Tuesday, July 28, 2009
The Little Girl and the Painted Donkey
Can it really have been more than six months since the horror of Gaza finally ended? When the bombs stopped falling. And the world promised to rebuild that shattered little enclave of misery.
But has so far failed to deliver.
In Gaza there is still no sign of the aid that was promised by the outside world.
In Jabaliya people are so desperate to salvage some respectability that they spend their days scavenging for broken bricks and metal, which they drag away on donkey-drawn carts.
So little Samar's dad can't even welcome her back.
"I miss my daughter terribly," he said. "I am desperate to see her again. But I don't want her to come back here - not to this. What can I offer her? She is much better where she is."
For what could he offer her but ruins, or despair....or a visit to a humble zoo to see the painted donkey?
The idea of a zoo creating a fake zebra sounds preposterous, but this is Gaza, which, after two years of an economic blockade, is renowned for recycling, repurposing, and smuggling just about anything that can't be imported legally. The zoo, in a way, represents all three of these coping mechanisms: a couple of house cats stand in for wild cats; the lion was drugged and smuggled through a tunnel from Egypt; and the zebra, as Berghat joked, was "locally made."
It's all so sad. How can this inhuman economic blockade continue? How can the world turn its back on that poor little place when so many are suffering? It's still such a big story, but now you only hear the little ones .
A crippled girl can't come home.
A painted donkey now lives in a cage.
Just like the people of Gaza...