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Syria: Gaza On Our Minds

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Israel, Palestine, Syria, Citizen Media, Human Rights, Humanitarian Response, International Relations, Media & Journalism, Migration & Immigration, Politics, Refugees, War & Conflict

Syrian bloggers are in a frenzy since the bombing in Gaza [1] started almost two weeks ago. To many Syrians this comes from a deep long rooted identification with the cause of the Palestinian people. But for some, there's also a very personal side to it.

Ruba is a half-Syrian half-Palestnian blogger based in Syria. Her father is a respected academic from Gaza. In a very emotional and personal post [2], she shares with us some of her memories from her visits to the Strip:

Next morning, we went back home, to find shrapnel, bullets, hand grenades… the house was a mess, the windows were shattered, everything inside was burnt. Neighbors gathered around dad, they were screaming details of what had happened the night before… they told him a helicopter flew over at night, several masked soldiers went down on hanging ladders and worked their machine guns, leaving holes in the wall… they threw hand grenades inside, creating havoc and panic around the neighborhood.

My dad, being a freedom fighter who feared God only, wanted to send a message that said: I am not afraid (apparently he was used to this kind of stuff).

He brought in new furniture, put up new windows, and once the house was kind of livable, my brother and I were kept inside as a sign of defiance. We were locked up inside the only room that didn’t breathe smoke, guarded by my many male cousins for a month.

While Rime Allaf shares with us her way of trying to get through the day knowing that somewhere in Gaza someone is being killed at every other moment [3]:

Since Israel began its latest, most barbaric and savage attack yet, since the bombs started falling on the prisoners of Gaza and slaughtering children in the hundreds, in the most minimal gesture of solidarity I can demonstrate, I have been wearing my Palestinian scarf on top of my coat, and I have made my own Gaza badge to wear on television interviews. (More on that soon.) Most English-language media, nearly indistinguishable from Israel, would call this defiance.

And then she calls for the real change [4]:

I herewith call:

For Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to become head of the Arab League;

For Arab leaders and their supporting cliques to be exiled in Gaza after Palestinians get back their homeland;

For the Quartet (all officials, ministers and presidents included) to spend an eternity in some refugee camp kissing Tony Blair while Israel exercises its right to defend itself;

For Barack Obama to imagine playing golf in Jabaliya as his children attend an UNWRA school while Israel “retaliates”; and

For all Israeli war criminals to skip The Hague tribunal and to go straight to hell.