Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Every so often something beautiful happens

David Seaton's News Links
Every so often something beautiful happens that makes your heart swell with human feelings of empathy and solidarity.

A wall falling and people behind it flowing out just to buy ice cream, to see their friends they haven't seem for years, or to get married and start a family like the couple in the story below.

The down side? This could blow Egypt apart. American aid has neutralized Egypt, but Egypt is the most important country in the Middle East.

If the Mubarak regime is seen collaborating with the Israelis to put the Palestinians back in their cage it might bring the Egyptian people out into the streets. If the Israeli army enters Gaza and Hamas puts up a real fight then the Egyptian army (captains, majors and colonels) might stage a coup d'etat and a general war might break out in the Middle East. Something much bigger and harder to control than the Yom Kippur war of 1973. Because when people's hearts swell with human feelings of empathy and solidarity it generates an amazing force that politicians oppose at their peril. DS

Wedding bells to ring after fall of Rafah wall - Reuters
While other Palestinians lugged food and fuel from Egypt into the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, Omran Lubbab took advantage of the fall of Gaza's Rafah wall to bring his future bride home.

"No more delays," said Lubbab, a 34-year-old Gaza cameraman, vowing to marry fiance Heba al-Qadi in two weeks' time.

Lubbab was reunited with Qadi, a Palestinian who lives on the Egyptian side of the divided town of Rafah, after stepping through one of the gaps Hamas fighters blew in the border wall dividing the town.

"We have been engaged for two years but our wedding has been delayed because of the closure of the border crossing," said Qadi, who carried two suitcases filled with new dresses into the Gaza Strip to begin her new life.

Israel and Egypt have largely kept the Rafah passage sealed since Hamas Islamists violently took over the Gaza Strip from forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in June.

In a declared bid to stop Palestinian rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip, Israel shut the territory's other crossing points on Friday but eased restrictions on Tuesday after an international outcry over shortages of fuel and other goods.

Qadi will be staying with relatives in Gaza until the wedding.

Her mother, Buthaina al-Qadi, was all smiles as she watched the couple chatting about their wedding reception.

"I am very happy. My daughter is finally going to start a new life and a family," she said.

Palestinian police estimated that more than 100,000 people had crossed into the Egyptian side of Rafah.

"People need to breathe. People need to bring food to their children. It is the revolution of hunger," said one policemen who declined to give his name.

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