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Gaza Reporter Finds Hometown in Rubble

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Filed: Other Country: United Kingdom
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I don't know about balanced. And, this cat isn't a plumber. But, it has the ring of truth from the common man in the streets:

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – I live alone in my office. My wife and two young children moved in with her father after our apartment was shattered. The neighborhood mosque, where I have prayed since I was a child, had its roof blown off. All the government buildings on my beat have been obliterated.

After days of Israeli shelling, the city and life I have known no longer exist.

Gaza City, with some 400,000 people, stopped supplying water when the fuel ran out for the power station driving the pumps. We listen to battery-run radios for news, even though the outside world watches what's happening to us on television. The Hadi grocery where we once shopped is closed. Food is scarce all over town.

Three days after Israel began its airstrikes against Hamas militants on Dec. 27, my apartment building was shaken by bombs aimed at a nearby Hamas-run government compound.

My brother took a picture of the room where my boys, 2-year-old Hikmet and 6-month-old Ahmed, once slept. Their toys were broken, shrapnel had punched through the closet and the bedroom wall had collapsed. I don't know if we will ever go back.

There are other pictures that haunt me. The Israeli army issued a video of the bombing of the Hamas-run government compound, which it posted on YouTube. In it, I also can see my home being destroyed, and I watch it obsessively.

Some of my colleagues lost their houses to the shelling as well, and are sleeping on mattresses spread across the floors of an apartment upstairs from The Associated Press bureau.

On Tuesday, I stood outside my apartment building but didn't dare enter. I was worried the remains of the nearby compound might again be shelled.

Othman, the owner of the Addar restaurant where my wife and I bought takeaway when we were both working, put up aluminum sheeting over the broken windows to stop looters. On the pavement, phone and power lines were tangled together like twine.

Driving to central Gaza City, I took the road where Gaza's two main universities are. It was covered with shards of glass, telephone cables, electricity wires and flattened cars. This road was once crowded with students, taxis and street vendors.

The Mazaj coffee shop on Omar Mukhtar street, Gaza's main thoroughfare, was shuttered. It was popular with wealthy university students and foreigners working for nonprofit agencies because it served really good Guatemalan coffee — rumored to have been smuggled in through the same tunnels under the Egyptian border the militants used to bring in weapons.

Al Dera, a beautiful hotel on the Mediterranean shore, was a place where young men and women smoked water pipes and flirted, and where families went for dinner on Thursdays.

Those days are gone now.

On Tuesday, the only shop I found open was the Shifa pharmacy run by my friend Eyad Sayegh. He's an Orthodox Christian, and I stopped to wish him a Merry Christmas — Eastern churches celebrate Christmas on Wednesday.

Eyad told me he forgot it was Christmas.

All the landmark buildings I covered as a reporter have vanished.

The colonial-era Seraya was the main security compound for the succession of Gaza's rulers — the British, Egyptians, Israelis, the Palestinian Authority and then the rival Palestinians of Hamas.

We used to fear the Seraya, where the central jail was. Now it's rubble.

The Al Shuhada mosque on the eastern corner of the compound, where I prayed every day, was one of the few in Gaza with good air conditioning. A local philanthropist who liked Moroccan architecture redecorated the interior with intricate wooden arabesques and Quranic verses etched on the roof. The roof caved in when the Israelis bombed the jail next door.

Of the presidential office overlooking the sea, only a few walls remain. For many Gazans it was a symbol of our statehood, even though President Mahmoud Abbas, who also heads the Fatah movement, hasn't been there since Hamas seized control of the territory in June 2007.

Someone planted a Palestinian flag on the building's remains. The huge gate at the western entrance still stands, giving an illusion of something big behind it.

And across the city, the Parliament house is half destroyed. It used to tower above the Unknown Soldier park and the shops that lined downtown Omar Mukhtar Street.

On Jala Street, one of Gaza's main roads, I saw about 30 boys around a leaky irrigation tap on a traffic island. They were clutching empty soft drink bottles and jerry cans, trying to fill them with water.

Samir, who is 9, told me his family has no water at home and he wanted to bring enough for a bath because he and his brother smell.

That's a problem for most people in Gaza right now.

