Sunday, November 29, 2009

Where in the world is...

First and foremost, shout out to my old school Carmen Sandiego heads. If you don't know, you better ask somebody.

If I'm going to help you follow me on my trip, I am going to need to let you know where it is that I am going. Every play has a set, every movie has a location--it's the critical backdrop that puts everything else in context. So if I tell you that I'm going to Gaza, I should probably show you where Gaza is. Here goes...

Here is the world, with the so-called Middle East circled.

Now, here is a map of the Middle East with Israel circled.

Now, let's look a little closer. The following two maps will show Israel, with the Gaza Strip circled and...

Gaza itself

Please note (this is of GREAT import) that Gaza is surrounded on all sides by the Mediterranean Sea, Egypt, and Israel. This will become important as the story develops.

Coming soon...Who lives in this place?

Friday, November 27, 2009

This little light of mine...

One of the main reasons that I am going on this trip is to take the little bitty flashlight that I have access to and shine a bit of it on the situation that Palestinians are in. There are a lot of people that I interact with on a daily basis that know nothing about Palestine or Israel, and even less about the impact that the situation there has on the world.

Let me be clear, this is not a criticism.

I went to, and teach in, the same public school system that most of these folks went to. I watch the same TV, read the same newspapers and magazines, and listen to the same radio that most of them do. Most of these media, and most public schools, are set up to keep us in the dark about most of what happens in the world. So if you don't know much, it ain't your fault (sorry, I couldn't resist). I didn't know much until the last bit of my life either.


Once you do know something, it is your responsibility to do something with it. That's why I teach. That's why I organize. That's why I'm going to Palestine. And that's why I'm writing this blog. Over the next month, I'm going to be writing posts in short installments that are going to hopefully help anyone who reads this understand a little better the situation that J and I are walking into.

Please feel free to respond, and please feel free to send it around.

Stay tuned for the next post: Where in the world (is Gaza)?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I'm going to Gaza

My friend Tema often asks me to "start with what I know" when I talk about something.

The something that I'm talking about here is pretty huge, so I'll start with a list of things that I know...

  • I know I'm going to Cairo, Egypt with my friend J
  • I know that I am leaving for Egypt on December 26 and returning on January 4
  • I know that I am going with a group of people from around the world, that we are hoping to be able to cross from Egypt into Gaza to meet Palestinians and understand better the conditions that they are living in under the Israeli siege, participate in a march with Palestinians (and hopefully Israelis), and that I will be doing a lot of thinking and talking about this trip before I go and long after I get back
  • I know that you can get more logistical information about what I'm doing at this website
  • I know that I'm going to use this blog to keep a record of my thoughts and reactions to this life-changing trip, and that I'd be honored if you kept up with me through it
  • I know that I need support. This support could look like a lot of things over the next several months (and trust me, I'll let you know), but first and foremost, I'd love it if you'd support what I'm doing in the form of $$$

To do that, click here

Stay tuned for much more to come.