Amani Alfarra is from Gaza, currently studying for her PhD in hydrology in Germany. We met in May 2006, in Gaza, while she was writing a report for the United Nations about the water situation in Gaza. She needed photos so I toured the entire region with her. I’ve slightly edited her writing.
Jan 16, 2009 at 3:16 PM
We hope at the end our voices will be heard and someone will feel the people’s pain in Gaza and help them. For 2 days now I can’t speak with my boys.
Even waiting for things to be improved is quite hard, my friend.
Jan 16 at 9:22 PM (Gaza is 7 hours ahead in time)
Oh Amani, I’m so sorry to learn that you have boys still in Gaza. I shall pray.
By Joe Devoir
Jan 16, 2009 at 3:32 PM, Amani Alfarra <email@example.com> wrote:
I thought you knew. Don’t worry. I am just praying to God to keep them safe until things cool down and I find a way to take them out. I am sooooooooooo unhappy, my friend.
When I called them, trust me, I hold my self hard. They have no electricity, no bread. When their father could find some wheat for bread, that was good for them. Every day they make a fire to keep warm.
I try and try to call them to find out if they are still alive. For the third day now I can’t contact them. So can you imagine how hard waiting is?
What did all these children do to deserve this life besides being born as Palestinian-Gazan?
Life is hard my friend
An Israeli soldier prays next to ammunition on the Israel-Gaza border, Monday Jan. 19, 2009. Israeli officials say troops will leave the Gaza Strip before Tuesday’s inauguration of Barack Obama as the new U.S. president. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
Jan 16 at 3:51 PM
At the beginning my ex-husband took them from me. But I had hopes that one day we might meet again. Now I am afraid the war will take them and I can’t see them at all.
Jan 19 at 12:29 PM
My Kids! I just spoke to them, el-Humdila (thanks be to god). Two days ago the Israelis pumped something into the area. During the night while my oldest son was sleeping the window broke and collapsed on his head. El-Humdila, he is ok. Some wounds but no problem, he is ok, still alive. This was God’s mercy that he doesn’t want me suffer.
Thanks for asking, my friend.
Amani Alfarra, Beit Lahiya, Gaza Strip, May 2006
My photos while traveling with Amani Alfarra, Gaza, May 2006
CEASE FIRE NOW!
Large Gush Shalom ad – published in Haaretz, December 30, 2008
This war is inhuman, superfluous and harmful. Nothing good for Israel will come out of it!
The killing of hundreds of Palestinians and the destruction of the infrastructure of life in the Gaza Strip are abominable acts. Those who hope to reap electoral profits from them are greatly mistaken.
A ground invasion will cause even greater harm, destroy what is left in Gaza and cause many casualties – Israelis and Palestinians, soldiers and civilians.
If, after hard battles, the Israeli army will succeed in conquering the ruins of Gaza, the result will be, at most, to drive Hamas underground and to increase their influence both in the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank.
The attack, which has already deepened the hatred, will
AROUSE the whole civilized world against us,
RAISE all over the region a new generation that will hate the State of Israel even more,
INCREASE the impact of Hamas,
UNDERMINE even more the status of peace-seeking Palestinians,
PREVENT Palestinian unity, without which there can be no peace.
On behalf of thousands of Israelis who have demonstrated in the streets of Tel-Aviv within hours after the start of the war, we demand:
– To stop at once the attack on Gaza!
– To propose – and to maintain – a cease-fire that will include the end off all violent actions by both sides, a real opening of the border crossings and the termination of the blockade against the population of the Gaza Strip.
– To start a dialogue with Hamas. Hamas is an integral part of Palestinian society and the Palestinian political system. Without their participation, all negotiations and agreements are meaningless.
Boston, January 10, 2009