What does a regular day look like for someone living in Gaza?
This post was originally written by me on Quora to answer the question in the title.
I live in Gaza, or what I prefer to call: Gaza Strip. Gaza Strip has four major cities:
Currently, I live in Gaza City, but originally I’m from Rafah in the south, which is the city that share the borders with Egypt.
I work as a web application engineer at the Ministry of Health, so I wake up early in the morning at 07:00. I walk to work since I rented an apartment close to work when I got married.
I finish work at 14:30, go back home and eat lunch, then I spend the rest of the afternoon with my family, and sometimes I go to the supermarket to buy some groceries. After sunset, I start working on some side projects and on some freelancing jobs. I have to, since I didn’t get my salary for the past one year and a half year on account of the political crisis between Hamas and Fatah.
I used to go to the gym after the sunset. Yep, we have gyms.
On the weekends, we have three options: restaurants, parks and the beach.
Gaza Strip is very small, it’s only 360 km² so we get bored easily. Restaurants menus are similar and there is no diversity in the food and the experience, no sushi. 🙁
Parks are small and crowded. The beach may be the only breather in Gaza, but you won’t see beach amenities in Gaza plus it’s very congested in the summer.
I always say this phrase to my friends: “If you have one billion dollars in Gaza, what is the best fun that you can have here? Just go to a fancy restaurant!!”, so no we don’t have skydiving here. 🙁
The blockade has a major effect on Gazans life. When you go to work, you’ll hear power generators buzzing. If you need to establish a business, the first thing you want to do is to purchase a power generator. And believe me they are not cheap.
Most people can’t afford power generators, and we have electricity just for six hours per day, and sometimes you spend the whole day without electricity.
Israel prevented a lot of goods from entering Gaza, and one of them is cement. Guys like me are stuck with rent because there are no cement available in Gaza to build our houses. The construction work is semi-dead here and thousands of construction workers are unemployed now.
Some additional points to add:
- Traveling? Hell no, no airport, no seaport, and the borders are closed.
- Going to the West Bank? No, you just can’t. You are forbidden.
- How about buying an iPhone from Amazon or eBay? Big NO: electronics via mail are forbidden too.
- How about war? Yes, we will give you that. Every two years we will give you a war and will let you live in fear, it’s good for your health and self-esteem.
My last points may be irrelevant to the question, but they are definitely affecting the regular day for someone living in Gaza. I’m very frustrated about the situation here, and I hope it will change soon despite my pessimism.
If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to ask me.