10 December 2010

The supermarkets in the western nations are bulging

Nihad Taha, our representative in the Gaza strip which is the world's largest internment camp, prepared a brief survey of conditions there 13 November 2010. I have edited this a little, and added some well known facts.

Gabi Ashkenazi, a General in the IOF, was quoted yesterday

"The next round (of fighting) will be extensive and it should end in such a way where there is no doubt as to which side triumphed," Ynetnews quoted Ashkenazi as telling Israeli troops based near the coastal sliver on Wednesday.


There are many levels of education like any country. But Palestine, and particularly Gaza, have some different features. The following little lines describe the stages and list some facts about the current situation of education at Gaza.

1.A The elementary and the primary stages
Both UNRWA and the Palestinian Authority (PA) govern these two stages, but the educational methods, programs and the uniforms are the same. But the managerial roles and laws are very different as are the salaries.
The education at the UNRWA schools is free and it is provided to all refugee children. Two-thirds of the population of Gaza are refugees. The PA takes small contributions from students (about $13 pa) and exceptions are made for very poor children.
Both UNRWA and PA schools work two shifts/day because of the huge population, and the lack of funds and materials to build new schools and to rebuild the many hundreds destroyed in the greater shoah of Christmas 2008.

1.B The secondary stage
The PA own and run all the secondary schools. This stage is governed by the same laws as at the elementary & primary levels.
Many charities help at the beginning of the school year by providing school uniforms (as did the D&D) or winter clothes but they cannot cover all students.

1.C The high education stage
There are diploma, baccalaureate and master's degrees which are widely given at Gaza universities and institutes. Because of the high rate of unemployment the youth moves to education hoping to get more opportunity in the future.
General Facts
Gaza has a big number of unemployed graduates. Some hundreds of these think of emigration and many succeed.
The teachers receive the lowest of salaries of those who have university degrees.
The general conditions (political, social, and financial) badly effect students' achievement, and on their parents feel that.

1.Food supplies
Israel still prevents many types of food from entering Gaza. This week it decided to reduce the days when flour and grain is let in from two to one day per week. This evil decision will create many crises.
(See http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26847.htm
Putting Palestinians on a Diet )
Now we have Eladha Eid (Alhaj) festival, when the majority of Muslims around the world sacrifice cows or sheep. This provides precious protein for the poor. Israel has used this occasion to prevent sheep coming in for 4 years and by reducing the number of cows. This has led to very high prices for this 'beef'.
The ''west bank'' has many modern, high quality yoghurt, milk etc dairies, but Gaza has none. Many charities in Gaza have tried to import machinery for similar dairies, or less, but Israel will not allow this.
Gaza has many food factories with good standards but the problem is in the getting the raw materials.

2.Medical services
The medical services are improving since the last Israeli bombardment and invasion 2008/2009 and partly because of the continuous foreign medical delegations that come to Gaza. But the standards of medicine are not good because the local medical teams need more training and they are also in need of diagnostic equipment. Maintaining this complex equipment is well nigh impossible in the face of a vicious siege.
3. The security
The personal security is better than in the years before 2007 (the sacking of the Fatteh group), but the culture still tends towards violence. The local police has a strong control over the roads and people.
The danger comes from our enemy neighbors; the F16 aircraft and Appaches do not leave the Gaza sky. The people are afraid of another massive attack.

4. Relationships of relatives on both sides
A personal story. I have many relatives in the 'West Bank' in Qalqelia. My uncle left Gaza in 1994 to work there. From 2000 he was not allowed to come to Gaza. His mother died here last year without seeing this son and he could not come to her funeral.

5. Housing
There is much that can be said. Do read this