In my father-in-law's building, residents throw out bags of spoiled food. With no power, refrigerators don't run and fresh food quickly rots.

There were few cars on the roads, and most of those were media cars, ambulances and vehicles packed with civilians. Some looked like they were fleeing, with mattresses tied to the roofs, but who knows where they can go.

Israeli helicopters flew overhead. I heard blasts in the distance. The roads were ripped apart by explosives.

I drove into downtown Gaza, trying to prove to myself I can still do something I have done so often before — drive through my city.

I reached the Catholic Latin Patriarchate School I attended, where my late father — also an AP correspondent — used to bring me every day. The building was undamaged.

I stood in front of it, wondering if I will ever be able to walk my children to this school.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090107/ap_on_...eporter_s_story

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Egypt
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hol·o·caust [ hóllə kàwst, hṓlə kàwst ] (plural hol·o·causts)

noun

Definition:

1. destruction of human life: wholesale or mass destruction, especially of human life


I-130

8/07/06 mailed I-130 to VSC

8/17/06 NOA1

12/14/06 NOA2

1/24/07 sent I-824 to have I-130 forwarded to NVC

6/15/07 NVC case # assigned.............It's about time!!

9/16/07 case complete after 2 RFE's for DS230

10/9/07 Interview

10/16/07 VISA!!

I-129F

9/10/06 mailed I-129F

9/19/06 NOA1

12/15/06 NOA2

1/09/07 Packet 3 received from Cairo Embassy

2/12/07 Packet 3 returned to Cairo Embassy

5/6/07 Interview..........It's about time!!

ضَاقتْ فلّما استَحْكمَتْ حَلقا تها فُرِجَتْ..................وَ كِدْتُ أظنها لا تفرجُ

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I dont see any hatred for Hamas, in that wo is me story.


"I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."- Ayn Rand

“Your freedom to be you includes my freedom to be free from you.”

― Andrew Wilkow

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Filed: Other Country: United Kingdom
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I dont see any hatred for Hamas, in that wo is me story.

Should there be? The guy is talking about the destruction of his neighbourhood. He's not taking a position on either side in that article, precisely because that assumes the focus of attention.

Edited by Paul Daniels

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Filed: Country: Indonesia
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I dont see any hatred for Hamas, in that wo is me story.

There was no hatred to anyone in that article.

What I can't understand is you don't see that there is no hatred for Israel either in that article.


I-130

Jun 28 2004 : Received at NSC

Oct 25 2004 : Transferred to CSC

Oct 29 2004 : Received at CSC

Nov 8 2004 : Received response from CSC that my file is being requested & review will be done

Nov 10 2004 : Email & online status Approved

Nov 15 2004 : NOA 2 in mail

Dec 16 2004 : NVC assigns case number

Dec 20 2004 : NVC sent DS 3032 to beneficiary, copy of DS 3032 & I-864 fee bill to petitioner

Jan 3 2005 : Petitioner received copy of DS 3032 and I-864 fee bill. Post-marked Dec 23rd.

Jan 11 2005 : Beneficiary received DS 3032 in Indonesia

Jan 31 2005 : Sent DS 3032 to NVC

Feb 8, 2005 : NVC received DS 3032

Feb 21, 2005 : IV fee generated

Feb 25, 2005 : Sent I-864 fee bill

Feb 28, 2005 : I-864 fee bill delivered to St Louis

Mar 3, 2005 : IV fee bill received

Mar 7, 2005 : Sent IV fee bill

Mar 9, 2005 : IV fee bill delivered to St Louis

Mar 28, 2005 : I-864 fee credited against case.

April 6, 2005 : Received I-864 package

April 7, 2005 : Immigrant Visa fee credited against case.

April 11, 2005 : DS 230 is generated

Aug 12, 2005 : I-864 & DS 230 received by NVC

Sep 14, 2005 : RFE on I-864

Nov 3, 2005 : Checklist response received at NVC

Nov 25, 2005 : Case completion

Dec 9, 2005 : Police Cert requested from the Netherlands

Jan 12 2006 : Interview success - Approved !!

Jan 19 2006 : Visa & brown envelope picked up

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I dont see any hatred for Hamas, in that wo is me story.

