welcome, sit down, share our meal: Gaza Ramadan day 6


I wandered along near-empty streets, taking advantage of the immediately pre-maghreb quiet to appreciate the sea and sky without many people around.

The sun almost down, I continued walking, streets even emptier except for the odd, mad taxi rushing to wherever their iftaar meal would take place. Gaza is normally a bustling place, even when the fuel prices were highest, the streets were still crowded with people and horse and donkey carts.

But tonight all were inside somewhere readying for the fast breaking.

I wanted to walk, then to write, and I ended up at Delice, a coffeeshop/restaurant whose staff have been accommodating since I fist arrived in Gaza, allowing me to sit using their wireless for hours with just one cup of coffee.

Tonight when I walked in, I was immediately called over and made to sit at the long table where the staff were gathered beginning iftaar. More than the nice food (rice, wheat soup, salad, juice), I appreciated their company and cheer, and was startled then pleased to see Mohammed, a youth I always meet on the street selling gum or candy.

I’d met Mohammed in a shared taxi many months ago, coming from Khan Younis (where he lives) to Gaza (where he daily comes to pawn 1 shekel items).

I know he is poor and wonder how many meals he gets a day.

Abed, one of the waiters, said that, yes, Mohammed was joining them for iftaar every night.

It’s things like this that in some ways overshadow the brutality of Israeli soldiers and policy on Palestinians. The kindness of the oppressed shines blindingly.




One comment

  1. ”It’s things like this that in some ways overshadow the brutality of Israeli soldiers and policy on Palestinians. The kindness of the oppressed shines blindingly.” I agree.

    As we move past unsmiling faces at Lodd airport and at Erez, we eventually meet men with smiles among the rubble. The young fellow who works as a porter says in good English ‘would you like a cup of coffee’. The clerk in the Portacabin has a brief look at the damned British passport.

    Different on 30 December on the Free Gaza’s Dignity. Night, stiff wind and 10 ft seas. 53 miles off Haifa. One gunboat plays its searchlight on our port hull whilst the other charges out of the night to ram our bow at 40 degrees – three times. If the boat had been built of GRP and not strong marine ply with oak ribs we would have been sunk quickly and all 16 of us drowned. Just a pin prick compared with the torment these resilient people have suffered for 61 years and longer. Such evil must never succeed.

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