x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Book review: Meet Me in Gaza an upbeat take on much-contested strip

Louisa B Waugh chronicles the three years she spent in Palestine in her memoir Meet Me in Gaza.

Meet me in Gaza: Uncommon Stories of Life Inside the Strip
Louisa B Waugh
The Westbourne Press

Three years spent living and working in Gaza were not put to waste in the hands (and words) of Louisa B Waugh. From the latter months of 2007 to the fall of 2011, amidst the violence, the many tales of just a few of the 1.7 million inhabitants of the Strip stand in stark contrast to media-built misery of their homeland.

Not that everything is a bed of roses. Much of Waugh's days are spent sans electricity, felt even more keenly at night shivering beneath a pile of blankets under the dim glow cast by cheap candlelight. This and the many other daily little injustices dealt out by the omniscient Israeli government are duly noted as she carries out her work. Yet there are also the few brief spells of laughter and celebration brought out in the good faith and wry determination of the many people whom Waugh crosses paths with.

After many a miserable news article dedicated to the subject, Meet Me in Gaza is a much-needed breath of fresh air. While the drones and shelling are never ignored, Waugh ensures they are not what truly define Gaza.

* Noori Passela