bahrain, Yemen, Egypt, Greece, Turkey and many other countries who came to help the people of Gaza in defiance of Israel’s savage attacks on children, women, and men. We must all work on continuing and expanding these solidarity efforts on different levels. We cannot let Israel get away with its crimes against humanity in Gaza.

I want to thank you all for your solidarity as well as for your practical support. Whether you donated one pound or thousands of pounds, your support and your continuous protests let the people of Gaza feel that they are not alone and will never be forgotten.

I am still in daily contact with friends, relatives, and fellow doctors back home. And I conveyed to them your messages of support and solidarity. I also visited dozens of the injured who were transferred to Egyptian hospitals. They are in great need of rehabilitation after their wounds heal.

I want to share the results of your concrete support for Gaza:
3 ambulances
20 tons of medicine
30 tons of powdered milk and fortified baby cereal
50 wheelchairs
Thousands of coloring books and crayons for kids
Thousands of meals handed-delivered daily to displaced families taking shelter at UN schools

I thank you all, with a special thank you for the teams of volunteers in different areas of Gaza who worked under fire to meet the needs of our community, and for the emergency workers who worked tirelessly to reach the injured and dead. Time is gold in saving lives but Israel deliberately delayed and shot at emergency vehicles leading to the death of 15 emergency workers and countless Gazans.

The 22 days of Israeli attacks on Gaza was just one episode in a long line of catastrophes for Palestinians. Our struggle for justice and freedom continues.


  • We're standing by you, by ALL the Palestinian people!!

    By Blogger Karin, at 1/24/2009 6:33 AM  

  • Do you support firing rockets on civilian Israeli population?

    By Blogger Noam Mor, at 1/24/2009 4:10 PM  

  • So, would your consider the period of time before the intifadas started as better than your situation now? Do you think that the decision to use suicide bombers to stop the Oslo peace process in 1992/3/4, was a mistake on the Islamic "resistance" movements?

    If so, *why aren't you blogging about it*?

    You know, what's wrong about the Palestinian people is that you're all "Oh, woe is me!" all the time, instead of actually working on changing things. For example you could stop firing rockets, stop teaching your children in schools about the big Nazi Zionist infidels that only care about drinking Palestinian blood. There's a big world out there, and it's not made out of religious, or territorial, or any other kind of conflicts.

    The reason there is reasonable freedom in the west bank compared to gaza strip is that there are no rockets being fired from the west bank. The reason Israel is limiting freedom in gaza and in the west bank is that if it didn't, your anti-occupation forces would force Israel to renew occupation.

    I agree with what you've written in the last few blog post. Israel has definitely caused massive destruction and suffering in gaza strip. This must be stopped. And at least in my views, you are doing nothing to stop the suffering.

    Feel free to email me if you have a response. I'd certainly like to hear the other side's view of things.

    By Blogger Noam Mor, at 1/24/2009 4:26 PM  

  • Dear Dr Mona,
    It is Hazem Ashmawi, son of Salwa El Ghalayini.
    We are shocked with what has been done to the people of Gaza.
    We were worried about you and your family, but yesterday I knew that you were out of Gaza.
    My wife, Claudia, is an anaesthesiologist and she is willing to go to Gaza for a period to help. She is determined to go.
    Can you help her in this issue?
    Please let me know.
    My emails are: or
    Best regards and our prays and hearts are with all of you.
    Hazem Ashmawi

    By Blogger Unknown, at 1/24/2009 6:59 PM  

  • Dear Mona,

    A crime against humanity is putting explosives belts and going into buses in order to kill, a crime against humanity is taking palestinian kids and teaching them hatred and how to become shaeeds. A crime against humanity is having Hamas murder Patah members in the streets for smiling, a crime against humanity is allowing Hamas to build explosive tunnels under people homes and shoot from civilian populated areas. A crime against humanity is firing rockets into Israel for 8 years, thinking Israel would never respond. A right of country to defend its citizens and borders is NOT a crime against humanity. I am awaiting the day in which the people of Gaza would throw the corrupted murderous leadership of Hamas, because until that happens your people will never find freedom!

    By Blogger Unknown, at 1/24/2009 11:42 PM  

  • I am from Indonesia. I want to write about the resilience of Gazan woman. I know they're very brave. Can you help me finding stories about them? Here in Indonesia we still performing demonstrations every Friday. In our masjid we pray Qunut Nazila in every prayer.

