On Mar 2, 2008 at 9:58 AM, Yusef wrote:
Subject: The children still playing..
The sun is going to sink in a short time. The sounds of a hidden helicopter still heard from time to another but the children still playing and shouting outside without giving any attention to these terrifying sounds, Strange isn’t !!!
The number of martyrs reaches 98 by now since Wednesday, people are burying the martyrs as quickly as they can because of the fullness of the freezers in hospitals, there’s no time to say goodbye. Even there’s no concrete to build the graves.
You are able to do the best you can, Do what ever it takes with these words.. Catch the ears of a few more people, let the knocked be heard.
Find Please the attached Photo.
Thank You for keeping in Touch. This gives me the strength to keep going. I really appreciate it.
With Love and Peace from the hottest place on the earth
On Tue, Mar 4, 2008 at 5:14 PM, Yusef wrote:
My dear dear friend Skip,
Thank You very much for your support and what ever you do to raise the sound of the poor people of Gaza…
Allow me to correct two points about myself in your kindly letter, the first about being fluent in French, and the second about the place where I work, it’s Tamer Institute for community Education- I’d told you once about it- and it’s a Non-Governmental organization working with children, adolescent and youth since 1989, http://www.tamerinst.org/ not the exact an adult literacy training organization.. BUT THANK YOU VERY VERY MUCH FOR THIS LOVELY INTRODUCTION ABOUT ME AND IBRAHEEM, I LIKE IT…
Sorry for being late in response… Electricity problems, hard work, university…etc but to tell the truth, I had a story which I think it must be told…
Today after finishing French translation and Novel classes at the university, I ran quickly to the office because I had many tasks to do, one of this tasks is to prepare for an introductory meeting for a new literacy project in Gaza strip about development the literature of adolescent through potential youth writers from Gaza, and by chance Ibraheem will be in the preparatory committee of this project so I called him today… and he says Hi to you… this is not the story any way…sorry.. The story about meeting a friend after finishing my work… I met him in Khanyounis, he is a very wonderful poet and for god sake he decided to marry a girl he loved for 8 years… I knew about his love story… I deeply know about his financial problems at the same time… but I was really happy for him in spite of my astonishment about the timing… I discovered that he wants to marry and he is jobless right now but he is capable to pay his marriage costs and living costs for 6 months only after the wedding, and that’s it… it’s not because he want marry that much but… he is a poet..!
Imagine that… Dear Skip
After had coffee with him, I had to get home because we heard in Radio that the security situation is very bad and there’s an Israeli invasion in a borderline area in Khanyounis, and while I was in the taxi… I have seen a very strange scene… a cat… a very lean cat sticking to a thin pipe of those carts that pulling by horses and donkeys… it was very dark… I’ve noticed the eyes looking at me very absurdly… the strange thing is that this cat was eating this iron pipe… Eating it as the word means… gnaw and bite it with an open mouth and a normal process of eating … perhaps this cat is eating that iron pipe till this moment… I thought it was because of the hunger, but after I come back home safely, and while I was washing my face… I realize the relationship between us (Palestinians), the cat eating iron pipe and my poet friend who wants to marry because he is a poet…!
GOODNIGHT FROM GAZA
Attached another hopeful smile of a Palestinian children
On Wed, May 21, 2008 at 6:32 PM, skip schiel wrote:
have i not responded to this powerful story of yours? have i allowed it to slip into my unanswered correspondence pile? have i cruelly let another dear friend down?
yes, yes, and yes.
your story is powerful and poetic. i’m still trying to digest it. you illustrate vividly the macabre nature of your experience in gaza. truly i wish to share your experience, both internally and to a wider group. i’ve sent you messages attesting to my feeble efforts to keep alive gazan struggles for justice and peace. i vow to do what i can, however minor and perhaps stupid.
would you allow me to put it on my blog? maybe with the photo of smiling kids you sent? i’ll make sure this morning that i’ve made your corrections. thanks for these.
i think i wrote you about a recent fund raiser in boston, bringing in over $13,000 which we donated to the gaza community mental health program and the middle east childrens’ alliance.
i’m distracted by many aspects of life in the states: love, money, comfort, various photo and writing projects, teaching, my family and friends, reading, watching videos (many about gaza and the west bank), and helping energize my fellow christians (quakers) to heed the suffering and struggles of palestinians.
so that’s me, for now, and you, dear friend. what’s your news? how is your spirit faring?
