Photo credit: Mohammed Abed
Date taken: February 11, 2015
Location: Gaza City, Gaza Strip, Palestine
Palestinians riding donkey-led carts cross through Gaza City’s Shuja’iyya neighborhood during a sandstorm. This neighborhood was among the hardest hit during Israel’s 50-day assault on the Gaza Strip last summer.
Gaza’s Shuja’iyya neighborhood is home to many refugees. Normally, it is crowded and bustling with sounds and smells, energy and life. But the invasion turned parts of it into a ghost town. Aside from the street vendors and taxi drivers who use the rubble-lined roads as shortcuts, there is an eerie emptiness about the neighborhood that only Israel’s top military strategists can be proud of.
I wonder if this is normal for Gaza. I’m tempted to say that it isn’t, that the rubble might have been cleared out to make room for new homes had this been six months after the 2008-9 invasion or six months after the 2012 invasion. Maybe people are tired of building and rebuilding and rebuilding and rebuilding. Maybe there just aren’t enough hands or funds to get the rebuilding project going again. I hope I’m wrong — I really do hope that I am. But more than anything else, I hope that we never have to see another photograph like this again.