Thursday, February 5, 2009
Goodbye Gaza - till we meet again!
GOODBYE GAZA! After 10 days in Gaza, and meeting all sorts of people, my team and I left Gaza with a heavy heart. We had befriended many people during that time, from our chain-smoking driver to officials who guided as throughout the mission. There were seven of us in the team, and each of us have fond memories of Gaza and its people. When we got word that foreigners were advised to leave Gaza, the team agonised whether to leave or stay. Staying would mean facing all sorts of risks. My team argued that the risks would be the same as when we first entered, except that the possibility of an escalation in the attacks seemed more probable now. I'll be writing more in the next few days, especially when Internet line is better once outside Gaza. We made our way to the Rafah Gate and onwards to Cairo for more meetings with friendly NGOs to plan for a more sustainable humanitarian work in the coming months. I recall the words of the Christian priest, Father Mussalman, who said: "No one is free until Gaza is free..." Truly, Gaza has touched many a foreigner's heart.