Yasmeen El Khoudary ياسمين الخضري

Yasmeen El Khoudary ياسمين الخضري

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Ancient Gods of Gaza: Apollo and Zeus in statue

Ever since an ancient (at least 2000 years old) and extremely rare metal statue of Apollo was found in Gaza last summer, Gaza came under an unfamiliar media spotlight (albeit for scattered stories about its history). The statue, of which the discovery details remain disputed, is extremely rare, since very few statues of the time were made in metal/bronze. It is also beautifully impeccable, judging only from the few photos that were shared with the world: the statue remains 'hidden' somewhere in the Strip of Gaza.

This historic discovery was not the first in Gaza, but due to a long que of news about alleged 'terrorism' and the likes, little has been said about the city's impressive history. I will be posting a list of sources that talk about the history of Gaza from the earliest antiquity, but for now, there is one story that I would like to allude to:

In 1879, Palestinians living in Tell Ajjul (تل العجول) about 20 km south of Gaza stumbled upon a 4x1x.7 meters yellow sandstone structure, which turned out to be the largest known statue of Zeus in the world (since the destruction of "Zeus of Olympia" in 5th Century AD). The statue was seized by the Ottoman authorities that were ruling Gaza at the time and sent to Istanbul. Ever since, the statue has been displayed in the Istanbul Archaeology Museum as "Zeus of Gaza." Zeus's left arm has probably drowned in the deep sands of Gaza. We can now at least be assured that when our descendants find it, Gaza will make it to the news in positive light again.

Zeus of Gaza. Source

Friday, December 27, 2013

وداعاً دكتور اياد... Farewell Dr. Eyad

(English below)

كيف لشخص قضى حياته  في علاج الأمراض النفسيه لأفراد مجتمع أنهكت السنين ما تبقى من عقله وأفقدته صوابه وحطمت نفسيته, شخص رأي وسمع وعالج حالات لم يتخيلها سيجموند فرويد في أشنع أحلامه, أن يكون هو ملجأ الأمل الوحيد لذات المجتمع؟ كيف؟ هل الأمل ضريبة دفعها له المجتمع مقابل العلاج؟  هل التحصن بالأمل شرط من شروط ممارسة المهنة؟ أم هل كان يستمد الأمل في المستقبل من ألم الحاضر؟
لا أذكر متى تعرفت على دكتور اياد السراج, حيث أنه كان صديق مقرب لوالدي منذ سنوات كثيرة واعتدنا على زياراته وجلساته دوماً. كنت أهوى أن أنصت للحديث الذي يدور بين والدي ودكتور اياد, لأني كنت ألاحظ أن والدي يدخل في أبعاد وزوايا ونقاشات بطريقة ندر ما شهدته يتبعها مع أشخاص اخرين. كانت وكأنها أحاديث تدور في عالم اخر.
التحقت بالمدرسة الأمريكية الدولية في غزة عام 2000, وكان دكتور اياد رئيس مجلس ادارتها. لم تكن المدرسة مجرد مدرسة, بل كانت أيضا بمثابة حقل تجارب لسياسات سوف تتبعها الأطراف المعنية لاحقأ على مستوى أكبر: الاحتلال هاجم المدرسة العديد من المرات ابتدائاً من عام 2001 وقطع عنها الموارد, السلطة الفلسطينينة تجاهلت المدرسة وفقدت الاهتمام بها بعد أن تم الهجوم عليها عام 2007, حكومة حماس أزالت أنقاض المدرسة  وتنتظر بناء مدرسة بمساعدة قطرية فوق الأرض الفارغة. باختصار, مأساة المدرسة بين عامي 2001-2007 كانت نموذج مصغر لمستقبل غزة حتى يومنا هذا.

دكتور اياد خلال حفل تخرج أول وفد من المدرسة الأمريكية في غزة ٢٠٠٦ -تصوير جورج عازر

Monday, November 26, 2012

Published by Aljazeera: Steal what you will from the blueness of the sea

Steal what you will from the blueness of the sea and the sand of memory

The world should start looking at our cause with its brains and not with its donations.

