Tag Archives: Gaza

September 13

Palestinian Reading List #3: “Is 53 seconds long enough to gather my soul?”

I met the young and wonderful Rana Mourtaja during my trip to Gaza last year. She writes short stories mostly, but composed this essay during the 2014’s summer war on Gaza. During the war, Israeli military planes dropped small and often non-explosive devices onto rooftops to warn residents that the building was about to be […]

December 09

Trump and Gaza

I’ve just returned from a two month research trip to Gaza. I am having a hard time reading Donald Trump’s comments about prohibiting Muslims from entering the United States without thinking of what is happening in Gaza right now. Israel allows very few of Gaza’s 1.8-million residents – nearly all Muslims – to enter Israel. […]

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 […]

October 24

Gaza Dispatch: Post-war cooking in Khan Younis

Earlier this week I traveled south from Gaza City to Khan Younis to see how families displaced by last year’s war are feeding themselves. A group of ladies, a mother with an assemblage of daughters and daughters-in-law, invited me into their temporary “caravan” and showed me their remarkable kitchen. One fridge, a pair of gas […]

September 21

Writing Food: From Kelowna to Gaza

A couple of weekends ago I had the great pleasure of giving a talk at the Okanagan Food and Wine Writers’ Workshop in Kelowna. Many beautiful meals were consumed, much wine drunk, and many excellent discussions had about food writing, travel writing, and writing in general. In between meals and presentations, we toured Sandhill winery, […]