Today is the first Friday of what I am calling Photo Friday on lifeofbree. I have the Gaza Strip on my mind and wanted to share some images. After a short two years there, all I can say is Gaza is not one single thing and it remains difficult for me to describe in just a few sentences what living there was like. So I will start with how I am forever changed by the humanity of those I encountered. What I most want for you to remember, no matter what, is that actual human beings live there. Mothers & fathers who want their children to have a chance in life, young people who want to travel and study and you know get a job. And of course Peace In Our Time. I will stop there. Regarding the photos, I have been wondering what would be best, the ones that show humanity’s depravity or the ones that say look there’s beautiful stuff there too.
So I will leave it to you to decide what made an impression on you. Share your thoughts.
The sea is the saving grace of the open air prison that is Gaza (where people have been living under a blockade imposed by Israel since 2007). However,
Some 90 million litres of untreated and partially treated sewage are dumped in the sea (my addition not by choice!) off the Gaza coast each day,
creating public health hazards. Click on image to enlarge
My first sunset in Gaza from an air-conditioned flat with 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. Click on image to enlarge
Though places like this are frequented by those who can afford it,
57% of Gaza households are food insecure and about 80% are aid recipients. Click on image to enlarge
This man pushes luggage back and forth in sometimes nearly 40 degrees C.
Over a third (34.5%) of those able and willing to work are unemployed – one of the highest unemployment rates
in the world. Click on image to enlarge
Erez crossing, the long walk which gets you to the north side of Gaza bordering south Israel. Less than 200 people per day (on average) were allowed out of Gaza via Israel in the first half of 2013, compared to 26,000
in the equivalent period of 2000, before the second Intifada. Click on image to enlarge
My second last night in the Gaza Strip which stretches about 45km from north to south. But only about 5km wide it comprises an area of only 365 km sq. With a population of 1.4 million. Click on image to enlarge
Stats accompanying these images were sourced from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs occupied Palestinian territory:
http://www.ochaopt.org (in a fact sheet titled The Gaza Strip: The humanitarian impact of movement restrictions on people and goods, July 2013)
and UNDP in the occupied Palestinian territory: http://www.ps.undp.org/content/papp/en/home/countryinfo/
Click on image to enlarge