Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Marhaba from Cheryl in Cairo

I am having much trouble with my blackberry and anything to connect me to my outside world, nonetheless, my spirits are good. Indeed they are blocking us from entering Gaza. Yesterday we were at the 'World Trade Center/UN'building and the police surrounded us for hours - I stood eye to eye with young soldiers - most of them so very young (some no older than 16 or 17) - we taught each other how to say peace in our respective languages, we laughed, one guy even cried a little when I told him he had ein halwah/beautiful eyes - but don't get me wrong - I am not naive about how dangerous this could get at an any moment. It is just that, once again, I am reminded that when given the opportunity to see each other's humanity, really look at each other and try to see each other, walls can come down.

The same walls that seem so impenetrable to get from Cairo to Gaza for this march.

I suppose that this whole effort to stop us from bringing support and humanitarian aid is just another extension of the formidable walls that surround Palestine in general. Yet when I think of the 1400 people who have come to participate in this effort from all over the world, I truly feel in my heart that one day this blockade will be lifted.

We will find a way to get the aid and the school supplies including the 12 laptops purchased by our group. I am also bringing something precious to me from my friend, Noura.  The day before we left, she gave me her beautiful floor-length engagement dress saying 'Some young girl will want this for herself - to celebrate her own engagement'.  So I have brought the dress to Cairo and am determined that it will get to Gaza, not just because some young woman will be thrilled to have it but because it signifies that that young woman is creating a future for herself, that she expects to have a future.  One of the most devastating affects of violence and the longlasting aftershocks of trauma is the loss of a sense of future.  I stay on course to give that young woman a dress and to say to her and to you that I believe in a better future for Palestine. I pray daily that the evergrowing tide of global support will rise to lift Palestine out of isolation, poverty and terror.

Many of us are joining Hedy Epstein, an 85 yo survivor of the Holocaust, in a hunger strike. Her story seems to be getting the most international press. Hard for me to pass by the shwarma, balawa, and figs I see on the streets but I am hungrier for this blockade of our march to get the attention of the world and I am hungrier yet for peace and justice.


1 comment:

  1. It's wonderful to hear from you.

    Mondoweiss.net has posted: Rep. Brian Baird to call for cutting US aid to Israel unless the blockade on Gaza is lifted

    Your work in Cairo has generated many thousands of articles around the world.

    Keep the reports coming. You are the change we've been waiting for.