Should there be? The guy is talking about the destruction of his neighbourhood. He's not taking a position on either side in that article, precisely because that assumes the focus of attention.

Your neighborhood is intact isnt it? But yet you have danced the I hate bush boogie. So why shouldnt he be doin the I hate Hamas shuffle? Get it?


"I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."- Ayn Rand

“Your freedom to be you includes my freedom to be free from you.”

― Andrew Wilkow

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Its about as neutrally written an article as its possible to get, on a subject that's dominated by bias and sophistry.

I dont see any hatred for Hamas, in that wo is me story.

Should there be? The guy is talking about the destruction of his neighbourhood. He's not taking a position on either side in that article, precisely because that assumes the focus of attention.

Your neighborhood is intact isnt it? But yet you have danced the I hate bush boogie. So why shouldnt he be doin the I hate Hamas shuffle? Get it?

I'm sure he does does have an opinion on that subject, but that isn't the point of his article.

If he injects his own bias into the story about what he thinks about the parties involved in the events - it shifts the focus away from what he's talking about.

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Its about as neutrally written an article as its possible to get, on a subject that's dominated by bias and sophistry.

I dont see any hatred for Hamas, in that wo is me story.

Should there be? The guy is talking about the destruction of his neighbourhood. He's not taking a position on either side in that article, precisely because that assumes the focus of attention.

Your neighborhood is intact isnt it? But yet you have danced the I hate bush boogie. So why shouldnt he be doin the I hate Hamas shuffle? Get it?

I'm sure he does does have an opinion on that subject, but that isn't the point of his article.

If he injects his own bias into the story about what he thinks about the parties involved in the events - it shifts the focus away from what he's talking about.

Or maybe he knows he will be killed if he does.


"I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."- Ayn Rand

“Your freedom to be you includes my freedom to be free from you.”

― Andrew Wilkow

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Filed: Other Country: United Kingdom
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Or maybe that wasn't the focus of his article to begin with.

You're probably so used to the US TV news media which has to boil everything down into black and white terms and spoon-feed you which side is the correct one that you can't recognise a neutral piece.

This article is specifically about the conditions inside Gaza from one man's perspective. He's not making any judgements about the factions involved because people jump on that and ignore everything else.

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a good article..thanks for posting....insightful


Peace to All creatures great and small............................................

But when we turn to the Hebrew literature, we do not find such jokes about the donkey. Rather the animal is known for its strength and its loyalty to its master (Genesis 49:14; Numbers 22:30).

Peppi_drinking_beer.jpg

my burro, bosco ..enjoying a beer in almaty

http://www.visajourney.com/forums/index.ph...st&id=10835

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Or maybe that wasn't the focus of his article to begin with.

You're probably so used to the US TV news media which has to boil everything down into black and white terms and spoon-feed you which side is the correct one that you can't recognise a neutral piece.

This article is specifically about the conditions inside Gaza from one man's perspective. He's not making any judgements about the factions involved because people jump on that and ignore everything else.

See there your gettin a little emotional. This guy is looking at the neighborhood he grew up in, that is now in ruin and is totally neutral and calm with no emotion. Come now who is being spoonfed?

Nothing more than a Hamas propaganda piece to bring out the sympathizers.


"I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."- Ayn Rand

“Your freedom to be you includes my freedom to be free from you.”

― Andrew Wilkow

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Filed: Other Country: United Kingdom
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Or maybe that wasn't the focus of his article to begin with.

You're probably so used to the US TV news media which has to boil everything down into black and white terms and spoon-feed you which side is the correct one that you can't recognise a neutral piece.

This article is specifically about the conditions inside Gaza from one man's perspective. He's not making any judgements about the factions involved because people jump on that and ignore everything else.

See there your gettin a little emotional. This guy is looking at the neighborhood he grew up in, that is now in ruin and is totally neutral and calm with no emotion. Come now who is being spoonfed?

Nothing more than a Hamas propaganda piece to bring out the sympathizers.

So let me get this straight: If the guy doesn't overtly condemn Hamas (even if he doesn't condemn Israel either) it must therefore follow that he's propagandising for Hamas?

Don't know what to say to that line of reasoning - you've got bias on the brain... and are incapable of reading a news article objectively.

