From Gaza, with Love

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

In Gaza I Live

The story of the borders opening
MAY 20, 2010

My story today is not mine it is the story of the borders opening, the borders that are between Gaza and Egypt , and the trial of thousands of people struggling to get through to leave Gaza for different reasons, students , patients, etc… Do I have to give justification for the right of people to move freely in and out of their home, do I need to start using numbers and to mention the different international laws that guarantee this right? I don’t need to look academic and accurate while telling you one side of our way of living under occupation – academic analysis of such a situation is a fantasy. On the first day of the borders opening a few hundred, out of thousands who need to leave, left Gaza.
Many were turned back and one of them was a junior doctor (dr. Abed Qasim) who works at the Red Crescent Society. He has been granted a scholarship for specialization in radiology at Cairo University and on his finishing his degree he will join the radiology department, where we recently managed to get funds for an MRI machine. Dr. Abed has been trying to travel since February, he tried twice and was not lucky enough to cross the borders, it is frustrating for us working in the health field, and one of many frustrations we meet every day in a very challenging environment. We want to upgrade our services and promote our health teams, it is a high priority needed especially given the small and closed area we live in and with all manner of things deteriorating every day. We face the problem of continuous power cuts and a shortage of essential medication supplies, not to mention the need to transfer patients to outside Gaza for further treatment when movement in and out of Gaza represents a big ordeal, a nightmare.
Dr. Qasim could not make it outside Gaza, and maybe he will not make it out on time, to arrive for the beginning of his course. I felt depressed not being able to do anything to help and I felt helpless, but like all of us here in Gaza I have learned how to deal with the abnormal as a normal pattern of life.
And again this is odd and against the nature of things happening on the same day Mr Y. Jaro RCS chair could not make it outside Gaza for his son’s wedding! I am sure without the need to give examples that tens of other patients could not cross either.
Life continues in Gaza and people learn how to cope and adapt themselves, but for how long? I have no answer, but for sure it is one episode of our struggle for freedom and return, I see this in the eyes of people and hear it from them every day during my work and life in Gaza.


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