10 October 2014

Our friend, Dr Mahmoud Baroud, reports from the scene of a gigantic crime.

Mahmoud, the father of six children, and husband of Mona exchanged e-mails with me recently. I can imagine the terrible suffering.

Image - Two little ones. Two of 2,500 injured children. Some will be para or tetraplegic, and some very badly scarred by burns. A majority of the children will have scarred minds. This in 'The Year of Our Lord' 2014

Our friend Mahmoud Baroud, is a senior lecturer at the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG). His subject is English Literature. He came with Mona his wife, and their 6 children to Exeter so that he could read for a PhD. His thesis was the influence of Arabic literature upon the English novel.

One time he took me to Rafah at the southern limit of the 25 mile 'strip'. I interviewed him with my Cannon video camera as he stood on the mound that was his house. The family had 30 minutes warning to get out before it was destroyed.

In the film 'Where Should the Birds Fly' made by Fida Qishta of Rafah, there is frightening footage of D9 bulldozers razing houses in seconds. This is an introduction to the film by Fida


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L932X90RUXY clip from film

The IUG has been attacked at least three times to my knowledge. The university started in tents. Fine buildings arose much later and in recent times 20,000 students were within. Fatah elements attacked parts with gunfire and fire. I recall a lift shaft was burned out. There was a great deal of destruction caused by entity bombs and missiles in 'Operation Cast Lead' – Christmas 2008. In this most recent and massive bombardment, the IUG has been totally destroyed.


These are excerpts from several e-mails we exchanged

31 August 2014

Dear David and Sue,
Salaam and warm greetings from Gaza. I am sure that you were following the sad news of Gaza and its experience of the modern genocide and holocaust inflicted by the Zionists and their new allies in the region (Arab Zionists) on the innocent civilians . One of my relatives was murdered in the beach camp massacre, a 10 years old boy. And so many homes and flats of other relatives were reduced to rubble. Regardless of the deep wounds and damage which can be observed everywhere, the Palestinians are steadfast and their spirits are very high. In the first week of the war we felt that death was so close to all of us.......when they started bombing the big Towers in Gaza.  So far I am OK with my family in Gaza.

23 September 2014

We started our first semester in IUG and as you know my faculty and dept are completely destroyed. We are now displaced inside our own home. Children  are back to school but in different places and timetables as most of the UN schools are still used as shelters for the victims of the Zionist attack on Gaza.
We are approaching also our big feast where Muslims perform Hajj and Qurbani. Few know of Gazans who would be able to perform the Qurbani due to the miserable financial conditions.
Anyway using your own words David, the Gazans are steadfast (sumud).

I hope we can meet again.