Sunday, February 11, 2007

My New Friend in Gaza

Strange are the ways of the Internet. And wonderful too, in a sense.

I am listed in the Skype directory, I think. I'm not even sure how I'm listed, all I know is that every now and again a Skype window pops up. I usually ignore these people, simply because I'm busy and don't have time to chat. I often take a look at the profile first, just out of curiosity. A week ago, such a Skype window popped up and me. The location showed "Palestinian Authority". I had a few minutes on my hands, so figured I'd say hello.

The young man on the other side tried Arabic first but switched to English when I said I can't read Arabic that well. He was from Gaza, his name was Jihad. When he realized he had stumbled upon an Israeli he went, "ohhhhhhhh, you must have me." And so our dialogue began. Now, Jihad is a 19 years old student and an avid supporter of Hammas, the kind that opposes to Israel in every way, and is certain that Allah intends for the whole of Israel, not just the West Bank or Gaza, to be under Palestinian control. To him, it's the will of God, not something that is even debatable. He loathes the PLO and admires the Hammas. He gets his news from Hammas resources and says he won't even check on international news sites because they are all "controlled by America" and hence prejudiced against Israel. He even justifies suicide bombers as freedom fighters.

It's a fascinating dialogue, to both of us. He says he never realized there were Jews in Israel that want peace and is fairly surprised. We talk almost daily, not always for very long. Surprisingly enough, we are reaching some common ground sometimes. I won't go into details, out of respect to the privacy of our chats, but just wanted to report here about this little dialogue that we have forming, between two people that are only 100 km's away from each other, yet are worlds apart in so many ways. It is a surprisingly friendly dialogue too. We call each other brothers by now (well, technically my husband and him call each other brothers lol), in a very Middle Eastern way. We've got mutual invitations open to each other and the common word in our conversation is Inshalla (God's willing) - Inshalla, someday Jihad will come here to play tennis with my hubby, and will take us down to visit the vegetable fields near his home...


Anne said...

Hi Anne,
I would be interested in your comments on this item thet I heard yesterday

Anne (Anakat)

IsrealiMom said...

Good for them to protest. These are essentially marginal groups within Israel. I have never been close to a bus that has this, but I have heard of them.

Unlike racial segregation, this if for religious principles. It's like you have men and women praying separately at synagogues. I can't really relate to that, as I have zero contact with people of that group. To me, it seems beyond stupid.

I do agree btw, that any nationally funded/subsidized bus companies should not be allowing this on their lines. If those people want that crazy system on their busses, they should have a private company of themselves.

Cakes said...

God's willing...