The Palestine Entries: Photos of Gaza at night

// Entry #11

I enjoy bright city lights and the hustle and bustle of a metropolitan area during the evening, but Gaza City’s nightlife surpasses my every desire.

In Chicago, very rarely will you see entire families walking through the streets or enjoying picnics in city parks after midnight. But in Gaza, the city is most alive during the night. Teenage boys lounge in coffeeshops and pass around hookah pipes. Children in dusty sandals kick soccer balls at each other in dimly-lit side streets. Families sit around fountains in the heart of neighborhood parks. Ice cream shops struggle to keep up with the growing lines. Street vendors sell neon lights, children’s toys, or salted watermelon seeds. The festive atmosphere lasts all night and begins all over again the very next day.

Nighttime photography is difficult for me, but it had to be done.

If they aren’t already out, families leave their homes at sunset and head toward busy ice cream shops or crowded but calm gardens. This is a view from my room’s window.

This is the same view as the previous photograph except that the sun is now completely set. Gaza has a mysterious orange glow to it. The bright lights at the bottom left corner come from Kazem, Gaza City’s most famous ice cream shop.

This is a street view of Kazem. Note the large packs of customers this shop attracts.

This building houses various television channel offices as well as a few coffeeshops which can be seen illuminated by bright colorful lights on the second floor. On the right is a small ducaana, the Arab equivalent of a corner store that sells everything from chocolate bars to screwdrivers to soccer balls to pickled carrots.

Even though it’s almost midnight, this toy store remains open to the public.

A street vendor sells nuts and seeds near a palm tree in the center of a public park.

Another street vendor sells bright and colorful toys in the center of a public park.

Horse carriages adorned with bright neon lights take families on rides through the city.

Isn’t this a beautiful city?

Sami Kishawi

There are 7 comments

  1. Layal

    These pictures can’t depict Gaza enough, with all that has happened, the Gazans live a beautiful life trying to go on with their normal lives. I just wish the media could show it like this.

  2. 48Refugee

    I love this post! For such a conservative area, it’s shocking how alive Gaza is at night! The only thing more beautiful than Gaza City is it’s people 🙂
    BTW did you ever try Kazem’s ice cream? It’s pretty gross hahahah but the Gazans love it!

  3. Carol Scheller

    So beautiful ! And even in the heart of the city, you can sometimes catch a whiff of jasmine from soneone’s garden and pluck a small sprig from a branch creeping over a garden wall …

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