The Palestine Entries: Everyday people

// Entry #39

Although under occupation, siege, and the steady threat of invasion, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip must continue with their everyday lives.

A Palestinian man sits in the shade of his storefront in central Gaza City.

In the Sabra neighborhood of Gaza City, Kareem sits with his father and brother during a family visit.

A Palestinian student holds one of two images of his brother currently detained in Israel’s Nafha Prison. Hussain Mustafa Al-Loh is serving a 99-year prison term without ever being formally indicted. His family, like many families in Gaza and elsewhere, await his return.

A Palestinian man drives his horse-pulled cart through the streets of Gaza on his way to work.

A Palestinian elder, known around Gaza City for his natural healing methods, shares a cigarette and black coffee with friends.

The man on the left has suffered from a minor skin condition for many months and has chosen to approach the elder for assistance. The elder prepares to remove the persistent skin growths by first sharpening a knife and then scraping the tops of the bumps. Next, he splits a bird seed with the same sharpened knife and inserts the seeds into a halved eggplant. The eggplant is hidden outdoors and, according to the rumor, the skin condition disappears as the eggplant rots.

After the procedure, the elderly man relaxes and awaits another round of black coffee.

A taxi cab driver and a passenger converse on their way to the final destination.

Malak, age 1, poses for the camera at an indoor cattleyard after watching a butcher prepare a goat for distribution among Gaza City’s needy.

A young Palestinian boy walks through his refugee camp in the city of Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip.

Children, holding new toys, stand before the camera after playing outside in the sandy streets of a Khan Younis refugee camp.

Children, presumably relatives, in Gaza City tease one another.

Two young Palestinian boys sit and converse on a curb in central Gaza City.

A Palestinian man looks out of the window on his way to a small amusement park built near the remains of empty Israeli settlements near Khan Younis.

A butcher prepares meat to be distributed among the poor. His butcher business and cattleyard, based in a suburb of Gaza City, is family-owned and operated. His children observe and learn from him.

A Palestinian boy sits patiently in the hot afternoon sun on the steps of his home in Gaza City. Most homes in the Gaza Strip feature prominent metal doors that serve as gated-entranceways into the home’s ground floor hallway.

Children pass a soccer ball on the roof of their home. It is a common occurrence to see Gazans sitting on their rooftops, especially during the cool summer nights.

A newly-wed Palestinian man fixes cell phones and sells protective cases in the Sabra neighborhood of Gaza City.

Melissa Franklin, an indigenous Native American based in the United States’ Midwest, toured through the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as part of a campaign to teach Palestinian children arts and crafts. Here, she sits at the Adam Hotel overlooking Gaza’s majestic coastline.

Palestinian youth operate a toy-and-food booth at a market in Gaza City’s historic market center. Markets span entire square miles and sell anything from imitation designer denim to baby onions to clay pots.

Two chefs prepare food at Palmera, one of Gaza City’s most successful restaurants.

Sami Kishawi

There are 4 comments

    1. Sami Kishawi

      Andreas, your trolling can’t change the facts you go out of your way to ignore:

      [Quoted from a previous comment you couldn’t respond to]
      Three of Gaza’s four borders are controlled completely by Israel. People and material imports/exports are restricted from entering or leaving. That is occupation. The fourth Gazan border, albeit under Egypt’s physical control, follows almost the same protocols employed by the Israeli forces manning the rest of Gaza’s borders. Israel pressures Egypt into maintaining complete closure of the border in order to further the isolation of a non-Israeli population. That is occupation. Israel engages in regular fly-overs in the skies above Gaza — airspace that Israel considers its own, not Palestine’s. That is occupation. The Israeli Navy performs constant manned patrols of Gaza’s borders, further preventing international ships from docking in Gaza’s harbor and limiting Palestinian civilian fishermen from traveling further than three nautical miles from the coast. That is occupation. Israel never declared war on Gaza when it launched a 22-day bombardment because Israel, still to this day, doesn’t consider Gaza (or Palestine, really) to be autonomous. Israel felt secure in launching an invasion against a territory under its de facto control. That is occupation.

  1. Noelle Clearwater

    Thank you, Sami. bless you for clarifying and speaking the truth. When the truth is spoken, everyone knows it. When someone attempts to misguide others either through ignorance or manipulation, it is more than obvious. I understand that Gazans are now under threat of a ground invasion from Israel because the P.A. is now a member of UNESCO. I don’t understand why the media is not covering this. Can you speak to this issue. I love the photographs that you have here. They bring such life, warmth and humanity to what seems such a dire situation most of the time. I am writing my thesis on Gaza’s children and wonder if I might use some of these photographs if they are yours citing you as the source of course. Let me know please and thank you.
    Salam,
    Noelle

    1. Sami Kishawi

      Noelle, I find the threat of invasion to be a perpetual one but during my stay over the summer, this appeared to be the last thing on peoples’ minds. I am not too well-versed on the threat of a future military invasion of Gaza but I can say that the possibility of a strike on Iran is dominating headlines and could also be serving as a ploy to attract attention away from Gaza and Israeli operations within the territory.

      Regarding the photos, you have my permission!

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