words i heard

Speaking with lifeguards on their work. One laments having a scuba license but being forbidden from scuba diving in Gaza:

It’s like having a drivers license but no car.

The power is with the Israelis.  We have to abide by the Oslo agreements, but they can change what rules they want, like the fishing limits which should be 20 miles but they limit us to less than 3 miles.

And the siege:

Give a bird water, food… but it wants freedom.  Same with people.  Give a person food, drink, a room, thousands of dollars—you can sleep on it—and bring them anything they want, but they are forbidden from leaving.  The only thing they want in the end is freedom.

After quarter of an hour speaking with these lifeguards, Abu Mohammed insisted that if I need anything –money, a drive somewhere, have any problems –I can always call him.

Yesterday, visiting Ibrahim Jeradeh at the Gaza War cemetery –it’d been over a year since I last saw him –he ended by saying: I have 9 daughters, you are my tenth.  Our house is your house, anything you need you tell me.

Mahfouz’s family the other day scolded me for not visiting more often: we are your Gazan family… echoes of Jaber and Leila and so many others.

One comment

  1. A sweet touching note of kindness and friendship in a brutally occupied country.

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