Tuesday, 3 October 2006

Too Much to Bear

BBC 2 tonight: first there was the live coverage of the baby seal, covered in blood and dragging itself along the beach. I don't know what was wrong with it, I missed the beginning. I fear it will not last the night. Then there was 'The Tea Boy of Gaza', focusing on the lives of those who work in Shifa Hospital in Gaza. The doctors and nurses (like all government workers) have not been paid for 6 months since Hamas got in and the west cut off funding. One orthopaedic nurse drives taxis after his shifts, he has seven children to support. He still managed to joke about things and shrugged off the situation, saying, Life in Gaza is strange. The Shifa medics not only have to patch up the hideously injured, they have to contend with the armed visitors who swarm in the corridors, guarding the injured. Fights often break out between factions of Hamas and Fatah. In one scene, two warring families shot each other in the car park, doctors had to abandon the ER, and the hospital director was hiding in his office, crouched on the floor. Weaving in and out of the chaos, 12 year old tea boy, Mahmoud, can always be found. He supports his six brothers and sisters by selling tea to the staff and patients. He boasted about his 'regulars' and how he can often sell out in the maternity ward. He said he likes to watch the drama of shootings and he has lifted up the body parts of martyrs, though he was so scared afterwards his mum had to take him to a faith healer. He is peeved that it's harder to get into the hospital now because of increased security. But no matter how grim things get, he can be seen with his kettle, running here and there to sell tea.


Anne said...

Ah NMJ you are very lovable. Sleepyhead that I am, I peruse your last postings, and I say it again, "You are certainly never lacking in candor". That makes you eligible for hugging morning noon and night at the very least.

nmj said...

hey anne, thanks for such a lovely comment, & those transatlantic hugs are welcome!