Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Hani Almadhoun on Gaza

Hani Almadhoun is usually pretty critical of Israel but his latest piece on Gaza is actually pretty well balanced and free of victim-playing. Of course I feel it is worth mentioning that even when nothing newsworthy is happening in Gaza the HP still feels like it needs to crank out articles about it. But anyway, Mr. Almadhoun mostly talks about three necessities that the Gazans lack: Water, electricity and the internet. Of course, I don't think most people would agree that the internet is a necessity but I guess as a blogger he would need it himself.

Mr. Almadhoun talks about how water is rationed in Gaza and that makes life harder because people need to wait in line to get it. But the rationed water is used for everything but drinking: Drinking water is purchased from filtering centers that are scattered all over Gaza. This was news to me: I didn't know they had filtering centers in the Warsaw Ghetto. It was this sentence that really surprised me, though, when he talked about electricity:
 "Due to the standoff between the Gaza power company, the Hamas government and the Ramallah authority, many homes in Gaza have little power, and most homes experience power outage on a daily basis."
 How easy it would have been to either blame Israel (or "the siege") for the Gazans' electricity woes, or just leave it undefined and let the HPers imaginations fill in the gaps. Major props to Mr. Almadhoun to explain (though not completely) the context and in the subsequent paragraph more detail about life in Gaza. Though I can't know whether or not he intended this, it seems to make a crack in the anti-Zionist mythos surrounding the Gazans and their lives.

Finally, he talks about the Internet: "Many Gaza homes, especially those of young college students who use the internet for homework, entertainment or gaming, have to wait until the night to see a relatively faster internet connection. During the day the network is painfully slower and even checking one's email can be a lengthy affair."

Again, Gazans playing Call of Duty online does not exactly match up with the "concentration camp" image that most of the HPers have in their heads. I don't know about anyone else but I know when I was younger dial-up internet was quite common and doing much of anything took awhile. And that was in, you know, America.

Of course, Mr. Almadhoun did not talk about the shopping malls, the fancy resorts, or the restaurants of Gaza. Nor did he talk about the racist Avigdor Lieberman's plans to build up Gaza either, but we can't expect too much. He reported the truth of the situation, not the propagandist version. For that I congratulate him.

1 comment:

  1. Its very rare for an Arab to look at the situation of his own people dispassionately, without playing the victim card. We should at least give Hami Almadhoun credit for recognizing the problems Gazans face have nothing to do with Israel. The question is whether HPers will come to acknowledge the truth of it as well.

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