    By Blogger aisyah, at 1/25/2009 12:11 AM  

  • Please keep writing and blogging. The world needs to know more about this tragedy, we need to humanize the conflict.


    By Blogger Ali Dahmash, at 1/25/2009 1:12 PM  

  • Allah will always be with the Palestinian. God bless the syaheeds.

    By Blogger Fikri, at 1/25/2009 5:13 PM  

  • I am so happy to see this posting and know that you are alive. As an American I will continue to lobby our Congress to end their support of Israel and to accuse Israel of the war crimes that they committed. Peace to Gaza and the Palestinians.

    By Blogger Cheyne, at 1/26/2009 7:29 AM  

  • I have read your blog with great interest for a couple of years. I have follow the situation of the Palestinians for years, Keep up the hope,, this time the world is asking questions and demanding answers.
    too many things has happened, as in the death of Ian hooks, rachel corrie,death of four un observers,
    the ramming of the Dignity and the attack on the US liberty,, besides the recently bombing of Gaza especially the use of WH which they denied but again got caught in their lies,,, Those two folks, Babi, and Noam I do beleive are a part of the group conned by the IDF to attack any palestinian and anti war sites.
    This time it is not like the Jennin and Nablus refugee camps where the news media, human rights groups and medical supplies were denied for nearly two weeks,, the Internet is powerful and it is getting out, the world is seeing what is really happening to the Palestinians this time, and they want answers. Hang in there, a lot of folks are supporting you,

    By Blogger Willowdancer, at 1/26/2009 11:57 AM  

  • Dear Mona,

    I am a web designer from New Zealand putting together a project on the lives of the people who were devastated by the 22 day offensive on Gaza.

    The point of the project is to show the humanity of the people wounded and killed, rather than only the scenes of them suffering and crying in hospitals because I believe the West often allows itself to distance themselves from these people.

    Each page will be a slide show of pages, showing a collection of photo's of each person, their writings, photo's of any items that had a special meaning for them(a favourite toy or piece of jewelery) or anything else that is publishable that has significance to them. Also at least a few lines about who they were and what happened to them during Israels offensive. The information can be as specific or vague as you want.

    The site will comment free with no views on the conflict, one way or the other. If at any point you wish to have content removed, it will be done so as soon as possible.

    If you have any family you would like a page dedicated to please email me at Please also feel free to contact me if you have any concerns about my project, as I'm open to criticism and will take in to consideration anything you have to say.

    Wishing you all the best,

    By Blogger Unknown, at 1/27/2009 12:52 AM  

  • Please keep on writing, dr.Mona. Please do not worry about those hasbara. People around the world see through their propagandas and lies.

    People who attack Gaza and support the killing, they want 'peace' and 'security'.
    But they surely don't know (or don't want to know) what it takes to achieve peace.

    @Noam Mor and Babi :
    Please stop acting like victim. We don't buy that anymore.
    Every side has its own responsibility. It's about time Israel take their responsibily and stop blaming other.

    Take care, Mona.

    By Blogger nina, at 1/27/2009 2:00 PM  

  • Dear Mona and all others who feel for Palestinians. First, I am very sad for the loss of life, the operation israel had done was completly avoidable, it's a shame the Hamas use there own people as human shields, what did they expect? the wouldnt extend the seasfire, fired rockets at Israel, and for what? did they think this will open the borders to gaza, this is why the bordes were closed in the first place. What would any other country do if they were fired on for year. I think the Gaza people deserve a better leader, one that belives in the power of the pen and not the power of the gun. Take president Abas, look how the west bank is light years ahead of Gaza. The Hamas buchered the Patah (check it out in Youtube) and denay gazans from listening to western music. All you guys should be rallying to get Hamas out and A liberal modern gaverment in. I have had enogh of listening to you people defending low lifes who hide behind civilians and use apartments to fire rockets. Get real, make a change, attacking Israel will not help you and will lead to peace, 50 years would have proved that by now. try another way and see if it works. Don't support a goverment that kills its oposition.

