Deaths on a Gazan beach

Reading the news on the daily occurring tragedies in Gaza and the present political impasse makes me feel distressed.
I couldn't imagine, being a privileged middle eastern woman living in the West, how people live their daily lives in Gaza. How can they work, move, earn their living, tend to their daily needs, let alone breath freely, admire beauty, feel happy, hope, love, dream and think about the future ? But the feeling is there, inside me, resting on the empathy or the implicit understanding I have for people living under tragic circumstances and stemming from my own memories of the Lebanese civil war that still vivid despite the passage of time. I myself, in a not so far past, have gotten to feel despair, feel that my life was not worthy, lose the sight of hope and of any personal future, carried away by events happening outside my own will, created by the political and military chaos which had gotten hold of me, waking up every morning with mixed feelings of anger, fatigue and profound loss.

With the heavy feeling triggered by the unfolding events in Gaza and my own personal memories of the Lebanese civil war, I would consult a map of Palestine and Gaza. I would look at Gaza, this tiny strip of less than 50 Kms long and between 6 and 14 kms large on the meditterranean sea, surrounded by hostility, hate and war. I would then ask myself: ''If I was a Gazan, where would I go for some relief, away from these daily tragedies, to dream and hope for a better time ?''
My eyes would stare at the Meditterranean and I would think that Gazans, looking for a break from daily violence, misery and tragedy, have at least the sea with its wonders, beauty, murmur, seemingly eternal life and the promise of a future, of someone friendly coming from the sea, from other shores. I would think that Gazans could go to the beach at the end of the day looking for the sweetness of a breeze, a moment of intimacy, a laugh, a play and the pretense of a normal life and the blessing that comes with it...And I would feel momentarily appeased.

The last days news of the killing of a Palestinian family picnicking on the beach in Gaza at the hands of the Israeli army were deeply distressing and unsettling for me. I no longer will be able to see the Meditterranean near Gaza with the same hopeful eyes and I will have to live with the fact that Palestinians are trapped in a place at the edge of Humanity, deprived of beauty, hope and love, surrounded by violence and left forgotten by the entire world and by Arabs, at the mercy of a Palestinian Authority with no authority subdued by an occupation state with ruthless force and no morality...


Cosmic Duck said...


This is a beautiful post. You make a very moving blend of the poetic voice and a deep concern about the political situation.

The international community bears a big part of the blame for the situation in Palestine. The freezing of the funds for the PA has put a whole people in jeopardy.

Sophia said...

The blog is becoming more and more a place where I can vent my personal distress at the news of the ME and I thank you for letting me know your appreciation !

Anonymous said...


The scene is heart rendering. These people that do this are monsters.

They are intent on terrorizing all of us and destroying any hope of peace. How can can the leaders talk of peace and negotiations in this atmosphere.

I firmly believe that peace is not in Israel's interest and that any time there are any moves in that direction we can expect an atrosity as happened in Gaza's beach. Your previous post talked about the masacre in sabra and shatila.

Arafat had negotiated an extensive 12 page agreement with Philip Habib in August 1982 . I believe that he was about to borrow some plays from Sadat. He was about to declare that the Palestinians had stood up to the Israelis and achieved a victory and that it was time to sit down and negotiate a settlement.

By his exit from Beirut he was no longer under the constraints of Mashreq politics .

Habib offered him protection for his fighters and the civilians left behind. Arafat reciprocated by hinting that he was willing to accept 242 and 338 to Congressman McCloskey.

The Israeli leadership was frantic about this new relationship and Arafat's peace overture.

Sharon's answer was the Sabra and Shatila massacre which put an end to any Palestinian leader's hope of peace talks. Over 3000 people were killed under the watchful eyes of the Israeli military. almost as many as the Americans killed in 9/11.

Talk of peace with Israel always results in assassinations ,massacres and more land confiscations.

If Israelis think that this strategy will be successful. They are sadly mistaken. They have lost their chance to make peace and will have continue this deadly dance.


Wolfie said...

I too found this news item particularly disturbing. A family sitting on a relatively quiet sandy beach should feel safer than anywhere else, they are so much like the dunes at Littlehampton I played at as a boy, then seeing the gun-boat off the coast like some ugly fascist symbol was pretty chilling. What pitiful excuse will the captain of this vessel offer us I wonder?

Of course the press here are already bored of it and its back to reporting extra-judicial militant executions. [sub-text] ... I think you can guess ...

Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

I'm traveling abroad with slow/erratic internet connection...

The truth is that Israelis be they "heartless Likudniks" or enlightened "progressive types" have absolutely no respect for the life of Ayyrabz.

In that, as in many other respects, they are truly the brothers in arms (or shall I say partners in crime?) of their friends and family at the Pentagon and the office of the Vice-President....

Sophia said...


''If Israelis think that this strategy will be successful. They are sadly mistaken. They have lost their chance to make peace and will have continue this deadly dance.''
TRUE. Thius is why I think that a peace settlement is actually in the inetrest of israel. The destinies of the jewish and the Palestinian people have ebcome entangled in one destiny. However Israel analyses the situation from the point of view of absolute force and this is not helping them actually think well !

Sophia said...


Sadly there always traguc events everywhere in the world. Palestinians are not actually the only ones to live tragically. However, what irritates me is the way events in Palestine are reported: they are heavily reported when compared to other tragic events but they are misreported and the amount of biased information is actually killing the real information when it comes to Palestine !

Sophia said...


Lucky you. Are you sailing the caribbean sea again ! did you have time to look at the Brammertz report ? It is on Al-Tayyar's website. What Brammertx says is that they are looking at all motives possible for the assassination of Hariri, including financial motives and personal vendettas. Also, the bureaucracy of the whole enterprise is becoming real heavy. They need more staff, it is listed at the end and it is disturbing to see that the whole world is paying attention to such a crime while other monstruous crimes are taking place everyday in total silence.

Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

Hi Sophie,

This time around I'm only sailing between Sicily and North Africa.

As for Brammertz, I'm afraid he's just another hapless Eurocrat forever lost "sous les tropiques".

"What do general inspectors do? They inspect generals" as a famous US comedian once said!

This bloody newsmedia circus feeding on the corpes of dead Arab children is sickening indeed...but the tides seem to be turning against the war criminals of TeX-Aviv as they have started to taste their own poison...

"He who lives by the sword dies by the sword"

Sophia said...


So you are sailing in Arab waters or at least they used to be !
Une bonne lecture serait 'Le conseil d'Egypte' de Leonardo Sciascia. Excellent roman historique qui se passe dans le sud de l'Italie mais qui a rapport à l'histoire arabe de la sicile et de Malte.

Etes-vous un marin de métier ou c'est de la marine de plaisance ?

Anonymous said...

sophia, Peace is in the interests of the Israeli people but not the state which is determined to advance the Zionist project at all costs.

They will even sacrifice Jews if it serves their purpose.

Jews and Palestinians have to find some commonality to derail this mad state.


Sophia said...

'Mad State' is a good definition. I will borrow it from now on if you don't mind !

Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

I'm actually in Malta!

Being an un-redeemable beach babe, with a strong penchant for windsurfing and catamaran, I tend to go to sunny spots in the Mediterranean and the Carribean each and every time I have 5 or 6 days to spare...

Thank Allah and Zeus for inventing cheap charter flights!

+ Tu peux me dire "tu"... depuis le temps qu'on se connait!!


Sophia said...


Je te souhaite une bonne mer et du bon temps.


Since March 29th 2006