Wednesday, January 5, 2011
It's a lovely sunny day out there. Unfortunately, all of us who didn't go on the official conflict touristy exercise are hogging the laptops. So am sitting on the balcony of our posh hotel in a wicker chair: the sun warming my feet and the chilly sea breeze blowing through my hair. The mediterranean lies before me. The view to my left is obstructed by a mosque under construction and on the right the horizon ends abruptly to hazy structures the most prominent of them a gray phallic chimney belching white smoke into clear blue palette of the sky. That's Israel. That's the port to which Mavi Marmara was towed to. There's a funny kind of justice in Israel being on the right, at least on my right. In front of me the blue sea in its many shades of blue (mostly aqua marine and sea green: two colours that I didn't know existed outside a fancy paint box) stretches till it vanishes in a haze. I am hypnotised by the rhythmic breaking of the surf as it breaks on the rocky shores. There must be many underlying rocks for in the distance the deep blue is regularly flecked by sparkling white as waves encounter rocky outcrops hidden to the surface. The narrow stretch of sandy beach is dirty, as we found out on our walk last evening. Its strwen with all kinds of refuse, mostly plastic. Also, spreading their narrow concrete arms (at right angles to each other) are what seems to be two narrow, dirty concrete roads. The edges are uneven and dirty as concrete chunks and protruding iron rods lay rusting and mossy for the waves to crash against in foamy sprays. These must be the remnants of a dock. The rotting concrete carcass one more reminder of Israel and the ongoing conflict. