Gaza Update – Living in tents and makeshift homes is the norm while reconstruction materials are stuck at the border or tied up in red tape –
Walk just about any street in the area of Gaza called Shujaya and you will see nothing but piles of rubble – at times you can’t find the street and are forced to climb over 20 foot piles of broken cement blocks, metal rods and household debris – and there is block after block of rubble. Nothing has been spared including the contents of the houses. Just about every house in the area has either been destroyed or is just about ready to fall down.
Shujaya is a village that sits along the Israeli border. It came under intense shelling and bombing during the summer Operation Protective Edge. What was not shelled or bombed was knocked over by bulldozers and tanks.
Just a few hours after a temporary cease fire, people began returning to Shujaya. Many had taken refuge in empty spaces surrounding Al Shifa Hospital or UNRWA schools, but after 7 weeks of living in make-shift tents or piled into schoolrooms, they wanted to get home.
What they returned to were the same piles of rubble that I had seen during and right after the Israeli bombardment.
Rather than abandon their property and rubble, and hoping to be on site when officials came to assess the damage, they built homes from whatever they could find. Others had no other place to go with few apartments available that could accommodate large families – and even fewer that were affordable.
“The Tent Confronts the Storm” is an intimate encounter with a family who is now living in a makeshift home in Shujaya – there are hundreds of these makeshift structures, pull together from whatever can be salvaged, and that have been built beside once beautiful homes. You may have wondered what it is like to live in a tent this week as rain pours down on your world and as the winter in Gaza makes itself at home.
One family shares their journey with you in this short documentary