Walls of a different kind in Palestine

It’s almost been an entire year since I traveled to the Gaza Strip. Much has changed since then and much has abandoned me in the form of forgotten thoughts, but the memories of my experiences in Gaza stick with me.

Having been to the West Bank only once in 2000 for a few hours, I’ve never seen Israel’s apartheid wall in person. As much as this is a blessing, I can’t speak much about the individual effect of that particular wall. The walls I’ve seen are of a different kind. Here’s a small album of photographs from my stay in Gaza as I reflected on all kinds of walls.

A multi-textured wall of walls stands just minutes from the seacoast in Gaza City.

A large stone hangs from a rope in front of a wall at a fancy hotel in the north of Gaza.

Inside of a small spice and produce shop in a Gaza market, the walls are lined with yellow boxes, yellow oils, yellow prayer rugs, yellow teas, and a variety of other colorful items.

The coastal road between Gaza City and Khan Younis is a place of solitude for many Palestinians where the seemingly infinite sea is complemented by the absence of walls.

Part of Gaza’s rather humble skyline gleams bright in the early morning sun.

One of the few International Red Cross buildings in the Gaza Strip remains illuminated throughout the night to signal to Israeli pilots up above that it is a civilian medical facility. Its walls are white with red accents.

The walls of nearby apartment buildings are illuminated by the bright lights of a¬†sahra. Family, friends, and community members spend the evening celebrating a soon-to-be husband’s upcoming marriage.

Gaza City’s Friday Market is located in a very old neighborhood complete with many short tunnels. The walls are lined with names and proud messages.

The lights are turned off inside the Great Mosque of Gaza, or the Great Omari Mosque, to keep the interior cool during Gaza’s intense summer heat. This structure was first completed in 1340.

The room I stayed in featured plain white walls and a single window. Just to the right of the window frame is the “journalist headquarters” where many Gaza-based news agencies, media networks, and reporters are located.

This graffiti piece says “The truth will set you free” and is one of many similar pieces found throughout the Gaza Strip. On another wall is a message that says “Free Kashmir”.

Two buildings, different in design, feature the same pockmarks along their front-facing walls. During the invasion of the Gaza Strip in 2008-2009, shrapnel from repeated shellings and missile attacks pierced holes in these walls. It is reported that a building used to stand in front of these two structures.

Sami Kishawi

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