Saturday, October 13, 2007

Happy Feast to all of you

Today is the second day of Eid here in the Arab and Muslim countries.. most of them at least!! i really can't understand how some countries see the new month's crescent while other countries don't... don't we all have the same moon or what?!!

As i was saying, today is the second day of Eid, and we got the chance to get out. according to Arab and Islamic customs, going out in the first day is a little bit hard, because men have to get out and visit all the sisters, aunts, relatives... etc in the first day, which makes it more like a visiting day.. while in the second day you can go out, that's if you don't have a big family, because if you do, visits may extend to the next day ;)

This is a simple ride that is all around Gaza, and unfortunately it lacks the slightest means of safety, but children love it, and wait for their turn in crowds.. even horses are stars in the Eid.. they are bathed and dressed so children can go for a ride around a block or two..

Crowds waiting for their turn in the only amusement park in Gaza..

Mmmmmmmmmmmm... cotton candy... it's called here "shaer banat" which means "girls' hair" :D

A cute girl eating the cotton candy.. and you can see my little devil sitting in the end... he's drinking juice because there isn't any sodas in Gaza because of the closure.. only locally made juices..

And of course, what's Eid without taking your kidz to the biggest toy store in town and making them drive you crazy???!!!

In the End i would like to take the chance and wish you all a happy Eid.. Eid Mubarak.. and Inshallah many returns :D

Monday, October 08, 2007

an eye on gaza

I always wanted to give you my dearest readers a chance to take a little look into Gaza City.. and at last, here is the chance...

After long and hard trials, i finally managed to collect 102 beautiful pictures of Gaza City into one video. And you my faithful readers are the first to see it..

so, thanx to me and my great efforts...he he he "Joking" :D but nothing of this could have happened if it wasn't for the help of my dear lovely friend "faith"... so thank you dear.. thank you a lot ...

and now... let me hear some drums... i would like to introduce my first published home made video..

please don't judge me.. it's my first ;D

Hope that you liked the music.. it's Mais Shalash's song "Sabah El-Kheer" "Good Morning".. :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

What Ramadan's all about ;)

Ramadan is one of the most greatest annual events in the arab and muslim world... it's a month when we muslims fast from dawn till dusk, and exert all efforts to read the Holly Quran for at least once during this month, and we also try to do all the good deeds possible hoping for forgiveness...

What's really funny is that we twisted the concept of Ramadan, it's meant for us to feel the suffering of the poor and the underprivileged, and to concentrate on worshiping not food and daily life... now Ramadan means food and food and lots and lots of food !!! There is even a certain type of arabic sweets that's specially made in Ramadan and only Ramadan.. it's "Qatayef".. just follow the link and you can find the recipe.

Qatayef is a dough that can be stuffed with different stuffings, some stuff it with cheese, others with walnuts, raisins and cinnamon and some even stuff it with cooked cream "Qishta"... it's really delicious, i love it.. but haven't done it yet this Ramadan.. maybe tomorrow :)

Another Ramadan related activity is "fire crackers"!!! seems that children only play with fire crackers in Ramadan. I can't figure out the connection, but looks like it's a ritual or something like that :s I'm afraid that i'm gonna turn deaf by the end of Ramadan, either that or i'll get a heart attack cuz of the continuous booms!!! he he he he

A symbol of Ramadan also is the "fanous" i don't know what's called in english but you can see how it looks from the pictures attached. In arabic traditions children should carry these small lamps and wonder around in the neighbourhood singing special old songs from the arabian heritage, like "wahawy ya wahawy" and "hallo ya hallo"and other songs, now the "fanous" is already singing the song by it self.. which also drives me crazy because it keeps going on and on and on..... :)

Ramadan Kareem................... :)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Ramadan Kareem

I'm back :)

I've been busy the last couple of weeks trying to figure "Photoshop"out...

i really love this programme, i bought the CD and watched a dozen of these video tutorials on "You Tube"... the potentials and possibilities of this programme are... huge.. really...

as you can see... i designed a header to my blog, it still needs finishing up.. i know, it can turn up a hundred times better... gonna work on it later..

I also designed some cards for Ramadan... i'm attaching some in this post... hope that you'll like them..

