When you don’t have the distraction of electricity –and hence computer–you have time to think about other things.

Like the din of the few generators running in the harra (neighbourhood) or the last gasps of my low budget candle or the calls from mosques throughout the town –and surely the entire Strip –on the over 500 prisoners to be released from Israeli jails today (it’s 7 pm and they still haven’t been released. Another 5000 permanent prisoners, many of them still with 10 or more years of captivity, remained locked up and throughout the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, new prisoners –including youths accused of throwing stones at the heavily-armed Israeli occupation soldiers –are daily abducted from their homes and streets).

A clementine. From Gaza. Juicy, delicious, not picked early and sent halfway around the world. Not long ago Gaza was known for its wonderful citrus fruits, olives and dates. This clementine didn’t come from the Israeli bulldozer-ravaged border areas.

The flashlight my brother gave me: compact, a few dollars at army surplus, and so helpful in these blackouts when one has few candles.

The blankets we are lucky to have, many of them, to make up for the lack of any sort of heating in the house. And my wool socks from home.

The tent families who don’t have enough blankets, candles or likely any wool socks.

The families sitting like me in the dark (candle no more), bored to tears without one of the few pleasures they have: cheap TVs which broadcast cheap Turkish dramas. The majority of families won’t even have this, are listening to battery powered radios or, if lucky, sitting around a fire of bulldozed trees’ sippingh teeth-achingly sweet tea, a small glass per person and a lot of good humour despite it all.

The dark and generator hum lulls into drowsiness. Little left to do but sleep till the power comes back on and the laptop can re-charge.

This is the routine every 3rd evening, with the previous morning and afternoon’s cut power. Instead of planning around family schedules, many plan around power outages.


  1. Your blog entries are always appreciated by this reader. And they are all the more vital and meaningful when, as you describe, electricity for your computer is so scarce in Gaza. Know that your writing does make a difference. I always post them on Twitter and talk about them with my activist friends.

    This Christmas all my family and friends are going to receive bottles of olive oil from Palestine which I purchased online at Zatoun.com. The information pamphlet that came with my Zatoun shipment shares some much needed facts about the economic injustice perpetrated by Israel against Palestinian farmers trying to feed their families:

    “Since 1967, an estimated 1,000,000+ olive trees have been destroyed. this does not include the trees that have been made inaccesible and otherwise lost [because of The Wall] and through a myriad of bureaucratic manoeuvres. Other fruit bearing trees have also suffered.”

    “Centuries old olive trees are routinely destroyed to accommodate illegal Israeli colonies. Beautiful and stately trees are often stolen and transpanted to beautify Israel’s cities and add instant history.”

    In solidarity and friendship.

  2. Thank you, Eva. Hope you are well; I’m sure you are happy to be back in Gaza. I think of you often; recently I was in Guelph and wondered where you were. Please let me know if you come back to North America. Would love to see you. I always enjoy reading what you write, the way you find the beauty amid all the destruction and suffering. I wish you a warm holiday, despite the shortage of electricity and blankets. I would love to knit you both some warm socks.

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