The millions that were "spent by different world powers on rebuilding Gaza", rehabilitating its homes, schools and hospitals, creating emergency and early recovery programmes, "have all gone to waste" [REUTERS]

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Hopeful Week in Gaza

[Note: This article was written prior to the ongoing attacks on Gaza].

While the world was busy following an election that will probably result in nothing but more negative interventions in our futures, Gaza was immersed in a long week of events and accomplishments.

People usually imagine that living in Gaza, our lives revolve around conflict and our futures are in the hands of whoever is running the Middle East. Little do they know about the unraveled potential in this city, and the magnificent history it sits upon.

That said, what else happens in Gaza and is not covered by the media? It’s the good news. Allow me to share with you a few examples of good news made in Gaza, all in just over a week.

Continue reading on: http://www.fairobserver.com/article/hopeful-week-gaza

*[This article was originally published by Fair Observer on November 19, 2012].

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Deep political analysis of the current situation in Gaza.

Here's what I think.

غزة، قط بسبع أرواح. روح للأرض، روح للبحر، روح للسماء، روح للقضية، روح للماضي، روح للمستقبل، و روح للانسان.

Gaza, like a cat, has seven souls. A soul for earth, a soul for the sea, a soul for the sky, a soul for the cause, a soul for the past, a soul for the future, and a soul for the human.

And Gaza will survive this time, like it always does.

Image from EI

Monday, October 15, 2012

Rehabilitation Centre for the Visually Impaired- Gaza

Because this city will continue to give, and never ask for anything in return...

I'm heading to UNRWA's Rehabilitation Centre for the Visually Impaired-#Gaza to celebrate its golden jubilee. This amazing center, which runs under UNRWA, has been helping visually impaired in children enjoy life for the past 50 years. An asylum providing educational and rehabilitation services for 150 'different' kids, right in the middle of a crazy city.

More info and pictures to follow..

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Gaza's Pink Fighters

Its a doubtless fact that only a marginalized minority in the world relates anything but negativity to "Gaza". But how many of the overwhelming majority remember that the people of Gaza are vulnerable to other issues faced by humanity, such as, cancer, and, more specifically, breast cancer?

Few. And its shocking because cancer is the second cause for death in the Gaza Strip. Today, there are 11,000 cancer patients in Gaza, not counting those who have not been diagnosed yet.

Women Die Waiting - Breast Cancer in the Gaza Strip

So this month, Gaza celebrated Pink October by launching an extensive awareness campaign, calling on women to get early screening and protection. The campaign also featured:

Making the largest pink ribbon in the work, ON GAZA'S BEACH!

And we did! The organization behind this amazing initiative is called the Aid and Hope Program for Cancer Patients Care. It's led by Eman Shannan, a survivor of the disease. Running on a low budget provided by several Palestinian private sector institutions,  the team (75% of the staff are patients or survivors of breast cancer) made the ribbon using a 1.4 kilo long pink cloth, breaking the Guinness Record, on the beach. 

Its a message to the world, and more importantly, to ourselves. Living in Gaza takes a fighter, but a fighter with cancer? A female fighter with cancer? Fighting off the disease and its provider (the occupation) with abnormal resilience, hope, and will. Israel's war machines, the #1 provider of Cancer cells in Palestine, do not only destroy buildings or human lives, they also cause slow death and prolonged suffering, embodied in cancer.  

It might destroy a human body, but it would take a lot more to destroy a Palestinian soul, and it never will.

Friday, September 14, 2012

A glimpse of Gaza's Old City today!

A reflection of Old Gaza's sky on one of its walls.

انعكاس سماء غزة القديمة على أحد جدرانها

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The sun through a Mashrabeyya..

Gaza, August 20, 2012.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

This Gazan Morning :) صباح غزاوي

“إن البلبل (أو الهدهد) لا يحوك عشاً في القفص كيلا يورث العبودية لفراخه”
― جبران خليل جبران

"The nightingale does not make his nest in a cage lest slavery be the lot of its chicks" - Jubran Khalil Jubran