Encounter 226 – 8.7.2022

Nuweiba – where we sat and wept when we remembered Zion (and Zionism).
There Rami sat with us, so we made a circle. For the first time, the “lighthouse” came out of the normal comfort zone and moved to a more comfortable area. Not only did we sit and cry, we were also served cups of coffee and watermelon slices. Like in a lighthouse but here for a change, Shmulik’s hand was not over (coffee) and the mission was successfully performed by Omar, a particularly kind Egyptian who was born in Giza and came to work at Musa Camp, which is the name of the beach where we stayed.
Rami arrived in Sinai before us and was hosted at another beach. He came to meet us here when we arrived, on Tuesday evening and on Wednesday joined us. The meeting was of course particularly exciting.
Rami spoke first in a “circle” held this time in Zoom.
For Rami this is the first time he has been physically present at the Lighthouse with us. He says the situation is very bad there in Gaza and there are many suicides. No employment, no livelihood and no hope. The meeting here is part of an attempt to create connections between people who are willing to help. Rami says it’s hard to act alone and needs a team. He sees the “lighthouse” as such a group. Without personal interests. We need to work together for the great cause. So maybe we’re here to make plans for the future, maybe we’ll meet again in a broader context. It may even be here in Nuweiba. We will invite people from Gaza, the West Bank, Egypt and Israel. The meeting here with Shmulik, Nachshon and Oded gives him a lot of hope and strength.
Rami talked about Gaza and we talked about Rami. Beyond the usual things each of the three of us says and repeats every week, we mostly emphasized our excitement from meeting him.
After us, Ariel from Ramat Gan spoke. Ariel came to the meeting today thanks to his acquaintance with Rami and he also met a few months ago with Rami in Sinai. When asked what Gaza is for him, Ariel replied that Gaza for him is almost exclusively Rami. He greatly appreciates Rami’s work and teachings. Ariel is a musician and filmmaker. He says that Rami’s activities with the young people in Gaza deserve a documentary he plans to make.
Moshe says that he too is excited to see us, his friends from the kibbutz and the “lighthouse” meet face to face with Rami. This, he says, emphasizes the doctrine of Rami Haruvi, which eliminates fences between people. Maybe we will win our generation and maybe only the generation of our grandchildren, that there will be no fence and the connection will be direct.
Limor says that as a child who grew up near Ashkelon, she had contact with Gaza. She too has a dream of seeing Gaza open to the world. She works in Sderot with people who have experienced trauma. In her work she feels sympathy for the suffering of her patients but she also does not forget that for 20 years Gaza is closed and the mind suffers. There is a sense that people are discouraged from dealing with a force stronger than themselves. The meeting with Rami adds hope. And yet when Limor thought it was necessary to invite more people to zoom in, she went through her contacts and realized that 99% of them would not connect. But she wants to end on a positive note and says that despite everything, it is possible, a change can be made.
Fatma, originally from Shuja’iya in Gaza. Her house was destroyed in 2014 by Israeli bombings. Fatma moved to the West Bank and recently married and had a son. She speaks to us in Arabic and her husband sitting next to her translates into English. Fatma does not have a West Bank resident certificate. She has difficulty moving from city to city because of the military checkpoints seeking a certificate. Her father, who lives in Gaza, recently left a hospital, an elderly and sick man, and she can not visit him because they will not let her return home. Muhammad, her husband, says they can not spend the holidays because of the checkpoints. To visit the Strip and so did their baby son .If you visit the Strip, it could leave the baby without his mother. Fatma also had to stop her undergraduate studies (criminology, if I understood correctly) because as a result of the marriage she moved to a different city from the one where she studied and… checkpoints. Saying that it is our mission to enable the mobility of the family as a family, Muhammad adds that this is a broad phenomenon and not unique only to Fatma.
Anna was born in Israel and grew up in Canada. Currently in Bat Yam. Came to zoom through Rami. It’s a little difficult for her to answer about Gaza, naturally it’s a complex matter. It’s great to see such a conversation as we’re having it right now, she says. This seems perfectly normal. Ariel’s initiative for a documentary about Rami’s group seems to her to be a great idea that can also help raise funds.
Malki happy to be a part of this special meeting today. She says everything has already been said and she has nothing to renew. Our capabilities to operate, are quite limited. We try to persevere and hope. To play, listen and converse, it is still possible.
After a round of talking by all, we continued the conversation and Rami emphasized his commitment to continue to act and link joint initiatives on a variety of topics as he has done in the past. There is more power to joint initiatives that come from the people who experience the suffering. The content of the initiatives will be determined by those who initiate them, he sees his role mainly as a connecting person. Nahshi cited as an example the meeting between Rami and Gal, a drama teacher at Sha’ar Hanegev High School, who is also with us here at Sinai. She told Rami that her teaching partner was part of a project of virtual youth meetings between them and Gaza youth, and Rami pulled out the cellphone and showed her videos from the project. She arrived after the project was stopped (Covid) and did not know Rami at the time, and here they meet here in Nuweiba!
At the end we wished a happy holiday to the Muslims among us for whom the day begins Eid al-Adha. Eid Said!
Here is a link to the recording of the meeting
In Nuweiba Egypt – Shmulik, Rami, Nahshi, Oded.
In Israel – Ariel, Limor, Anna, Moshe, Malki.
In Palestine – Fatma and Muhammad
Wrote: Oded