If you want any card dedicated specially to someone.. send me


Saturday, September 01, 2007

Back to school...

It's school... again!!!

Today, we started a new scholastic year here in Gaza, and all over Palestine..

This year children have to face too many obstacles, not that they haven't faced any in previous years, but as i said earlier, this year is "different", the first and most important obstacle is the infighting, people are scared that the fight will find its way into school rooms, which -if happened- may cause huge and terrible consequences.

The other major obstacle is suffering from is the extremely bad living conditions since last January, because of the international economic embargo on Hamas, which has increased after Hamas taking over Gaza and the closure of all crossing points either from or to Gaza.

Many students haven't bought new uniforms or bags for school this year, as most of the employees haven't received a salary for more than 6 months now, families are knocking charity organizations' doors looking for any assistance...

Another obstacle is the teachers' threatening to strike, as they haven't been paid also... which imposes children to find themselves in the middle of all what's happening and a tool of pressure on the two governments.

another ironic obstacle is the duality of governments, according to which government will the exams be? or even the weekly holiday... will it be Saturday or Thursday...!? i wonder...

What can i say but... "have a good year" and by the way... "Ramadan Kareem" :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Darkness in Gaza

I'm holding my pen, not knowing where to start from...
Should i start with the ongoing show of killing and shooting of innocent people either by palestinians themselves or by israelies?

Or should it be the closure of Rafah Crossing (El-Mabar) and the increasing numbers of people stranded on the Egyptian side?

Or maybe i should talk about the salaries of thousands of poor PA employees who haven't received a penny since months, without any obvious reason... looks like everything is going wrong with out a reason from the first place!! which also reminds me of the large piles of garbage almost blocking Gaza's streets and the awful fumes that can knock you dead, all over the coastal strip, because of the municipality labourer's strike.. they also aren't receiving any salaries!!

Perhaps it should be the Decision of the EU to cut it's supplies of Fuel to the Strip, which allowed Isreal to announce "also" it's decision of cutting the Electricity supply it provides to Gaza. Well, looks like electricity now is also used in this revolting game of "who cracks first" that everybody is playing.. i think they are calling politics now a days... the only ones loosing and suffering and also "cracking" are the simple citizens... who have nothing to do with all this nonsense..

Schools are opening in few days, Ramadan is approaching and then comes Eid..all events that are known to be met with wonderful ceremonies and cheerful celebrations in such a way that makes you forget all the bitterness and sadness that we are all living... but this year.... it's different. You walk around in the streets, you see people with dark faces.. hollow looks... nothing is the same anymore. before we lived and went through bad and rough times, but... in the end, we still had each others. but now, it seems that we loosed everything, maybe even our cause... i'm afraid.

You rarely hear the word "Palestine" anymore, you switch the channels -in the few hours we have electricity in-, looking for any news about Jerusalem and the tunnels dug beneath it, but also.. zip.. nothing.. sigh.. All you can see are politicians throwing accusations here and there, pointing fingers and looking for someone to blame.

So much for a happy summer vacation... could things get any worse?!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Global Warming ?!@#

Living in Gaza doesn't mean that we aren't concerned with all that's going out there, cuz believe it or not... WE TOO LIVE ON THIS PLANET !!

Got an e-mail earlier about this polar bear... naa, won't tell you the rest.. the clip speaks for its self..

the video is funny, but at the same time, it carries a harsh truth that we are destroying our planet by our own hands...

Saturday, August 11, 2007

From Gaza....

These are some pics that i took while wondering around in Gaza City....
A florist shop.. most of the flowers are artificial ... :)

The destroyed statue of the "Unknown Soldier".. in the middle of Gaza City.

A gardener sprinkling water in the garden of the "Unknown Soldier"

Some roomers of a salary for the PA employees who haven't received their salaries for 2 months or more have spread...

"Shawermah" one of the most popular meat sandwiches in Gaza, and maybe in the arab world..

Al Rimal Street

The donkey is still considered to be one of the most popular means of transportation in the strip.. i'm still scared of them..

