Point Of View

Race matters in Gaza

I got cornered in the changing rooms by the curious ladies at gym today. They’ve been staring at me each day but today was the day. Here’s how the conversation went:

‘You and your husband, you love?’

Me: ‘What do you mean, do we love each other?’

‘Yes you love each other?’

Me: ‘yes, of course very much’ to which there are giggles.

‘But you are black and he is white.’

With conviction one woman says ‘I believe love is in here (placing her hand over her heart) and here (pointing to her head) not here (signalling skin colour) love can make miracles.’

I nod and smile

And another woman says ‘Your husband is very nice.’ lots more giggling

Me: ‘Yes he is a wonderful man.’

Just the other day at an engagement party an older woman says to me ‘you are cute even if you are black.’

Had I not spent many years living in Cape Town where skin colour reigns supreme, I’d have been shocked. Thank you South Africa for preparing me for being a black woman in these parts.
Written June 30, 2011 at 4:41pm

gaza strip-palestine

My first sunset in Gaza in an air-conditioned flat and electricity around the clock. For the majority, a longstanding electricity deficit, compounded by shortages in fuel needed to run Gaza’s power plant, results in power
outages of up to 12 hours a day


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