Monday, April 6, 2009

Gaza Wears a Face of Misery - Interview with Philip Risk

Al Jazeera English TV, April 6, 2009 -

....Q: What doesn't the media report on [in Gaza]?

More than 1400 people died in Israel's latest war on Gaza. But on a regular basis, Gazans die because of all sorts of causes that we don't hear sufficiently about in the media. The sewage system is horrible, water is polluted and diseases are becoming an increasing phenomenon in Gaza.

Hospitals can't cope because they face electricity shortages; a lot of Palestinians are in desperate need of kidney dialysis, the kinds of diseases that are out there are getting worse, it's simply not a livable space.

The line between the meaning of life and death becomes very thin. As a student, you can spend your whole life trying to do well in school, get good grades - but all that effort goes to waste because there is no future for the class valedictorian.

Everyone alike is left completely powerless without hope and potential future. I'm even shocked at how well kids can even perform in these schools, considering how they live in a constant state of war....

One thing I've noticed in the media is that the theme of violence is always associated with stories coming out of Gaza.

Why not focus on stories of non-violent resistance? While some Palestinians return Israeli violence with further violence, the vast majority does not, and the Arabic word for such everyday acts of non-violent protest is sumoud, which means steadfastness, perseverance.

No matter what Israelis do to the people I met, they continued fighting for their right to remain on their land, their right to stay alive. Many of the people I filmed aren't affiliated with political parties, they are normal people like you and I....

Philip Risk is a writer and filmmaker. He blogs at Tabula Gaza and just completed a film about non-violent resistance in Gaza called This Palestinian Life. He was recently held by the Egyptian authorities for four days.

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