Sunday, August 05, 2007

A typical hot day with no electricity ;)

Today was a very very hot day... and lucky us.. it was our turn in the electricity schedule i told you all about earlier... sigh.. :(
My son and his father couldn't stand the heat.. so here is what they did :-

My husband showering my son with a water hose.. :)

Raed trying to escape the shower attack

The whole camp came to play around and watch ;)

Ah... at last... my husband is being attacked... by other kidz.

Raed threatening to feed them all to the lion... his loyal friend..

Raed telling me all about his adventure...

Friday, August 03, 2007

every cloud has a silver lining

the last couple of weeks were.... can't describe it with a word less than "hell"... i've been in and out of hospitals and private clinics, and in the end, i came down into one and only fact, medical care in gaza sucks!!!! i used to think so at first but now i really believe it...

I've been in a medical crisis at the first place because of a medical error, two weeks ago, and since then until today i've been everything but fine... :(

the funny thing is that while being in the hospital numerous number of doctors stand around you and try to prove there stupidity one way or the other, each of them gives an opinion that could have made me laugh if it wasn't me the subject of argument!!! one of them was insisting to take me into surgery the other was blabbering something about exploration!!!! me... they actually want to explore ME !!
I've always heard about a "near death experience" and how you see ur whole life flashing in front of ur eyes... but.. that didn't happen to me... i wonder why? the only thing i was worried about and thinking of all the time was... "what will happen to my son... my sweet little duckling.. "raed""..
"every cloud has a silver lining".. and that really proved to be right, during my illness, my friends proved to be true friends, they've helped me get through my rough times and made me feel a lot better...they didn't leave me alone even for a single moment... they felt for me.. they cried for me... and most important of all... they made me laugh in my darkest hours... :) That's why i would like to thank them all for helping me and cheering me up.. and i'd like to specially thank Rana, Nuha, Hana, Fadwa.... thank you all... you are really my guarding angels...

Friday, July 27, 2007

a schedule for life...

It's funny how our lives is plugged to electricity in this strange way, imagine living without electricity for 4 hours everyday...what will you do? i couldn't imagine it too, until i received this new "SCHEDULE" of electricity!! yup, they will cut the electricity in these hot days according to a schedule, imagine that!!

I didn't care at the beginning, i thought : "ah, at last, i'll be forced to do some tasks and chores that i've been pushing away and postponing all through the week".. but when the moment of truth came, i felt as if i couldn't breathe, as if even air is generated by electricity :( didn't know how to do anything, my whole life depends on electricity... TV, radio, washing machine, microwave, iron, vacuum cleaner.... and most important of all... my computer....

was walking around the house, tidying up, nothing big, when the electricity suddenly died, i freezed, as if a part of me died . i looked around in denial, trying to convince myself that the bulb has burnt out or something, but it really was the electricity.. i stopped doing anything and threw myself on the couch, counting seconds until the electricity comes again... funny how you can't even do anything without electricity...

My poor son is also a tv addict, specially the Tom and Jerry show, he can't live without it, if it's not on tv, it's on the dvd, if it's not, then it's on the computer, over and over and over again, so when the electricity dies, he does nothing but cry, so i downloaded a couple of shows on my mobile phone, just to shut him up...

We've been escaping this hot weather the last couple of days by going to outdoor restaurants so raed can play a bit.. cuz, in gaza, there are no parks or large green landscapes where children can play, the only place available is the street, and there's no way that my son will grow up to be a street boy...

still trying to find something useful to keep myself busy... hope that this "schedual" won't last for a long time.... cuz i'm scheduling my life according to it :(

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

It's ture... ;)

I got this e-mail from a dear friend... and it really made me laugh my head off ... :)

here it is :

What they really mean......
9 Words Women Use

1.) Fine: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

2.) Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

3.) Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.

4.) Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

5.) Loud Sigh: This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to #3 for the meaning of nothing.)

6.) That's Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements a women can make to a man. That's okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

7.) Thanks: A woman is thanking you, do not question, or Faint. Just say you're welcome.

8.) Whatever: Is a women's way of saying $%#@ YOU!

9.) Don't worry about it, I got it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking "What's wrong?" For the woman's response refer to #3.

Send this to the men you know, to warn them about arguments they can avoid if they remember the terminology.