    By Blogger benboy, at 1/27/2009 8:21 PM  

  • and the bbc has the audacity to state that they do not wish to compromise their position by airing an appeal to help the people in gaza? shame on the bbc

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/27/2009 8:55 PM  

  • Hi Dr. Mona,

    We donated to the red crescent targeting Gaza relief and am glad that our funds are going to help. Thanx for posting where its going!

    PS. Laura & I met you in Los Angeles last year and appreciate all the good work that you do.

    Stay safe

    By Blogger Halla, at 1/28/2009 5:52 AM  

  • Ben, Mahmoud Abbas and Qrai and Dahlan are a bunch of theives and corrupted thugs, they have taken the ME conflict 1000 years back. That's why people elected Hamas, they were fedup from Fatah, there are Palestinian chiristians who voted for Hamas as well. Hamas has done realy bad mistakes and it wont justify the killing of inncoent lives from both sides but that doesnt mean that Hamas is not a resistance group. Palestinians need new leadership like Barghooti. And by the way Americans have states that they wont give the money to Fatah and Hamas, they know one side will steal that 1.5 Billion!

    By Blogger Ali Dahmash, at 1/28/2009 12:26 PM  

  • dear mona my heart goes with all gazans
    may god punish these wild zionists
    peace from Iran

    By Blogger مهرداد, at 1/28/2009 6:49 PM  

  • Yesterday, my sister visited Palestinian patients in a Cairo hospital. One patient lost his two arms and two legs and still his spirit is still up, willing to fight occupation. Makes me think twice before I bitch about any problem I might have in life! Those people give me hope, thats why we should help them in any matter!

    By Blogger Ali Dahmash, at 1/29/2009 1:40 PM  

  • I found your blog and I've been working my way through all of your entries. I'm impressed with the passion and detail with which you relay this critical information. Without documentation like this it would be so easy for crises like this one to be ignored.

    As an American student struggling to sift through all of the bias in news sources and independent reports, I'm wondering how you have experienced the news reports about your home while abroad?

    thank you! peace and strength for you and yours!

    By Blogger Danielle, at 2/08/2009 10:51 PM  

  • I have just discovered your blog and I have gone back and read just about all of the entries. I am impressed and compelled by the compassion and detail with which you have relayed this struggle. The world needs more strong women like you and the ones you have met.

    As an American student trying to make sense of all the bias and misinformation in the news and informal sources, I'm wondering about your experience hearing the news reports on Gaza and Israel while abroad. What's it been like?

    Thank you! Peace and strength to you and yours. To all of us.

    By Blogger Danielle, at 2/08/2009 11:00 PM  

  • I have just discovered your blog and I have gone back and read just about all of the entries. I am impressed and compelled by the compassion and detail with which you have relayed this struggle. The world needs more strong women like you and the ones you have met.

    As an American student trying to make sense of all the bias and misinformation in the news and informal sources, I'm wondering about your experience hearing the news reports on Gaza and Israel while abroad. What's it been like?

    Thank you! Peace and strength to you and yours. To all of us.

    By Blogger Danielle, at 2/08/2009 11:00 PM  

  • Dr. Mona, I have been reading your blog as part of an anthropology assignment. I am a college student in the US. In this blog entry, you mentioned that when you were in Cairo, you were not able to cross into Gaza for fear that you could get in but not out due to your dual nationality...why is this? How were you able to leave Gaza to go to Cairo?

    I was also wondering about your work in Cairo and the doctors that you met from various countries like Egypt and Turkey. Being a female physician, do you think of yourself as a rarity? How many female physicians do you come in contact with on a regular basis?

    I enjoy reading your posts!


    By Blogger Lindsey, at 2/12/2009 11:07 PM  

  • Dr. Mona, In this post, you discuss being afraid to enter the Gaza Strip because you believe that you may not be allowed to exit. What does your dual citizenship have to do with this? Does your being a woman have anything to do with it?

    Also, being a female physician, do you come in contact with many females in the medical field? When you traveled to Cairo and met doctors from various countries, were you all treating patients? Were there any other female physicians?

    I enjoy reading your blog! Lindsey

    By Blogger Lindsey, at 2/13/2009 2:45 AM  

  • totally agree with you. Gaza does need a long time to heal.
    Jay Stevens
    Cyber Monday, Gunvault Safes, Umbilical Cord

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/15/2009 2:16 AM  

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