photo of sunset over Gaza by Hadeel Assali
This morning, I called Hadeel Assali, a friend from Houston, Texas who recently defended her dissertation at Columbia University. I had been thinking of her all month as Israeli bombs destroyed the infrastructure in Gaza and killed more than 250 civilians, including women and children.
Hadeel and I have known each other for more than fifteen years when she served on the board of Voices Breaking Boundaries and my organization helped Hadeel and her Houston-based Palestinian cohort initiate the first Houston Palestine Film Festival (HPFF).
In an email that Hadeel sent with the photo, she said:
this is a film still of a sunset over gaza from “sderot,” an Israeli settlement town just outside of the gaza strip. palestinian residents of gaza are restricted from returning to their former lands, such as the ones on which sdeort sits. in sderot, there is a hill where israeli settlers go to watch the israeli bombings of gaza for entertainment. i filmed this sunset from that hill.
L: Hadeel holding up 2007 City of Houston Proclamation honoring the Houston Palestine Film Festival (HPFF); R: My HPFF t-shirt that I brought with me from Houston to Los Angeles