Send this to all the women you know to give them a good laugh, cause they know it's true

wish that you liked it........ i did :)

Monday, July 16, 2007

Forgetful's day out

Forgetting things is one of my best qualities .. he he he... I should be named "FORGETFUL" after that silly old puppet on sesame street.

yesterday my husband said dreamily.. " ah.. how about making us ladies fingers "or okra" for lunch..", "but we don't have any" were the words that were coming out from my mouth..." but i twisted it to "but we... didn't eat spaghetti for a long time.."... i suddenly remembered something about him bringing me "ladies fingers"or "okra" a week ago or so...

I waited for him to leave and rushed to the fridge, and there it was, a small plastic bag wrapped tightly in the bottom shelf of the fridge, left all alone in the corner, i opened it with my eyes tightly closed, "i hope it's still good, i hope so, please GOD, pleeaaaaasssssee"....... but "BLACK" is the only thing i saw, black mushy ecky stuff, i was completely disappointed, but NOP, will NOT despair..

Today i found some free time at work and ran to the nearby fruit and veges shop, "Ammo Imad" or "Uncle Imad" in English, it's my first time ever to enter a green shop ever since coming to gaza, my husband does all the shopping!!

i was really glad to see all these types of locally planted fruits and veges, they are so beautiful and ripe, so green and nice, specially the mango, it was sitting there with it's beautiful color and gorgeous smell, i just wanted to eat it.. all of it... ' i would have, but my friend was holding me tightly... he he he

i bought the okra and left the shop, feeling so happy and proud at the same time.. proud of our local production, i believe that it can compete the production of the first world countries despite all the surrounding circumstances and restrains that directly effect our production and the bad conditions that our farmers suffer from, and also proud of myself for two completely different reasons, one: escaping the blame of letting the okra rotten in the fridge and second for depending on myself and entering a green shop for the first time in my life :)

by the way, lunch was just perfect... he didn't notice ;)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The impossible

here we go again... looks like happiness or even what is so called "normal life" is an impossible dream for us in palestine and specially in Gaza... :( there has been an Israeli incursion to our neighbourhood last week, which resulted in 11 martyrs, all of them are under 25 years old, just young men, who haven't even started their lives yet...

Imagine, 11 grieving families, 11 grieving mothers..... loosing a son is so hard, it's devastating... my sister lost her 4 months little boy 2 years ago, and is still suffering till now.... so how will a mother who has raised a son for over 20 years, and saw him growing day after day in front of her eyes,nursing him, feeding him, taking care of him for 2 decades.. and suddenly.. he is's really unbearable.
As a neighbour in a small and limited society like Gaza, you must at least know one of them, and sadly i did... my friend's brother died... he is just 22 years old, i went and tried to offer her some kind of support, but she was a wreck, i tried to feel her pain, but i couldn't... i have a brother who lives in England, and just the thought of loosing him drives me crazy, and it's been now 8 years since i last saw him... so how will she feel... living with him all day, talking to him, sharing him his dreams and thoughts?!
All this is happening while we are still fighting... who is Fatah and who is Hamas, still pointing fingers and looking for someone to blame.. still throwing accusations here and there... i'm trying to put some sense into what i'm going through right now... but nothing comes across my troubled mind but "madness".... complete and absolute "madness"...

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Alan Johnston

Today I woke up at this wonderful news... at last and after 115 days of abduction.. Alan Johnston was finally freed :)..."i am so glad to be free" was his first words to the media, the poor man didn't even have the slightest hope that he will ever be freed..

The situation in Gaza was so tensed the last couple of days, as there were small and limited clashed between what is called "Army of Islam" -which is a name taken for a powerful clan here in Gaza, Dughmush clan- and Hamas Executive Force... which led to the arrest of some of the people involved in Alan's abduction...

Alan appeared to be fine, but he has lost a lot of weight, he has stated that he had the opportunity to see his hair longer than usual :), it's good to see that he still has a little sense of humor left... specially after being imprisoned in a little dungeon for over 4 months and specially after being photographed with an exclusive belt wrapped all around him.
"The last 16 weeks have been the very worst of my life," he said. "I was in the hands of people who were dangerous and unpredictable."
"I literally dreamt many times of being free and always woke up back in that room." these were his words in a press conference alongside Hanyia this morning.

After being freed, he was taken to Haniya's house, where they stayed for about an hour, then he headed home, where he collected his belongings..

