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A Play About Shells for Gaza Children

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DogPoundPup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 03:53 PM
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A Play About Shells for Gaza Children
Saturday was the first day of school since before the war, and 1,000 homeless people had been removed from the building so that classes could begin.

Even then, normal schoolwork had to wait. A team trained in trauma and group activities was running the assembly, and after the singing and clapping, there was a play devoted to how to handle dangerous materials, like shell parts, still in or near homes. Later, each pupil described what had happened to him and to his friends and family in Israels 23-day war aimed at stopping Hamass rockets.

They are not ready to learn yet, said Asem Bajah, an English teacher, as he watched the singing. And I am not ready to teach.

One week after the war with Israel and Hamas stopped each side declaring a unilateral cease-fire Gaza remains in a kind of stupor. There are numbers, of course, to describe its misery 4,000 homes destroyed, 21,000 badly damaged, 100,000 people homeless, according to several aid agencies but they do not tell the full story.

Most of Gaza, especially the capital, Gaza City, remains largely intact. This is not Grozny after the Chechen war or Dresden after World War II. The hospitals are coping; shops are reopening; people are walking the streets; traffic is becoming a problem once again. Israel has tripled the amount of goods flowing in here since before the war, meaning that pomegranates, bananas and apples, long missing, are now available at produce stands.

But the areas where Israeli tanks and artillery poured in at the start of the ground war are devastated: Juhr el Dik to the east, Beit Lahiya, El Atatra and sections of Jabaliya to the north, as well as the outer Gaza City neighborhoods of Zeitoun and Toufah.

Homes have been blown up or bulldozed, their squashed furniture visible beneath layers of collapsed concrete. Factories for paint, dairy products, soft drinks have been smashed. Schools have 10-foot holes in their walls. Wedding halls are blackened hulks. The American International School, a private institution in northern Gaza, has been destroyed. Mosques are gone.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/25/world/middleeast/25mi...
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Duckhunter935 Donating Member (777 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 04:56 PM
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1. Most of Gaza, especially the capital, Gaza City, remains largely intact.
I thought Gaza was leveled?
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