Monday, October 09, 2006

Sometimes reality is just too grim

Palestinian women sitting in the middle of their demolished houses in Rafah. Rafah Today.

I've also been working on updating the Gaza section of a (fabulous) travel guide published by the Bethlehem-based Alternative Tourism Group. Its one of those kafkaesque type experiences, an exercise in the absurd.

I write about all of the wonderful experiences in Gaza, where to stay, what to do, and of course, an update on the humanitarian and political situation; yet as I write I realize in the back of my mind no one can GET IN to Gaza in the first place, unless they have a Gazan, Israeli-issued Palestinian ID or are UN staff or diplomats....

Its the same sort of experience I go through when I read about various restaurants or travel agents in the West Bank or East Jerusalem in the al-Quds daily paper: its not physically possible, yet everyone likes to pretend it is. I think its part of trying to psychologically imagine create a reality other than the one imposed upon us.

Laila Um Yousuf

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