On December 27, 2008, 27-year old Khulood Ghanem was in Gaza City when Israel launched its massive three-week military assault on the captive population of Gaza. 1400 Palestinians were killed, a majority of them non-combatants and 400 of them children. Much of Gaza’s infrastructure was destroyed.
Khulood kept a diary every day of the Israeli assault. In March 2009, Khulood volunteered to help with translation for a CodePink Women for Peace delegation that managed to get into Gaza for International Women’s Day. Two of the delegates -- Tacoma WA resident Linda Frank and Canadian-Israeli Sandra Ruch -- learned of the existence of Khulood’s diary and asked Khulood for permission to read and make public this rare personal account of living under the bombing. Khulood translated the first seven days of the diary from Arabic into rough but clear English. Linda Frank brought playwright Edward Mast into the process to adapt the text into a performance piece which has been performed several times in the Seattle area. Plans to perform the piece in other cities include solidarity events with the Gaza Freedom March on December 31, when 1300 people from 42 countries will attempt to break the siege.
A full year after the assault ended, Gaza is still in ruins. Israel has maintained sporadic attacks as well as a siege and blockade which prevent food, medical supplies, building equipment and other necessities from entering Gaza. Israel’s blockade has made reconstruction impossible, and this human-created catastrophe continues.