Once again.... Its not the point of his article. He's describing the conditions in Gaza as a result of the current conflict. Nothing more.

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Filed: Country: Indonesia
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Or maybe that wasn't the focus of his article to begin with.

You're probably so used to the US TV news media which has to boil everything down into black and white terms and spoon-feed you which side is the correct one that you can't recognise a neutral piece.

This article is specifically about the conditions inside Gaza from one man's perspective. He's not making any judgements about the factions involved because people jump on that and ignore everything else.

See there your gettin a little emotional. This guy is looking at the neighborhood he grew up in, that is now in ruin and is totally neutral and calm with no emotion. Come now who is being spoonfed?

Nothing more than a Hamas propaganda piece to bring out the sympathizers.

So let me get this straight: If the guy doesn't overtly condemn Hamas (even if he doesn't condemn Israel either) it must therefore follow that he's propagandising for Hamas?

Don't know what to say to that line of reasoning - you've got bias on the brain... and are incapable of reading a news article objectively.

Once again.... Its not the point of his article. He's describing the conditions in Gaza as a result of the current conflict. Nothing more.

I agree with you. It does sound like what my friend was telling me when she went back to Banda Aceh after tsunami. It's about despair and loss. It's hard to understand unless somebody went through it.


I-130

Jun 28 2004 : Received at NSC

Oct 25 2004 : Transferred to CSC

Oct 29 2004 : Received at CSC

Nov 8 2004 : Received response from CSC that my file is being requested & review will be done

Nov 10 2004 : Email & online status Approved

Nov 15 2004 : NOA 2 in mail

Dec 16 2004 : NVC assigns case number

Dec 20 2004 : NVC sent DS 3032 to beneficiary, copy of DS 3032 & I-864 fee bill to petitioner

Jan 3 2005 : Petitioner received copy of DS 3032 and I-864 fee bill. Post-marked Dec 23rd.

Jan 11 2005 : Beneficiary received DS 3032 in Indonesia

Jan 31 2005 : Sent DS 3032 to NVC

Feb 8, 2005 : NVC received DS 3032

Feb 21, 2005 : IV fee generated

Feb 25, 2005 : Sent I-864 fee bill

Feb 28, 2005 : I-864 fee bill delivered to St Louis

Mar 3, 2005 : IV fee bill received

Mar 7, 2005 : Sent IV fee bill

Mar 9, 2005 : IV fee bill delivered to St Louis

Mar 28, 2005 : I-864 fee credited against case.

April 6, 2005 : Received I-864 package

April 7, 2005 : Immigrant Visa fee credited against case.

April 11, 2005 : DS 230 is generated

Aug 12, 2005 : I-864 & DS 230 received by NVC

Sep 14, 2005 : RFE on I-864

Nov 3, 2005 : Checklist response received at NVC

Nov 25, 2005 : Case completion

Dec 9, 2005 : Police Cert requested from the Netherlands

Jan 12 2006 : Interview success - Approved !!

Jan 19 2006 : Visa & brown envelope picked up

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Or maybe that wasn't the focus of his article to begin with.

You're probably so used to the US TV news media which has to boil everything down into black and white terms and spoon-feed you which side is the correct one that you can't recognise a neutral piece.

This article is specifically about the conditions inside Gaza from one man's perspective. He's not making any judgements about the factions involved because people jump on that and ignore everything else.

See there your gettin a little emotional. This guy is looking at the neighborhood he grew up in, that is now in ruin and is totally neutral and calm with no emotion. Come now who is being spoonfed?

Nothing more than a Hamas propaganda piece to bring out the sympathizers.

So let me get this straight: If the guy doesn't overtly condemn Hamas (even if he doesn't condemn Israel either) it must therefore follow that he's propagandising for Hamas?

Don't know what to say to that line of reasoning - you've got bias on the brain... and are incapable of reading a news article objectively.

Once again.... Its not the point of his article. He's describing the conditions in Gaza as a result of the current conflict. Nothing more.

Whatever you say Kreskin!


"I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine."- Ayn Rand

“Your freedom to be you includes my freedom to be free from you.”

― Andrew Wilkow

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