Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Feast Goes On in Khan Yunis

     There likely could not have been a better therapy for Gazans than having a respite from the punishing recent violence to enjoy one of the most sacred moments of the year: Eid al Adha (feast of sacrifice). According to Islam, this feast, or festival, honors Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael.
     I spent the three-day period with the Al Faqawi family, with whom I first lived 20 years ago in their Khan Yunis refugee camp home. Now, in Khan Yunis town east of the camp, their expanded family lives in the classic multi-level building, with each floor housing the sons' families. Theirs is one of the families I am writing the book about, tracing their lives across these decades. Hammam, the oldest son, is a central character in the book.
     Many of the photos are taken from the roof of their home, just a mile from the devastated eastern villages (see previous post). Still stunned by the shocking violence of the recent war, the town seemed starved for this moment of peace, harmony, and sharing.
Khan Yunis town
Sunset on eve of feast

Khan Yunis town, morning of feast

Calves to the slaughter

Gathering for morning prayer

3 generations off to prayers: Fuad, Hammam, Fuad, Omar

Early prayer, first day of feast

Early prayer, first day of feast

Simple feast: fresh kebab, hummus, and bread

Dates in various stages


Shadha and Hammam

Hammam and Shadha's children (Fuad, Mohammed, Omar, Habiba)

Fathima and granddaughter Fahtima (brother Wasseem's newbor)

Brother Hani, and sons Fuad and Mahmoud

Indispensable gadgets for the constant power outages

Father Fuad, Mother Fathima sorting just-harvested olives
BKB lending a symbolic hand

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