Gaza, mortar fired by Israeli army into a farming area, 2009
In a Gaza hospital recovering from an Israeli sniper attack, 2004
Boston Marathon bomb explodes, April 2013 (Courtesy Boston.com)
Boston Marathon bombing, April 2013 (AP Photo/The Daily Free Press, Kenshin Okubo)
Excerpts from my journal and letters as I explore the situation in Palestine and Israel (originally written on April 18, 2013)
WARNING: SOME IMAGES ARE GRAPHIC AND MIGHT BE UPSETTING
Residing in Gaza, 7 times zones from Boston, I first learned about the Marathon bombings from my friend, S in Boston, whose friend was caught between both explosions. Her friend was certain she would die. I heard more from other friends in Boston and then when I arrived at the American Friends Service Committee office where I volunteer as a photographer and teacher of photography on Tuesday, April 16, 2013, one day after the bombing, I discovered most staff had heard about it, usually from news feeds on their smart phones. Apparently it is worldwide news.
American Friends Service Committee office, Gaza, April 2013
Gaza, March 2013
The AFSC staff here has been supportive of me—asking how I am, what I know, how I feel, etc. Never comparing it to violence here. But saying in effect, an injury to one is an injury to all. I do believe that suffering can enable compassion. The bombing reminds me of the Haymarket bombing in Chicago in the late 1800s. As some may recall, it led to a wave of arrests and several executions despite the lack of evidence. Yesterday’s anarchists, today’s terrorists.
I remain deeply troubled. I weep and feel anger at the same moment. Especially troubling is the cruel irony of so many legs lost at a marathon. Imagine: one moment, as you stand in the crowd marveling at how human beings can use their legs, perhaps feeling fatigued from standing so long waiting for friends to cross the finish line, thinking, how can I stand for one more moment—and then boom, no legs. Or feet or ankles.
(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Now we might expect another round of fear-base hysteria with its consequent tightening of security.
Already a report in The Jewish Press, “Gaza Arabs Celebrate Boston Marathon Attack with Dance, Candies:” Shortly after the bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon, the Arabs of Gaza danced in the streets, handing out candies to passersby, Israel News Agency reported….
Perhaps, but I witnessed or heard nothing like this. And among my friends and colleagues the precise opposite.
Gaza, the aftermath of various Israeli attacks, including white phosphorus (photos from the Internet)
From the director of the AFSC program in Gaza, Amal Sabawi:
Dear friends and colleagues in US,
We think of you and feel your pain , and think about the innocents people who are the victims of violence and unlawfully murder . We hope that you, your families , your children and friends be safe and secured , we pray that peace would prevail in this world and end the suffering of millions of innocents on this earth
You are in our hearts and thoughts
Love and peace is stronger than wars , on this earth what makes life worth living
Gaza with love
Skip Schiel teaching photography in Gaza, 2005 c (photo by Ibrahem Khadra)
TO BE CONTINUED
“Roseann Sdoia, Boston Marathon Bombing Amputee, Strides Forward” (PHOTOS) By Bridget Murphy, June 6, 2013
“Boston Marathon Terror Attack Fast Facts,” By CNN Library, June 9, 2013
Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli assault on Gaza, December 2008-January 2009 (Institute for Middle East Understanding)