Monthly Archives: November 2015

November 27

Gaza Dispatch: Leaving

I always feel a sort of melancholy at the end of a long trip. But tonight, my last in Gaza, feels different than those other last nights. This is because leaving Gaza is a privilege afforded to very few. For all the anxiety of crossing Erez back and forth – the gathering of permits and […]

November 23

Gaza Dispatch: Dinner

Middle East travel tip: If a local – especially a local woman – asks you what you know about the indigenous cuisine, plead ignorance. This almost always leads to an invitation for dinner. About a week ago, one of the poets I had the honour of meeting here in Gazan, Donia Amal Ismail, asked me […]

November 11

Gaza Dispatch: The Reliable Mediterranean

Last week, writer Mona Abu Sharekh toured me through the Shati Refugee Camp, or ‘Beach Camp,’ in Gaza City. “I can’t imagine how anyone can live away from the sea,” Mona said as we walked along the road edging the shoreline. For Gazans, the sea provides the only glimpse of a horizon. Hemmed in by […]

November 01

Gaza Dispatch: “Maybe your legs. Maybe your heart.”

Last week I traveled to Shujaia to meet farmer Abdusalam al-Manasrah. His family has owned land near Gaza’s eastern border since Ottoman times. “Every speck of soil is mixed with my sweat and the sweat of my father, my grandfather and my grandmother,” he told me. The family tended olive trees on the land for […]