By Hossam Rajab, Gaza.
For Palestinians in Gaza, the coup in Egypt has led to a renewed crisis. In addition to Israel’s land, air and sea blockade of Gaza, the Rafah Crossing into Egypt is now also closed. 80% of the tunnels which provide a lifeline of food and other essentials into Gaza have been damaged or completely destroyed since the coup. The price of basic commodities, including fuel, has soared in recent weeks, and travel for Palestinians in and out of Gaza is once more on hold.
In the following article, Hossam Rajab, a student in Gaza, explains how life in the Strip has taken a dramatic turn for the worst:
When sufferings never stop, when difficulties never terminate and when pain never heals … unfortunately you are in Gaza!
Nightmares never end in Gaza – from Israeli bombardments to internal events in Egypt. The recent coup has had a negative effect on our life because Egypt is our closest neighbor.
Our problems started with the decision to close the tunnels, which are the main source of Egyptian goods and foreign materials entering the Gaza Strip.
Many construction projects have stopped as a result of the closing of the tunnels and therefore the jobs of engineers, construction contractors and plumbers have become limited.
And that has made the unemployment situation much worse, something that I am personally suffering from, as a new graduate from the Engineering Faculty from Al-Azhar University in Gaza. The employment market is now full of unemployed new graduates.
My ambition is to complete my advanced studies in one of the European countries with expertise in the computer and telecommunications field, but now I’m scared and concerned after the closing of the Rafah Border.
Will my dream and ambition to study abroad fade away and disappear? Why? Whose fault is it? So many questions with no clear or satisfying answers!
The only answer I can find is that I’m from Gaza! Aren’t we human beings? Don’t we have the right to live, travel and study like the rest of the world?
In this context, I would like to mention my brother’s story. His name is Mahmoud. He got an excellence in High School and he applied for a Romanian scholarship to study medicine. He’s been waiting for a whole year now, also afraid that his dream of becoming a doctor one day will disappear because of the riots happening in Egypt and the closing of the borders.
Moreover, many Palestinians who went to Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage were trapped for a week or two in Saudi Arabia and weren’t able to come back home because the Egyptian airlines refused to transfer Palestinian travellers. Where is the humanity in that? Where’s the brotherhood?
And diesel and petrol have been cut and the rise in prices also negatively affects our life in Gaza. It’s too expensive to run the generators, which run on petrol, when the electricity is off for more than six hours a day.
The Israeli siege has made our life like this since 2007. The best way of describing life in Gaza is as a slow and gradual death.