Returning to Gaza by Gerri Haynes

A group of young women give a warm welcome to the delegation.

A group of young women give a warm welcome to the delegation.

Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility has been sponsoring delegations to Gaza since 1993. In 2009, we began offering medical service work to the people of Gaza and today we returned to Gaza with our sixth delegation. We are honored to again visit these loving, resilient and courageous people!

After one short night at Neve Shalom Hotel (Place of Peace) we made the long crossing from Israel to Gaza and were greeted by beloved friends. Gaza remains under siege by Israel. Most of the supply tunnels from Egypt are closed and we heard from our friends that the economy here is suffering. Goods coming from Israel are expensive and often such items as fuel are not available. Electricity is rationed to eight hours on and off. More on this…

This afternoon, prior to our orientation meeting with representatives from our host, Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, the Ministry of Health and the two hospitals where we will do most of our work, we had a short tour of central Gaza. We stopped at the harbor and were spontaneously greeted by a wonderful group of young women who insisted that we accompany them on a fast boat ride. One told me with delight that though her English is excellent, she had never spoken to someone whose primary language is English. The ride was exhilarating and the laughter of the young women was beautiful.

Gaza boat 4-5Traveling down the Gaza Coast, we witnessed again the lovely Mediterranean and the ugly pollution of the streams carrying untreated sewage into the sea. As we returned to Gaza City, the incomplete construction begun prior to the closure to the tunnels is evident everywhere.

Our meeting with our hosts in the evening was joyful and most worked out a schedule for the work we will do in the week ahead. Work begins soon!!

4 Comments to “Returning to Gaza by Gerri Haynes”

  1. By Dick & Betty Blakney, April 5, 2014 @ 9:41 am

    What a beautiful way to be welcomed back to Gaza!

    Love from Dick & Betty

  2. By Marian Karpoff, April 5, 2014 @ 11:27 am

    So wonderful to know you are there to report and to help! Thank you!

    Marian and Fred

  3. By Bert Sacks, April 6, 2014 @ 8:57 am

    I am deeply grateful to Bob and Gerri and the rest of the medical team that’s gone to Gaza to help — and to bring back the news of what conditions are like. Thank you all. With love, Bert

  4. By Bert Sacks, April 6, 2014 @ 1:26 pm

    And I failed to add my note of appreciation to Larry Johnson — friend and former foreign editor of the Seattle P-I newspaper — who regularly posts Gerri Haynes’ reports from Gaza. Thanks, Larry

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply