Break the Siege: Go to Gaza
The siege imposed on Gaza by Israel isn’t just a siege on products and movement, it is also a cultural and psychological siege.
Our governments are helping that siege.
After the Revolution, the Egyptian government’s role should be in ending the siege, not ignoring it. And we as people have to do more than simply state our opposition and watch it happen. We can help break the siege ourselves. It doesn’t take much.
Going to Gaza is not impossible.
You don’t have to go with medicine and food. Go with art, with music, a cultural programme. Go with a concert or workshops or a reading – your presence alone makes a difference.
A lot of people are working under the idea that you need an Israeli stamp to enter Gaza. It’s not the case. In Gaza, the occupying army are present behind the wall, on the borders of her territory. They make their presence felt with floodlights on the 3km fishing limit at sea, with drones in the air.
We spent five days in Gaza without seeing a single Israeli soldier.
How to Travel
Gather a group of people. We were 37. It’s better, of course, if you’re less. Around 6 is ideal
Photocopy your passports
Get in touch with a university there, or any group that does similar work to you. Make a plan with them about the kind of activities you can do there. If you don’t know anyone there we can help you out.
After making your plans, apply to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Egypt for travel permits. Write a letter explaining why you’re going and when and attach to the letter a photocopy of your passport.
Send it by fax to +20 (0) 257 49682. The Ministry gave us our permits 15 days after making the application. Allow up to three weeks.
On the road and at the border, expect a lot of questions. Make several copies of the letter from the Ministry – it will be useful.
The group you’re meeting should send you a letter of invitation and should leave your names on the Palestinian side of the border.
This is the way we travelled.
The Palestine Festival of Literature was the start. Our friends there are waiting for more groups to come help them break the siege.
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