7 décembre 2013 6 07 /12 /décembre /2013 00:55
It's 5:30 am. This is around the time I usually wake up. I live near the beach, on the 10th floor. The only exercise women can do outdoors in Gaza is walking. Many women are denied even this, for different reasons. I like to walk. It's one of the best ways to heal the spirit, aside from music, reading and writing.
There's no electricity, so the elevator doesn't work. And so I walk down the stairs, all ten floors, without any trouble, into the street, where a pleasant morning breeze is waiting. When I go back to my building, there's still no electricity. Dilemma: I could walk up the stairs, or wait in the lobby for half an hour. The doorman turns the generator on every half hour. I decide to wait. Is it okay to complain about such a stupid little thing when most of my human needs – water, electricity, routine supply of proper food, benzene, the right to travel, the right to health – aren't properly fulfilled?
The work day ahead started at a-Nuseirat Refugee Camp, where I oversee the Maia Project, one of the projects run by the Middle East Children's Alliance (MECA) in Gaza. A few years ago, MECA launched a campaign designed to supply school children with clean water, by installing water purification units in UNRWA schools and in some day cares. Ninety percent of the water in Gaza is not potable, because of high salt levels and contamination caused by the sewage system, which is faulty in some areas.
I was going to stop at the gas station, but there was a long line-up of cars, so I took the chance that the gas in my tank would be enough for 15 kilometers. There was very little traffic on the way. There were more cars lined up at gas stations. I mostly saw dozens of people waiting for public transportation. The gas shortage, which is mainly caused by the destruction of the tunnels on the southern border, has managed to overshadow the ongoing daily suffering in Gaza. The alternative for Egyptian fuel is fuel that is brought in from No solution on horizonAs part of my work with the Red Crescent, I know that there are departments that the hospitals have to keep connected to electricity at all times, like the neo-natal unit for example, which has a constant, stable, electricity supply. It comes from a generator every time the daily blackout rolls around. But, that brief moment of transition between regular supply and generator supply may have a huge impact on the development of the babies in the ward.I returned home at around 1 pm. Still no electricity. This time, I didn't wait for the elevator by myself. There were a lot of children who live in the building. I had a nice opportunity to talk, joke around and try to lift their spirits. At home, I had a meeting with a colleague who had just gotten back from Rafah Crossing. He told me what was going on there. He had been trying to get out of Gaza for four days, to go to Sweden, where he studies. He's stressed. Thousands are trying to get out of Gaza: medical patients, students, professionals working abroad and just travellers. Only a few managed to get through, maybe 70 crossed today.
This article was originally posted on Yedioth Ahranoth.