In the Presence of Dreams and Distress : Gaza City

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I was having lunch with Rosalind Nashashib an artist sometimes associated with Insight ……… she started to speak about her experiences having recently returned from Gaza ……… She said things I expected of the difficulty of life there ……. of poverty …… and of social and cultural complications …… and she said things I did not expect ……. she spoke of it almost as a magical place ……. hidden and very hard to access …… almost like the mythical realm’s in fairy stories …… for a moment I pictured in my head the barbed wire and fences that lock the people in as if it were an impenetrable forest of childhood fairy tales ……..

Gaza with the people as dwellers in a forbidden and enchanted land ……… this thought sort of jars drastically with some of my ultra real experience there ……. and yet there is something compelling in this line of magical thinking ……….. the dwellers in the land of Gaza have a culture and shared experience of only this place …….. they are locked in by land and by sea ……. behind the impenetrable guarded walls live a people cut off from the outside world …..

This is a land peopled by dreamers …….. People who dream of homes they have never seen …… Dream of their fathers house and land in what is now an unrecognizable suburb of Tel Aviv ….. a house that once was ……. and dwells only in memory and in stories passed from the old to the young ……. there are dreams and haunting memories of olive groves and shady courtyards …… of lives that might have been……… contained inside the impenetrable forest of razor wire a magical place of dreams, of bitterness and longing ….. a place that functions through the yearning for and the magical belief in return ……

Cheers Jez X

You have a splendid dream that precedes poetry

and a sea call that precedes rhythm

As if tonight were the private rendezvous

between creator and created

Be the master of your attributes now

My son, you have a dream

Follow it with the night given to you!

And be one of the dreams attributes

Dream and you will find paradise in place!

Mahmoud Darwish

From : In the Presence of Absence

[ 19 ] comments

  • Gaza has palm trees??? It’s a tropical paradise… dreamy

    Norman Etanyahu @ September 15, 2014, 11:06 pm

  • Raw sewage too of course…. but dreamy? ……. Yes dreamy too …. Gaza is a place where dreams are vitally important …. essentially creating the collective culture and belief structure for everyone ………Cheers Jez XXX

    Jezblog London UK :-)) @ September 16, 2014, 2:08 am

  • I suppose the if the nightmare’s everywhere around you the only place to be is in your dreams ?
    Don’t know if it’ll be nightmares or dreams on Thursday here, but I’m looking forward to placing an “x” in the “Yes” box.


    Harv.! @ September 16, 2014, 3:40 pm

  • hehehe……. keep dreaming bro …….. I think its madness and yet I might vote for it if I lived up there just to get to live the dream ……. and maybe get to experience the possible nightmare …… hehehe……Cheers bro Jez XXXXXX

    PS….. I saw the front cover of the Financial Times today 3 disasters threaten the worlds economy according to them……. Middle East War, Ukraine War…. and Scottish Independence….. hehehe……

    PPS ……. Pull the pin …… :-))) XXXX


    Jezblog London UK :-)) @ September 16, 2014, 4:50 pm

  • If you were here you’d be shocked at how biased the media have been. You expect from papers like the Telegraph and Mail, but not from the BBC…it’s pretty shameful. The media are portraying it as voting for Salmond and against Westminster…but actually it’s a vote for the people of Scotland.
    I wouldn’t be able to look my nephews and nieces in the eye if I didn’t vote “Yes”…you’ve got to follow your heart and vote for your hopes, not for your fears as a certain Mr Mandela once said.


    Harv.! @ September 16, 2014, 5:54 pm

  • Piece in The Guardian worth reading… http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/16/media-shafted-people-scotland-journalistsAnd a fantastic video if you haven’t already come across it, support from Matt Groening https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6vDzf-wSbk&list=PLCF4E9612CFF6AD62

    Harv.! @ September 16, 2014, 6:15 pm

  • Love Gounds Keeper W …….. tragically not to be….. sorry
    4 your loss …….. probably better all round for the economics of all these islands but it is undeniably the slightly more boring option for all of us bro ………Cheers Jez XXXXXXX


    Jezblog London @ September 19, 2014, 6:28 am

  • You do wonder what is happening in peoples’ minds that they reject the ability to rule themselves and take their country on a fairer path. Meanwhile there was a queue of people camping outside the Glasgow Apple store so they could be the first to buy a phone ?
    At least we woke up 1.6 million people, but 2 million are still in the coma they’ve always been in.
    Truely humbled by all the mesages of support I got through instagram, tumblr and on the streets from Hong Kong, Australia, Canada,Spain, the U.S., the list goes on and on.
    I did what I could but I only had one vote…it’ll take a few days to clear the tears from my eyes.


    Harv.! @ September 19, 2014, 12:17 pm

  • Like I say I think everyone’s economics r probably more solid like this……. but I was kinda disappointed myself this morning ……. I am sure it would have been a crazed and awesome ride for those aboard …. …….. so sorry bro Cheers Jez XXXXX

    jezblog London @ September 19, 2014, 3:55 pm

  • Grow up Harv – 1,617,989 out of 4,285,233 eligible to vote, that’s barely over a third, you lost, get over it,and if that’s the best you can do under a Tory Government then it really is over. How about “Devo Max” for London, like to see how you would get on without our tax revenue

    El Jeffe @ September 20, 2014, 8:17 am

  • Lol…yeah go for it.

    Harv.! @ September 20, 2014, 11:10 am

  • Hey Jez, I got your message and the answer is definitely yes – but I’m not on email at the moment, so don’t know what you need. Text me? loads of love, Laura

    Laura @ September 19, 2014, 4:50 am

  • hehehehe……… Yes is all I need at the moment :-)) I’ll send u a text too just so u know what it is hehehehe Thanks so much ……… :-)))))))))))Cheers Jez XXXXXXXX

    Jezblog London @ September 19, 2014, 6:23 am

  • A lovely blog post jez

    John h @ September 23, 2014, 6:59 pm

  • Thanks so much John ….. hey you know this more than anyone …. reportage photography gives us the privilege of meeting amazing people …. when I wrote this thing above I was thinking of families I stayed with in Gaza …… Now… I have just returned from making pictures with migrants in France …. hanging out with people from Sudan, Libya, Syria etc ….. the beautiful hopes and dreams…… combined with the desperate reality of the abject poverty, fear and danger……. in such striking and shocking contradiction …… people living the harshest and most desperate lives that ii is possible to live in Europe and yet still dreaming ….. it was humbling and heartbreaking, so terrible and yet I felt privileged to be with them and accepted by them…….. Cheers bro Jez XXXXXXCheers bro Jez XXXXX

    Jezblog London :-)) @ September 26, 2014, 10:48 am

  • It is a very nice blog post…but it has been up since like August or something..

    Al Maliki @ September 28, 2014, 10:19 pm

  • hehehehe……….. its true……. time for something new :-))))))))Cheers Jez XXXXXX

    Jezblog London :-)) @ September 29, 2014, 6:53 am

  • Lovely thoughts. You capture the pathos of Gaza very well–a land like it’s from a fairy tale and so enchanted that it’s caught the attention of the evil eye, and now lies in distress.

    paper boat sailor @ October 31, 2014, 11:42 am

  • Motivated by dreams that cling to the lost past in desperation and sadness…….. Gaza is trapped in time…. a physical place…. and a place in time …. a time that is set for so many of its inhabitants at a time before they were born………Cheers Jez XXXX

    Jezblog NYC :-)) XXX @ November 18, 2014, 10:15 pm

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