Archive for January, 2011

Gaza to Cairo

By: Jehan Alfarra


IT In Gaza, and Expo-Tech


Think of the IT industry in Gaza. In point of fact, Gaza is as advanced in Information Technology as a place could ever be- not in production due to obvious reasons, but in thought and study, maintenance, software, programming, and networking. Had Gazans been ‘permitted’, and I say the word not lightly at all, a better physical connection with the outside world, investments in this field can do so much. There are innumerable IT centers in Gaza concerned for the most part with advanced IT training, local and web networking, and web-design, i.e. things which the siege cannot solidly have a much negative effect on. Yet, power cuts still make even these locally handled matters fairly difficult. Border closures and the obstruction of trade led Palestinians in Gaza to turn to insecure means to bring into the strip as much of advanced technology as possible- a marked example is the tunnels- and also hindered, and blocked if you may, any viable advancement in production in this field. This suffocating strategy forces some IT experts in Gaza to get the hell out to be able to invest in themselves.

This is an interview with Ahmed Abu-Shaaban, the technical director and manager of UNIT ONE ICT in Gaza:

Gaza holds an EXPOTECH every year- it is not an EXPOTECH as you would think it should be, but hey at least Gaza tries with all its capacities and capabilities!

Terrorist or Pianist?

By: Jehan Alfarra

I remember “the story within a story” from my literature classes, but being in this place, I felt a world within a world. It did not feel by any means that I was in fact in Gaza! Instead of distressing explosions, I heard piano pieces. Instead of the agonizing power generator noise, I heard the zither.

I could not but think, “These children are incredibly fortunate.” Their fingers were dancing so beautifully on the instruments constructing the most striking and lurching tunes.

“How different are those children from the rest of mankind? Or from the talented American children that I met a few years ago?” I was wondering. “They are all learning the same language- music.”

Westerners and Israelis look at Palestinians as though violence was an inherent part of them. What they don’t realize is that the environment in which we live in is what construct and shape our personalities, our identities, and our dreams. Have they never watched Tarazan?!


The sooner the better??

By: Jehan Alfarra

“Pleaaaaaaaaaaase let it be tomorrow!! Actually now, now, nowwww!!! I want the second war now, come on Israel, come on!!! Oh God, please!!” my two sisters just began crying out while running in circles in the living room as I told them that four IDF soldiers have been wounded in border clashes with the Palestinian Resistance. “Heeeeeeeey!!!” I shouted at them, puzzled and incensed. “Look! It’s going to happen anyway, that is out of question, whether it was now or in a month. So, it’s better if they attack now! That way we won’t have to study for the finals!!!! Or do you want them to start bombing right after the finals and then ruin our winter break!?? Or if we die, do you want us to have been hot and bothered by studying and finals during the last days of our lives? They might as well save us the trouble!” one of my sisters responded.

Their attitude boggles my mind. Perhaps I shouldn’t be so startled though; I have grown somewhat indifferent to such things myself. And frankly, they do have a point. Am all worked up and trying to study for my finals this week. I wonder if Israel will indeed give us a new Cast Lead soon.


23 days of my life

My first semester at IUG, the Islamic University of Gaza, was quite intense; different life style, freshman zeal, new faces, new troubles, architecture major, and most significantly >> war.  My first final exam – Applied Physics – was scheduled to be on the 27th of December.  As usual, I was hardly prepared and I was actually wishing they’d postpone it!

Yeah, I ended up regretting that one.