January 6, 2009

Gaza/Egypt Border Crossing

By BAGnewsNotes contributer, Zoriah Miller

I am standing on the balcony of my Cairo hotel room, once again taking in the view of a city shrouded in what seems to be a nearly permanent haze of mist and pollution. I am exhausted; the only reason I am awake at all is to take advantage of the hotel’s free breakfast. Since I pack my pockets with boiled eggs, fruit and lunch meat for my meal later in the day, missing breakfast means I actually miss two meals.

I have just returned from the Gaza/Egypt border crossing at Rafah where I spent a miserable two days in rain and Third World transport in a futile attempt to make it into Gaza. My mood is pretty low, as there are few people in Gaza reporting right now at a time when it is essential to show the suffering that is occurring there. These moments feel like personal failures, although logic tells me that there is not much I can do to cross into a country at war whose borders are not only closed but have the armies of two countries amassed along them. Not only are the tunnels in Rafah now destroyed, but the Egyptian army is trying to block Palestinians from entering Egypt and keeping anyone and anything from entering Gaza apart from small shipments of aid here and there. Even my ideas to sneak in on an ambulance, pay off a border guard or SCUBA dive across the ocean border were all foiled by the military, which covers literally every road in and out of the area.

And now I am back in the luxury of Cairo, trying to figure out what to do next.

January 4, 2009

(image: © Zoriah Miller. Cairo. December 2008)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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