Archive for June, 2011

A full Gazan day made by Egypt, Hamas and Abdullah Saleh!

June 5, 2011

On Saturday, 4th of June me and my friends headed to Rafah crossing at 11:30 a.m to register our names at the Palestinian side so we can travel! We were so optimistic since we all read the great news of the new Egyptian government easing conditions for Gazans to be allowed through! For example, women don’t need visa if they have the passport nor students if they have a proof that they’re engaged with an Egyptian university! When we got there we tried to talk to the people in charge of registration through that teeny tiny window, but that was impossible for having tens of people already there ahead of us! We were told that if we manage to register,the first option we’d get is July 13 since there’s no space for any of us before that day! Of course it didn’t matter how we tried to explain that we need to travel much earlier, because Egypt has limited the number of the travelers to only 350 a day, and Hamas had to stick to this! Right after this, we heard that there’s a protest inside, in front of the Egyptian gate.

As we were all activists and some are bloggers and the others journalists we had to get in and see what’s going on! We found the crossing security (Hamas) trying to control the situation and on the Egyptian side some soldiers standing with their weapons on the top of the gate and the rest in front of it. Huge wooden polls are built under the claims of “maintenance”!! Couldn’t that be done on Friday? What kind of urgent, unpostpon-able “maintenance” is it to paralyze life like this, to have patients, old people and children coming from the early morning and waiting this long under the sun’s heat with no water, nor food? And then tell them that only pedestrians are allowed as the works prevented the passage of buses! But none of this happened and people went home after protesting for a while, in vain! They chanted: “1 2, where are the revolutionists(Jan25)?”-“1 2, where is Essam Sharaf?”-“Egypt & Palestine, one hand!” and “the people want to end the siege!”.
We chanted along, did some interviews and met with some interesting cases that left me nothing but even more and more frustrated! It was my first time to Rafah crossing for ME. I had many experiences with this awful place, accompanied my sister to register first then came back with her for goodbye. Receiving the deceased Vittorio Arrigoni’s Italian friend getting into Gaza and then saying goodbye to our beautiful Vik as his body was taken to Italy! And of course being a Gazan means nothing but receiving amazing people, then having to say goodbye to them all the time through that gate. That’s what’s my life is all about! These are the only memorable events related to this place, but this experience was quite different for me! I’m almost 21 and have never been out, and I don’t think this might be changing anytime soon. Thank you, Egypt!

Here’s a video we did at the crossing and on the way back!

On a totally different subject, I’d like to comment on the big day of June the 5th. It is supposed to have our Palestinian brothers marching towards Israeli borders to mark the 44th “Naksa”; the anniversary of Israel’s capture of Gaza and the West Bank in the six-day war in 1967.
In Gaza, a youth group (One of the Popular Movement to End Division groups) named “5th of June” which is mainly affiliated with the PFLP was working for at least the past two months on the cause of the thousands of the Palestinian prisoners in Israel. A lot of messages sent by these prisoners were published. These amazingly strong people hanging in there under the most crucial circumstances, injustice, torture and humiliation practiced by the Israeli soldiers on them every second of every day are expressing their depression of the status quo and for the fact that everyone had forgotten about them! The prisoners did follow our movement towards unity and went on hunger strikes as if they need more shit than they already live in! It is amazing how they keep themselves engaged with us even when they’re imprisoned. They’re still fighting while they’re still in there, so the least that could be done for them is to chant and remember them!
This group attached this day with the slogan of “The people want to release the prisoners” to be the first day of a series of events concerning the cause of the prisoners. It is supposed to be a symbolic sit-in, yet a needed one to show our support and solidarity with our bravest people reminding them that their cause is one of the main things to be resolved “one day”!! The plan was to gather in Al Jundi Al Majhoul Square then march to the UNDP from 11-12 then to march with everyone else to the north, to Erez!

Of course Hamas refused but to be the focus of the attention -as usual- by not allowing this sit-in to happen! I’m really trying to have any kind of an excuse for Hamas to do that, but sorry I can’t! The same happened when they set checkpoints on the Friday that followed May15 all the way to Erez, then used violence to disperse protesters who came to demonstrate peacefully and honor the deaths of May15! Same when we tried to commemorate the 1948 Nakba and they totally stopped it under the pretext of not having authorization! And since when a Palestinian commemorating his Nakbe needs to be authorized? Again, where is that part exactly in the book of law that says anything about “authorization”? We have the right to demonstrate peacefully and the authority has no power to even approve or have a say! They just got to be informed 48 hours ahead, but again “the government IS the law” isn’t it? 🙂
The revolutionary guys here were more than fantastic listening to the governmental orders, and plans are changed! Everyone will be heading to Erez. What about the prisoners? Ah, and when was it exactly about them anyway? This youth group now claims that it’s not over yet and they’ll take the streets again for the prisoners in June 14.
What really makes me laugh here is that I was thinking that we here in Gaza should be taking the streets in June 17 to claim the right of Saudi women to drive! I’m thinking what kind of a conversation I’d be having with the authority here when they’ll be informed and how would they react when they listen to our cause this time that’s dragging us to the streets again which they hate to death!

The last thing in my day was the news of ALi Abdullah Saleh fleeing the country to Saudi Arabia! I got excited when I first heard the news, then it was denied..confirmed again and explained as it’s not over yet; the man is getting his treatment and then coming back again. So, watch out dear Yemenis the bastard (trying to be polite) is coming back again! Though I’m still wondering, if this is not it for him, then when the hell will he “flee” then?
Could this be true?

Finally, I’d like to thank Egypt, Hamas And Abdullah Saleh for making my day 🙂
Love from Gaza..Stay Human,