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The "only Chinese" in Gaza tells her real-life story! [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2009-1-15 14:25:37 |Display all floors
A Beijing girl and her Palestinian husband

After large-scale bloody battles broke out between the Palestinians and Israelis in September 2000, Gaza quickly became the focus of various clashes. Palestinian radical organizations continuously attacked Israeli settlements in Gaza, and in retaliation, the Israeli Defense Force carried out target eliminations or raids on Palestinian militias. Since then, disasters have plagued Gaza and living conditions have worsened each passing day.
Not long after Hamas was elected in 2007, Israeli forces started setting up blockades in Gaza. Hamas frequently fired rockets into Israeli territories while Israeli forces retaliated with bombings, encirclement and suppression. Later on, the People's Republic of China office in Palestine and Xinhua reporters stationed in Gaza were moved to Ramallah.
Qu Yang became the only Chinese left in Gaza. The Chinese media approached her, a Beijing girl in Gaza, to tell her real-life story.

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Post time 2009-1-15 14:26:32 |Display all floors

14 years ago a Beijing girl marries a Palestinian man from Gaza

A business encounter 15 years ago completely changed the life of a Beijing girl named Qu Yang. Qu fell in love at first sight with Marter, a young man from Gaza who came to Beijing to make purchases. The next year, Marter went to Qu's home and proposed to her, and the two tied the knot happily. After marrying, Qu followed her Palestinian husband, Zahir Abu Marter, all the way to Gaza, and began her new life in a foreign country.

Qu used to be in the household textile business and had a lockset store once. Although she always missed the noodles and preserved prunes of Beijing, the beautiful landscape and seashore in Gaza touched the Beijing girl's heart, so she settled in Gaza. Her life there was cozy and peaceful in the beginning and their three lively and healthy children, two boys and a girl that God had blessed them with, made Qu and Marter even happier.

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Post time 2009-1-15 14:27:14 |Display all floors

Sounds of guns are heard daily

Qu says, "At the time, shortly after the signing of the Oslo Accords, the urban area was relatively calm. As a coastal city near the Mediterranean Sea, Gaza was quite beautiful. However, war broke out and conditions worsened increasingly after 2000. "Starting one day several years ago, the sounds of guns began to be heard daily. The market became more and more depressed due to the impact of the Palestine-Israeli conflict. In 2004, Qu dismissed all her staff and worked alone in her office. She took on the task of raising her children after her husband went back to work in Shanghai, China. She had often gone back to Beijing to visit her family, but was forced to stay with her children in Gaza until her husband found a place to live in Shanghai. As it was time for her children to enter school, she had no time to waste.

War brought harm to their lives. Today's Gaza is completely different from the one Qu Yang arrived at 14 years ago. Qu says that she has gotten used to the fact that there are battles everyday and the sounds of guns and bombs daily, as well as targeted eliminations every two or three days. She says she already feels “worn out” and is hesitant to talk about these matters.

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Post time 2009-1-15 14:27:59 |Display all floors

Calls home to Beijing immediately after power comes back on

When the first bombings occurred on December 27, Qu was in her own home. She said that she had already gotten used to staying at home most of the time. Qu lives in an apartment building far away from the Hamas military area in Gaza city. Most of the residents in this building are relatives of her husband, and his younger brother lives upstairs, so if something were to happen they can take care of one another. Qu and her children felt fortunate after learning from the TV that in a nearby community, where Hamas military facilities and residences are close to one another, bombs from Israeli airplanes had caused many civilian casualties. When asked whether her home was safe and what happened during air strikes, Qu said, "We get news and updates from the TV and for the most part we rarely go out. Even if we do, there is nowhere to go. The stores and companies outside are all closed. I heard that a lot of people are dead. I do not want to see this, because it's too bloody." She said, "There used to be bombings, too, but this time it is different. We only experienced bombings on the border in the past, but now the attacks are targeting the entire Gaza Strip. They last a long time, and are on a larger scale. Though small conflicts occurred often before, such large-scale bombings never did."
When asked whether she felt scared when the air raid occurred, Qu replied: "I was not that nervous. But, how should I put it? It was really not a good feeling to know that our lives were in danger every single minute. Under many circumstances, the safety of our lives could not have been guaranteed at all. Bombings could have occurred at any moment," she said.

In July 2008, Qu Yang came to Beijing with her children for the Olympic Games and to spend some time with her husband, who was working in Shanghai. That was a happy and delightful time. On December 2, they went back to Gaza. Qu Yang said that her home was there, so she had to return and take care of her children there.

"Now, we experience blackouts nearly 16 hours a day. We have no Internet access most of the time, and there is no signal for mobile phones either. Maybe communications are being controlled because of military clashes. It is hard to contact the outside world, so when the electricity returns, we immediately log onto the Internet or call my family in Beijing to tell them we are still safe."

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Post time 2009-1-15 14:29:08 |Display all floors

Commodity prices are soaring and food is scarce

"Since 2007 when Hamas came to power, both supplies and residents' daily activities have been strictly controlled. But they are relatively polite to me and allow me to leave the house. Perhaps it is because I am Chinese. But life is becoming harder and harder. Commodity prices are climbing. A lot of commodities are smuggled to Gaza from Egypt through underground tunnels, and Hamas collects taxes on them so they are extremely expensive. Half a year ago, a pack of disposable diapers only cost 30 shekels (the local currency), but now it costs 160 shekels. The price has increased three-fold," she explained.

     Qu said the lives of most people here are becoming more and more difficult. "Only a small amount of relief goods offered by international organizations enters Gaza because of strict blockades by Israel. Foods storage facilities often empty very quickly. Most of the time, basic living conditions cannot be guaranteed. People are doing their best to store food to make preparations for a possible large-scale military operation."

     Qu said she will move to Shanghai as soon as her husband has arranged their housing. She will take her children with her and settle down there. Living in Gaza is just a temporary arrangement.

By People's Daily Online

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Post time 2009-1-15 14:30:03 |Display all floors

Reply #4 mariame's post

This story make me all wet.....

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Post time 2009-1-15 14:31:18 |Display all floors

Quaint

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