Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Real News About Gaza

I arrived in Cairo late Thursday night to accompany an emergency medical shipment to Gaza. I had been following the news about Gaza very closely from the United States. For the last two weeks the TV and radio were constantly blairing in my home, office, and car. I read the newspaper every morning. But in the last day and a half I discovered that the situation for children and families in Gaza is even worse than I thought.

Yesterday I drove to the Rafah Crossing point between Egypt and Gaza. Watching Gaza from a distance of only 300 feet, I saw Israeli airplanes and drones flying over Palestinian homes. I heard shelling from tanks. But even worse, I heard loud booms that seemed to come from nowhere and everywhere. For a few moments I felt the same excruciating fear that people in Gaza have been living with for fifteen days and nights.

Last night at the hotel I watched Al-Jazeera news with my colleague, Dr. Mona El-Farra. She translated for me as a young boy in a Gaza hospital described seeing his mother, brothers, and sisters killed. I saw photos and video clips of the 230 dead children, the four children who were found without food and water next to the bodies of their dead parent, and hundreds of babies and children with shrapnel wounds, burns, and every other injury imaginable. We don't see this on the news in the US.

The difference in media coverage between the Arab world and the Western, sanitized media is shocking. There is no way, living in the United States, that the people can know about the horror that people in Gaza are living day after day.

No comments: