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Sherine Tadros
"The amazing thing was how communities came together."
Last Modified: 13 Feb 2009 16:00 GMT

 
"We ate a lot of cheese sandwiches. So a highlight was when the fiancée of one of the producers brought us spaghetti bolognese.

I think food’s the last thing that you think about; you don’t really want to eat anything.

The amazing thing was how communities came together; how people would risk crossing the street to give their neighbours food. Cooked food.

There was this one supermarket for the whole of Gaza City and this stubborn old man who would sit in his mini-market refusing to close and categorically not allow me to pay for whatever I was buying.

Even though stocks were so low that he needed all the paying custom he could get.

At night we felt almost a responsibility to get some sleep.

We knew that if we didn’t recuperate we wouldn’t be able to carry on and we there was no one else that would take over, or do a morning shift for us.

Water shortage

Usually we managed to get three or four hours between air strikes and shelling, but never consecutively.

We were sleeping on mattresses on the office floor. There was comfort in knowing that we were all together and it felt completely proper considering living conditions for everyone in Gaza were so bad.

But the thing that I found so hard to cope with was the smell of the clothes that I was sleeping in.

Because if I had been in the hospital that day I could smell blood on my clothes, or I could smell the house I had been in that day. I could just smell the war.

We had very little water so a lot of the time we didn’t wash and we used bottled water to brush our teeth.

We went back to a nearby hotel once every few days to shower; usually with cold water and as quickly as we could because it was so dangerous in that area.

The rest of the population, 60 per cent in fact, didn’t have access to water more than once a week. And they weren’t able to go out and try and get some bottled water like we were. They weren’t even able to do that."

Source:
Al Jazeera
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