And Now This Filthy Flood

GAZA CITY, Dec. 20 2013 (IPS) – Wearing tattered shoes and hopping between dirty puddles, 14-year-old Sabeh manages to find his way to the market at the Al Shati refugee camp, one of Gaza’s most heavily populated and poor areas. He asks a man selling socks if he can buy a pair for one shekel … Continue reading “And Now This Filthy Flood”

Gaza: Where Freelance Means Abandoned

GAZA CITY — Sitting by the hospital bed of freelance photographer Mohammed Othman, Ashraf Abu Amrah knows that nobody owns a freelance journalist from Gaza who gets injured, or dies. "When a news agency crew is injured, the world reacts with anger, and human rights groups send letters of protests," Abu Amrah, 29, himself a … Continue reading “Gaza: Where Freelance Means Abandoned”

Egypt Takes Sweet Time Opening Promised Rafah Crossing

RAFAH – Many hoping to find free movement between Egypt and Gaza have found the border gates at the Rafah crossing closed. Egyptian officials closed the gates on Saturday, according to Palestinian officials. Ayyoub Abu Shaar, the official who usually communicates with the Egyptian side is no longer able to reach his counterpart. A number … Continue reading “Egypt Takes Sweet Time Opening Promised Rafah Crossing”

Mubarak’s Name Easier to Erase Than His Legacy

RAFAH – It was easy enough to rename Mubarak Children’s Hospital the Al Tahrir Hospital in Gaza. Not so easy is the task of managing patients who need to cross over to the Egyptian side for treatment, or come back in. Crossing the border, even for medical treatment, has always been an arduous task. Through … Continue reading “Mubarak’s Name Easier to Erase Than His Legacy”

Hungry Gazans Feed Egyptian Troops

RAFAH – Mustapha Suleiman, 27, from J Block east of the Rafah crossing with Egypt, crosses through gaps in the iron fence on the border carrying bread, water, meat cans and a handful of vegetables for Egyptian soldiers stationed on the other side. "Whatever you offer on Saturday you will receive on Sunday," Suleiman says. … Continue reading “Hungry Gazans Feed Egyptian Troops”

Why the Egyptian Army Won’t Shoot Protesters

CAIRO – Khalid Ibrahim Al-Laisi has been a soldier in the Egyptian army for 20 years. Today, far from shooting protesters, he says the time has come "to revolt against oppression." And as protesters vow to continue to press for President Hosni Mubarak to leave now, rather than at election time later in the year … Continue reading “Why the Egyptian Army Won’t Shoot Protesters”

In Gaza, No Drugs, but the Coffins Do Come In 

GAZA CITY – Samir Tahseen Al-Nadeem died after waiting 35 days for an exit permit for treatment for his heart condition. He was 26. The medicines he needed could not get in. But the coffins do. The health ministry now lists 375 deaths due to shortage of life-saving medicines. The medicines sit just outside the … Continue reading “In Gaza, No Drugs, but the Coffins Do Come In “

In Gaza, Dreaming of Fish and Flowers

GAZA CITY — As the many colors of the fish and flowers slowly disappear from the Gaza landscape, the already grim prospects of the besieged residents begins to look even bleaker. Fishing was a profession that used to keep thousands of fishermen and their families fed, but with Israel restricting the movements of fishermen, the … Continue reading “In Gaza, Dreaming of Fish and Flowers”

Lights Out in Gaza

GAZA CITY – The Muslim festival Eid approaches, but not the end to power cuts that have darkened the month-long Ramadan fasting leading up to the festival. Or to the agony of Gazans, made worse by the reminder that it’s approaching a festive time. The prolonged electricity cuts, lasting from 12 to 16 hours daily, … Continue reading “Lights Out in Gaza”

Gazans Desperate for Medical Care Denied

Mohammed al-Sheikh Yousef could save his eyesight if only he could cross the border out of Gaza. He was denied a permit by Israel; he got one from Egypt, but not for someone to accompany him. And he can’t go on his own, because he cannot see very well. "If Mohammed does not get out … Continue reading “Gazans Desperate for Medical Care Denied”