// Entry #35
I use the word ‘escaping’ because that’s exactly what it felt like. Leaving Gaza, exiting through the notorious Rafah crossing — an experience that only adds to the plight of the Palestinian.
Upon arriving to the Gaza Strip, we were advised to sign up for an exit pass as soon as possible. Days later, we traveled to the Interior Ministry to bargain, quite literally, for an exit date. Our flights back to the United States were scheduled for July 18; we needed to be out of Gaza and inside Cairo’s airport half a day earlier. We produced photocopy evidence of our employment schedules, our school certificates, our American birth certificates, anything we could use to convince the guards that we needed to be out, safe and secure, by mid-July.
Jostling with others to keep her position in front of the guard’s safety-window, my mother managed to secure exit passes for July 14. If anything were to go wrong during our travels, there was still time after July 14 to attempt again to exit the territory. Just days into our trip to Palestine and we were already forced to formulate escape strategies.
Four weeks later, our time in Gaza came to a close. On July 14, we lugged our suitcases to a waiting taxi. It was 6 a.m. and we had to beat the crowd. [Read more...]