Gaza,the sea and the people

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“Gaza would have been one of the most beautiful cities in Palestine if only…,” once you pass by Gaza’s populated beaches in summer this thought will come across you mind. And it’s so true.
When we first came here in late 1995, I remember, Gaza was still suffering the aftermath of the first Intifada. It was a somber place with maybe overall 7 or 8 restaurants on the seaside and the streets were mostly not asphalted yet. However, from that year -1995- till 2000 Gaza was changed remarkably; construction, tourism, and an airport!
Yet, with the start of the second Intifada, the airport was closed then totally destroyed-it was really nice btw. So,people no longer visited Gaza to see their families. And with the recent war on Gaza, the infrastructure and the construction were brought to almost complete destruction.
Now in 2009, options for Gazans to have a leisure time are not too many since the price everything is doubled; restaurants and cafés are highly expensive for the average families to afford, and most people don’t make money anymore.
So, summer, vacation, no electricity, and almost broke…where to go? Leisure time is necessary and for Gazans, who have been going through a lot to even to contain, is extra important.
One answer: the sea! Allah (swt) granted Gaza and its people by making it costal strip. Otherwise, I can’t even imagine what would happen to the people of Gaza!
Yesterday, my friend and I went to a café by the seaside called “Green Beach”. We had a really good time. However, we have a tradition once we go to the beach we must take a ride on a sea boat. In our search for a better boat barging, we had to walk along the shore. It was very populated as it is the weekend. Families and friends were swimming, eating and playing not caring about the scorching heat and the bites of jellyfishes. People usually spend both Thursday and Friday having a good time.
It is a beautiful scene to see how normal these people look, how normal life looks and how normal Gaza looks even though none of these is normal. Once you go to a nice place by the seaside, you’ll always have this feeling: Thank you Allah for the sea; it’s the one and only place that all the people can afford and can have fun in and “Gaza would have been one of the most beautiful cities in Palestine if only…,”
I took some footage of the sea. You can watch in the videoed slide show below.


Spacial thanks to Basama M for some photos taken by her and Nesreen Abu-Sultan.

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One response »

  1. Way to go linz. I enjoyed reading and watching and this video augmented wt u have mentioned. Even though I live in Gaza, going to the sea is the last thing to think of coz the beaches are overcrowded so we are not given the chance of enjoyin’ the tranquility of the sea. I wish if I could sit in front of the sea and read a book enjoying the beautiful breezes. However, Gaza is still my Homeland and my sweet-torturing prison.

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