from gaza to cairo

Monday, 5 August 2013

we said our goodbyes to our friends, before saying it to gaza, which welcomed us with open harms; and drove to the border. this was our last chance to come to term with the intense couple of weeks we lived together, to come to term with what we had seen, what we had heard and what we had shared with others, palestinians and members of the convoy.

i will miss many of them, but especially, annamaria, my dear italian roommate, ahmed, a very talented writer who helped me with my not-so-native-anymore french, ruairi, my irish friend, and maisoon, one of our translator who i feel close to even miles away. it's obvious that there are too many names i should mention that they won't make it to this post, but i hope they all know how lucky i feel to have had the chance to meet them and work with them on such special project. i hope that we can all meet again next year and carry on our work raising awareness about what is happening in palestine. i would also like to thank harry and noor, without whom none of this would have happened.

it was another of those clear blue sky day with an overwhelming light and warmth. i sat at the front of the mini-bus next to our driver, hassan, away from the others to take the time to watch one last time through the window this land, which had taught me so much over these last weeks, this land of wealth and beauty, which i was given the right to leave unlike many.

on the way, we stopped and bought some figs on the side of the road, our last taste of palestine. we drove along the sea, saw one of the hamas training camps, and saw un cars heading in the other direction before getting to rafah.

we said our final goodbye to fady, who spend every day with us as a representative of the ministry of foreign affairs. he hid the tears in his eyes by taking a quick exit after we were confirmed we could go through.

once on the other side, we took a mini-bus and started the second part of our journey, an eight-hour drive to cairo. it wasn't long until we all fell asleep, we shared our last meal together that night before heading to a hotel in zamalek with ruairi and max.


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