I just got the news that Alan has left Gaza and heading home, he has stated that he will take a LONG vacation, and then he maybe consider coming back to Gaza... personally, I don't think he will ever come back ;)

The details of the deal that led to freeing Alan weren't announced, maybe they will be announced later, but what really matters is that the reporter is now heading home, with a little smile on his face, waiting to see his family and loved ones

Finally Alan, your dreams will come true... take care and goodbye ;)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

A trip to the beach

Yesterday was a very hot day, and for our unfortunate luck, the electricity power was off our neighbourhood, so we decided to spend the day at the beach... so, after coming back from work, I prepared everything we needed in a blink, extra clothes, snacks, towels and raed's toys.... and off we went at about 5:00 p.m...

We imagined that the beach will be empty, as we are in the middle of the week, it's Monday, i thought, but we were shock to find the beach full of hundreds and hundred of families, who had nothing to do but to try to forget their terrible life, and desperately try to shake away all the memories of the last couple of weeks.... really tragic memories... and now after Hamas taking over Gaza, no one even goes to work, only NGOs are the active institutes here in Gaza...

So, we sat our tent, the sun was so hot, and my son yelled in happiness... "Mama.. gonna swim..... in the sand" my son *cough* chicken *cough* doesn't even dare to come close to the sea, he is so afraid of it... he thinks that there is a big fish waiting to eat him... I looked at my husband and he looked back at me, we both had the same devilish idea in our minds in the same time, so, i grabbed "raed" from one hand and his father from the other and ran to the sea... we tossed him away and "SPLASH"... I ran to grab him... and it was a BIG surprise when i found him laughing and saying "AGAIN... DAD... AGAIN"... it is the first time ever for raed to enter the sea...

I also had my first golden opportunity to have a small dip in the sea, it's the first time for me since coming to Gaza before 7 years... i really had great fun splashing around and playing with my son and husband.... :)

Me and raed went on a quest to find the perfect shell, but there wasn't a shell that was that perfect, but we were lucky to find a little tiny winy crab... raed was sooooo happy to see a crab... he ran after it, chasing it from here to there, when suddenly i heard that beautiful gentle sound, i looked around, searching.... and there he was, a complete stranger walking on the shore playing his flute in a way that can't be described by anything less than "magical" specially with the sound of the waves in the background...

we left at sunset.... i really had a good time....raed did too, it was a trip that's full of first times.. raed's first time to have a swim in the sea... and my first time in Gaza too.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Suffering at Rafah Crossing...

A 31 year old palestinian mother passed away today after being stranded in the Egyptian side of Egypt - Gaza border (Rafah Crossing) for more than 20 days. The poor woman (a mother of 5) was suffering from cancer, and went to Egypt seeking medication, as Gaza is very poor with medical expertise. Her parents and family are calling all medias so they can receive her body and give her a proper burial...

More than 6 thousand palestinians are stranded in Egypt, waiting to get back for their families and homes, in very difficult conditions, the weather is so hot, that the temperature exceeds 40 degrees, and some of these people haven't any money left, a palestinian father had to sell the presents he bought for his children in order to pay for the hotel's charges. Another palestinian ran out of money and is spending his nights in coffee shops or wondering around to find a proper place to shut his eyes, even for just a couple of hours..

Travelling is a pleasure all over the world, but here, in Gaza, it's a journey of agony, fear and pain... nobody dares to leave the strip but in extreme conditions such as medication and education... A friend of mine is absent from work for over 3 weeks now, i thought that she was on leave, and was so concerned about her long absence... it appeared that she is stranded too at Rafah Crossing, she went to have a laser surgery in Egypt.. wonder what is she doing now.
Nobody even tried to put himself in the shoes of these people, having to wait for days and days so you can go back home for your wife and children, where there are no lobbies or rest points, you have to stand in the middle of the street or set on the side of the pavement, under the steaming sun... but the Egyptians were thankful to give the palestinians some camps... don't want to talk about that, because it really is humiliating...

The sad thing is that these thousands of palestinians didn't matter enough for the Arabic World or the Global community to even mention there suffering and try even a little to solve their problem...

There is nothing left to say, if you want to know more news about these poor people go to