The Israeli attacks that the Gaza Strip has suffered in recent years have left in their wake a large number of young people who have come up against a further barrier to their creative energies – physical disability caused by military aggression.
“When the [Israeli] shelling started, I gathered up my family and headed for what I though was a safe place, like a school, but then that became overcrowded and lacked sanitation, so we ended up in the grounds of the hospital.”
"My child became blind and lost the ability to speak, his dad died and his three brothers are seriously wounded. He still has not been told about the loss of his dad,” says the mother of 7-year-old Mohamad Badran.
As a result of over two weeks of Israeli bombardment, thousands of Palestinian civilians have fled their homes in the north of Gaza and sought refuge in schools run by the UNRWA, the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees.
"After graduating, I joined the thousands of other graduates on the list of the unemployed. Then I read about a project that offers a technology incubator for youth projects, applied, was accepted and now I’m no longer on that list!
The formation of a new Palestinian government between Fatah and Hamas announced on Monday is an important station on the path to reconciliation, “but there still many stations to be reached before achieving real unity based on partnership among all Palestinians.”
On the roof of a modest house amidst the alleys of Nusseirat refugee camp in central Gaza Strip, Ibrahim Sobeh and his sons spent more than 200 days working on a primitive device that converts waste plastic into fuel.
The nascent move for reconciliation between the Fatah party in the West Bank and Hamas which rules the Gaza Strip could change the balance in the Middle East – if it were to proceed and deliver as promised.
“If you want to live and receive medical treatment, you have my number, so you can call me and agree to my request. You will then get medical help, and survive.” The request, the patient said, was from an Israeli intelligence officer looking to recruit him in exchange for treatment.
Like almost everyone else in Gaza, these six are angry about the Israeli-imposed blockade and the resulting misery. Except that they are expressing their anger through music – without the music itself sounding angry.
The border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip used to buzz with activity until a few months back as traders brought in an array of Egyptian goods – from food supplies to raw material - through hundreds of tunnels.