Gaza

I’ve been trying to put into words how I felt visiting Gaza. For the most part, I feel that I’ve failed. Hebron, clashes, everyday life, those I can express with the written word. Gaza defies that. The contrasts are too stark. The brutal poverty is too painful. The arrogance of…

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Wadi an-Nar

For the last three months, I’ve been hearing stories about Wadi al-Nar (pronounced WAdinnAR). It’s an ominous name. Wadi simply means “valley.” Nar, according to my handi-dandi Hans Wehr, means “fire” or “conflagration.” With the definite article (al), nar means “Hell.” The first person I heard talking about Wadi Nar…

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A Journalistic Rashomon

One of the things you notice living here is the vast difference in reporting. For the most part, the States has pretty homogeneous reporting when it comes to foreign events. Even for domestic issues, coverage is generally on the fair and even side. It reminds me of Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon,…

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Back to Ma’alufiyya–Plans mislaid

After a healthy breakfast of French toast, I left for Nigel’s. It was about noon, a little later, and even if I didn’t want to go back to Ma’alufiyye, I had to. Yours truly, the highly organized individual that he is, had left his wallet at “Communist Central” the night…

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Back to Ma’alufiyya

Nigel and Hanan and I went back to Ma’alufiyya/Arak/Khammara yesterday. A cursory glance at the site, just driving past, you would never have realized that there were clashes there. A few days previous–last Saturday night actually–I took a cab back from Jerusalem that passed by Ma’alufiyya (it is the main…

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There goes the sun

A fog has descended over Palestine. When I left the university this evening after helping Nigel prepare his recent diary entries, the sun had fled, and a dense mist had settled, obscuring the nearby hilltops. Bloody Middle-Eastern weather. In college, a professor of mine–Rashid Khalidi–kept talking about some malady that…

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Feeling Hurt

I have been exchanging some rather heated e-mail messages with a member of my family. (E-mail is really the best way for us to communicated, since my apartment has no phone, and to make a collect call on a pay phone via AT&T, I have to go all the way…

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Clash at Ma’alufiyeh

Nigel accused me of being a bleeding heart, knee-jerk liberal. Perhaps I am, perhaps not. It still doesn’t change the fact that my back hurts. “Why did I try to carry that kid?” [Photo right, resting my back] That is the question which I keep asking (and to which Nigel…

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Two stories

If you’ve visited this page before, you may notice that I changed all the names and removed the passport photos. I’ve decided from now on to substitute new names everywhere. Basically, Israel and the PNA monitor these sites to acquire information about who’s doing what. Neither of these two gentlemen…

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