On Thu, Jun 5, 2008 at 4:21 PM, Yusef wrote:
Dearest Skip, my Dear friend form YU. AS. Ai
Hoping that every thing is alright with you, from time to another i visit your blog and website, searching for your news.. thanks for your continous posts and photos..
Sorry i didn’t replay to this message earlier, i was really in huge preussure, i have many exam in the university for my last semester, i thing i will be able to get my freedom when i graduate by the end of summer.. also i get another part-time job as a facilitator in workshops with young girls and youth about domestic-violence in addition to my work in the project of adolescent-literature at Tamer.. the problem of transportaition makes it difficult to be back at home easily so i stayed for 3 weeks in a friend’s home in Gaza.D.C!!
Situations here never changed, people still suffering from closure and occupation, i heared good news last afternoon about the president Abbas invited Hamas to talk.. i hope it will bring some kind of stability to our unstable society.. i have to tell you something, may be it will make you wondering and astonished..may be you heared about it before..
Because there’s no more petrol for cars, and after depending on cooking-gaz as a fuel!..Taxi-drivers used new material,, cooking-oil… its odor is very bad, its like when you walking near a burning woods. very bad of health as the doctors said.. imagine that.. they use cooking-oil to run their cars.. an immense and invisible cloud appears over Gaza strip.. it stifle over our souls to make every thing worst.. these poor people prefer to die rather than to surrender.. why israel doesn’t understnd this..? it is a crucial situation.. the taxi which is for 6 persons carries more than 10..2 in the front seat beside the driver, 4 in middle seat, 4 in last seat.. and if your chance makes you set beside one or two giants.. it will be your bad day..
when i begins to write to you. i was in a café in Omaralmokhtar st. waiting a friend.. suddenely guess who showed.. Luiza..! i was supprised.. Oh my god what the hell are you doing in gaza..when.. why.. Ok.. perhapse we could arrange a meal with friends.. bye.. bye.. i was really supprised.. She sends her hi’s to you..
THANK YOU for your kind letter.. very glad that the story toutches you,, of course it will be my honor to put it in your Blog..
about my spirit, it walks away and as i decalred before: no women no cry..!
Please Skip you told me once, when we were walking in the dark of streets of gaza, that you dreamen and your dreams come true sometimes.. can you please dream with all of those poor palestinianians… and help them by dreaming of new, peaceful, stable world for them and for their childrens?? i’m sure you will.. you and your friends and familiy… just help us by dreaming.. it’s a different invitation.. it’s an invitation of love that can helps us for sure..
All of my love and apperciation for you my friend..
From Skip to Yusef, July 14, 2008
your letter crushes me and increases my resolve to alert all i can to the plight of gazans, my friends. powering cars with cooking oil and then breathing the toxic fumes, what punishment! i’d like to put your letter on my blog and send the link to my list, if i may.
what has changed, if anything, since the calm, the ceasefire? people ask me about this all the time, and i’ve only heard from ibrahem so far. i concur with him: very little has changed and probably very little will change. what is your view?
for better news: last week, for 16 hours, i led a workshop called “the question of palestine and israel.” 16 people attended from all over the usa, the context was a quaker conference. i also showed my new slide show, “my trip to gaza,” which features searching for and maybe finding the site of rachel corrie’s murder. i’ve put photos and writing on my blog and website if you’re interested.
from late september thru early november i’ll be on the road on the west coast with my photos and stories, a tour. then the south for a few weeks, including maybe florida. in the spring i hope to tour new england, my region, and then next summer, inshallah, i’ll be back with you and friends for 3 hot summer months.
i hope your university experience is going well, that you’re studying hard and successfully, and that eventually you’ll be in france for higher education. that is your dream, is it not?
i shall also dream for you all that soon you’ll be free, healthy, happy, sane, and productive and loving.
but for now, not a dream, all my love and support,
your friend in the states,
From Skip on July 15, 2008:
friends in the struggle [including yusef],
for several years now folks have been planning a daring sea journey to enter gaza, to disprove the israeli claim that gaza is no longer occupied. have a look below, and please consider how you might participate.
i’ll be in gaza, inshallah, god willing, next summer, too late to greet the water borne voyagers. but just in time.
Breaking Into A Prison To Uphold The Law by Ramzi Kysia
I want to tell you a secret and I want to ask you a question. Shhh! – Come closer. Listen carefully: I’m part of an international conspiracy to break into the world’s largest open-air prison this summer by sea. Will you help me?
Free Gaza movement promotional video