New Internationalist

S** and the city

This week marks a year since Hamas bludgeoned their way to power in Gaza. It has been a hell of a year here, with Israel sealing the entire Gaza Strip and imposing a crippling siege on 1.5 million people, whilst the so-called ‘International Community’ shamelessly continues to look the other way. It’s easy to forget that, before they took over Gaza, Hamas was democratically voted into office because the previous Palestinian Fatah Government was rotten with corruption, and Palestinians wanted a new political era.

But instead, the Fatah Government now rules in the West Bank, and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. As well as the daily struggle just to secure fuel, decent food and medicine, Gazans also have had to contend with Hamas, who, as a Gazan friend of mine brilliantly puts it, ‘Imposed law without order when they took over us’.

The majority of people that I know here have a complex relationship with Hamas: they hate the bloody way in which Hamas took over Gaza, and they also hate the Islamic agenda being imposed on them. Hamas police regularly haul people (usually young men) in for questioning about whether they pray, have American friends, and fast on religious holidays. People who are arrested are regularly beaten, and, depending on which faction they belong to, they’re also tortured. There is no effective opposition to Hamas, because it is a political dictatorship. But nonetheless, Gazans are massively relieved that, under Hamas, there are fewer guns and bombs and marauding masked gunmen. People feel much safer than they did a year ago.

So, paradoxically, this year in Gaza has not been all bad. But Hamas have just made themselves supremely unpopular with most of us by rigging a HUGE filter on the local internet, as part of their Islamic agenda to protect us from our own morals.

So you can’t download porn in Gaza now, or log onto websites that even mention you-know-what. But it’s also a real struggle to send emails, or to use skype, because the connection is now appallingly slow – and when you live somewhere as isolated as the Gaza Strip, that sucks. People desperately want to be in touch with the outside world. I’d welcome comments and feedback about this blog… just don’t mention S** and the City.

Comments on S** and the city

Leave your comment


  • Maximum characters allowed: 5000
  • Simple HTML allowed: bold, italic, and links

Registration is quick and easy. Plus you won’t have to re-type the blurry words to comment!
Register | Login

  1. #1 Tamara Pearson 07 Jul 08

    Diary of life in the Venezuelan Revolution

    Not just one way to make a revolution or be an activist

    The mechanisms of being a revolutionary or an activist or whatever in Venezuela are SO different to Australia or similar countries, that I feel it’s useful to give a sense of how things work here (and you’ll see I’m still learning too).
    I think it was Friday that I went to the comedor (eating room- see photo) with some US friends- 2 documentary makers- and another friend who we happened to bump into. I also met a friend of mine who is a painter, is somewhat in the Tupamaros (but at the same time critical of them) and is not in the PSUV because he regards it as not qualitatively revolutionary. He’s often in the comedor, and also in the artists’ alley near the plaza, and I wanted to talk to him about some of my ideas- rather than ringing him, I knew this was the way to do it. So he said he’d be in the artists valley, and he’d see me there after lunch. We met, we talked, ‘we need to have socialism classes in the community’ I said, and he showed me how to do it.
    In Australia we would call interested people...

Subscribe to Comments for this articleArticle Comment Feed RSS 2.0

Guidelines: Please be respectful of others when posting your reply.

Get our free fortnightly eNews


Videos from visionOntv’s globalviews channel.

Related articles

Popular tags

All tags

The Gaza Blog

The Gaza blog is a weekly dispatch from the Gaza Strip. Louisa Waugh lives and works in Gaza, and her blogs capture the complexities and challenges of daily life under siege, amidst the aftermath of Israel’s devastating recent offensive.

The Gaza Blog