Following Abed

Continue to visit Abed, the Jabaliya teen in hospital after being shot on his roof by an Israeli sniper. He is a lovely young man, and I’ll cry with joy if he ever heals enough to just sit in a wheelchair.

He longs to be independent, even if it is only by running his own electric-wheelchair. His fortitude is astounding, as is his maturity.

When he speaks on the phone to his father –who still cannot get permission from Israel to leave Gaza to be with his son –he brushes off his real pain, trauma, boredom: “I’m fine, thanks be to God,” he utters into the phone.

We are waiting for the day, perhaps within the next few days, when he will move out of the ICU and back to a regular hospital room. Hopefully then he can be fitted into his corset, to support his shattered spine, and take him outside in a wheelchair so he can see sunshine and smell fresh air, even if it is polluted Cairo sun and air.

An encouraging sign: he’s asked for strawberry juice. Not mango, which is in season in Egypt, nor orange. Strawberry. Like in Gaza. He has not cut ties with Gaza nor given up hope of resuming a life there.

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