plans change

Emad’s voice is raspy, he is ill, is trying to sleep it off.

not that it matters: work has slowed to a trickle and shared taxis are hard to come by if you have a job to go to anyways, what with the fuel shortage.

he sounds like others i’ve spoken to in Gaza: exhausted, dejected, tired of waiting…for a ‘normal’ life to resume.

and what he tells me, of the fuel shortage and power outages, is nothing new from what i already have been told and read about worsening daily (on local Palestinian media, not, of course, on corporate sources).

he wants to emphasize not just the debilitating reality that is life in Gaza now, life ground to a halt, but how that affects even the simplest of plans and intentions.

because of the power outages, the fuel scarcity, the border closures, we can’t do what we’d planned.

a simple statement, but with profound implications.

…university in Gaza and abroad –thanks to Egyptian complicity, locking down the sole viable border crossing.

…getting to work–if it is to be had (unemployment hovers as it has for the past many years at 35% or over, depending on what age sector one considers.

or in his case, finishing a documentary we started about the Nov 2012 Israeli attacks on Gaza. hard to work on when there’s no power…

***

Shahd Abusalama:

Rafah border crossing continues to be closed completely for the 5th successive day. Before that it was “partly” opened. “Partly” means that only a bus that contains at max 50 people were allowed to cross a day. Needless to mentioned the many times when the Egyptian side returned all buses and allowed none to cross. I’m glad my sister didn’t have to do more than 5 attempts to cross Rafah in border to continue her BA studies in Journalism in Ankara University. We complained about Rafah crossing situation while she was trying to leave thinking that it could never get worse. But it actually never seems to get better. Siege is getting more tightened and chocking. There is a serious crisis in the Gaza Strip that deteriorates over time due to the ongoing closure of Rafah border. At least 4000 people are stuck in Gaza and can’t leave including patients, students, people with residency at other countries or holders of other nationalities. We barely see electricity these days due to the fuel crisis. Moreover, prices are rising beyond what the Palestinian people in Gaza can afford. 

I have a flight ticket on the 23rd of September and I am afraid I will have to miss it if Rafah border crossing continues to be closed. I have an opportunity to continue my MA studies in Isranbul and I may miss this chance if I couldn’t manage to be there in time. Moreover, I have a tour around Italy on October 1 for the publication of my first book Palestine from My Eyes. I am uncertain of anything. I feel hopeless and powerless as I have no control over my life like all those who are stuck in Gaza. But Rafah border does.

Stop this collective punishment policies. It’s very painful and shocking to know that our neighboring Arab country is playing a part of this miserable situation our people are facing. Just some humanity please. End #Gaza blockade and #OpenRafahBorder.

Shahd Abusalama:

The sound of drones can be heard clearly at the moment. As if what we’re going through under this chocking siege isn’t enough. 

Joe Catron:

“If you are a Gaza student prevented from traveling to a university in the UK by the Rafah closure, please contact the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, with your name and university, through their Web site or Twitter (@PSCupdates). #OpenRafahBorder “

Sameeha Elwan:

I am not a humanitarian case. I cannot go out. Damn Occupation

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