Photo of the Week: The streets clear in Palestine’s Sunset City

Photo credit: Dan Kitwood
Date taken: August 14, 2014
Location: Shuja’iyya, Gaza City, Gaza Strip, Palestine

Palestinians who had chosen not to flee from their Shuja’iyya neighborhood despite frequent Israeli shelling in the immediate vicinity begin to head home as the sun sets.

Nearly two thousand Palestinians had been killed by the time this photograph was taken, and Israeli soldiers would continue to operate in Gaza for twelve more days. Shuja’iyya would very quickly become recognized as one of the three hardest hit areas in the entire Gaza Strip. But, like the spirit of the Palestinian, the sunset remained unshaken and as vibrant as ever before. Weeks of bombardment couldn’t mute its colors.

A colleague and I once talked about appropriate nicknames for Gaza City based on our own individual experiences. In no other place in the world do sunsets always look so good, we agreed. The gradient of violet and orange — sometimes purple and gold or blue and peach — is breathtaking in the most literal sense. Sunset City just sounds so fitting.

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