woensdag, december 20, 2006
See, Mr. AlGhaliboon?
Jews hold Hanukkah ceremony in front of Iranian embassy
A short while after the start of the ceremony, dozens of Hizbullah supporters tried to disrupt it, protesting against Israel with the aid of a loudspeaker.
vrijdag, december 15, 2006
the year hope withered
The Year Hope Withered
[...] Eight kilometres away in Gaza City, Adeeb Zarhouk, 44, is a man used to hard work and 4am starts to support his wife Majda, 44, and their seven children. For 20 years he was employed in Israel as a freelance metalworker and electrician, and then for five working for an Israeli company in the now flattened Erez industrial zone on the northern edge of Gaza.
But this morning he apologises for being asleep when we call.
Each day, he hopes for a request to install a TV satellite or do another odd job. "But the phone hasn't rung for two weeks. Nobody has any money to do these things."
Zarhouk is the human face of the 64 per cent increase in "deep poverty" among Palestinian refugees in the past year.
He is naturally cheerful but, as his wife prepares a three-shekel (about $1) family breakfast of beans, felafal and a few tomatoes, he says: "When I'm at home by myself I start crying. When your son asks you for half a shekel and you don't have it ... "
Zarhouk gets up to wash the tears from his eyes. Then he says that although as a refugee he earned US$240 ($349) a month on a three-month UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) job programme, he now owes $540 in rent.
Who does Zarhouk, who voted Fatah in the last election, blame? "I blame democracy," he says with a flash of sarcasm. "The whole world wanted us to have democracy and said how fair had been our election. The problem is they didn't like our result."[...]
It hurts me so much seeing that these very decent, friendly and honest people are victims of this hell-hole of a region kidnapped by 'leaders'. Where has humanity gone in these times? Can this happen just like that? I feel his sadness very personally, this misery, this hopelessness... Why??? We used to joke around, tease each-other with 'racial'jokes anyone who's an outsider would take offense to, but brought tears to our eyes from laughter. And now? His tears are mine, I break down completely when I see people crying (anyone) and knowing that adult men who haven't hurt a fly have gotten in a situation that's so desparate and hopeless they shed tears in secret simply breaks my heart ...
People like Zarhouk I used to work with for many, many long years. At the pharmaceutical office, at the im- and export office, at the hi-tech office - they'd used to be everywhere. We privately represented some constructors here in Israel - just doing the PR work for them - obtaining new jobs, customers. Handing out business-cards etc.
"You can bomb the world to pieces, but you can't bomb it into peace.”
zaterdag, december 09, 2006
Vitamin - shot....
A leisurely, but energetic, walk from Ramat-Gan to Tel-Aviv Hilton-beach
Looking down at the small beach near the perfect blue sea seeing a happy bunch of people on small plastic chairs near small plastic tables - on towels, on the rocks
Descending the steep path towards that same beach arriving at the 'restaurant' hearing Bob Marley coming outta the loudspeakers, song after song............. "Is this Love?"
Without much ado laying yourself down on the sand - head upon purse - with half-closed eyes facing the sun - absorbing the music, the sun, the happy voices around you, the sound of the sea
After Bob gets replaced by other music and the sun starts to disappear from time to time behind sheeplike cottonwool clouds picking up your purse, tying your shoes to it, strolling barefoot through the water northward bound - sun a lot weaker now throwing a million crystal-shining little stars on the rippling tiny waves in front of your feet ....
Looking sideways to where a new flare of music comes from at the boulevard and seeing people, regular bypassers taking advantage of the opportunity and dancing on cheerful tunes, a full square - randomly gathered people - dancing, happy, giving themselves over to the tunes and the steps - they all roughly seem to know.
The first songs I watched being danced to were popular arab songs - sung in arabic and everybody seem to know them according to the measure of them singing along with them and they sure knew how to dance to it - as one big happy group (the saudi's I've seen on tv dancing on tunes like this in this way would surely get jealous of the passion these people put into it, hahahaa)
I left away from the boulevard towards the sea-line while a Spanish version of an old Yardena Arazi song was being played ...
Only to find, some 300 meters further on that different melodies caught my ears and while I looked where they came from I saw a bunch of hippy-like people dancing to the tunes of 'peace' music - As I got closer I heared all songs they were singing were about that subject, calm, relaxing peace-songs with fitting dance-steps....
My 3rd encounter with open-air music on this wonderful noon/afternoon was when I went up to the boulevard to get my feet washed and dried and put my sneakers on in order to go home: an american group of some 5-6 people, musicians, were singing life religious songs through their hifi equipment, having quite a gathering around them - and then I heard it: they were preaching a christian faith - Hahahahaa.. this is forbidden in Israel, but they were sunny, bright and having a lot of people listening to their music. Next to me two men sat talking with a very friendly woman who turned out to be on the 'christian mission' LOL. I've only encountered these things in the Netherlands before with Hare Krishna people. Jews don't go out and try to convert others, although they do hand out shabbath-candles with the accompanying prayers on flyers to other (secular) jews......
No medicines or psychologists are needed if you have this near-by when you're down and having problems. This was like a vitamin-shot no remedy can triumph.... Music, sun, disorganized happy and less-happy people.....
That's why I love Israel,