Coronavirus: Advice from Palestinians on life under lockdown

From time to time, the Palestine Center distributes articles it believes will enhance understanding of the Palestinian political reality. The following article was published by Mariam Barghouti in Middle East Eye  on March 22, 2020


“I phoned my mother to ask: “What were we doing during curfew times in the Intifada?” My mother laughed, and replied: ‘We baked. A lot.’ Indeed, I remember our house in Ramallah being full of the aromas of all the different cakes. I also remember the constant patrol of Israeli soldiers on the streets, and the horrible sound of broken Arabic coming out of their armoured green jeeps as they shouted about the imposed curfew, along with a roaring threat that ‘anyone roaming will be shot’. They were scary times, and they were times we spent inside our homes, wondering when it would all be over.

In light of the current Covid-19 state lockdowns, Palestinians have been sharing posts across social media in an attempt to highlight the siege on Gaza and curfews in the West Bank. The difference between the curfews and the current state of global quarantine is that, with military-imposed lockdowns, there is the added element that remaining inside does not necessarily ensure your safety, or that of others. 

Indeed, at any point, an army brigade can raid your home and claim it to be a military base. Your movement is controlled by guns, and the sound of bombings can be heard outside, along with the live ammunition that seems to relentlessly play like some bad symphony on a loop. The recent posts across social media reference our history – and present – as an experience that has prepared us for these quarantine measures taking place around the globe because of Covid-19. For Gaza, it highlights the unbearable reality of perpetual imprisonment.”


To read this article, please click here.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Jerusalem Fund.

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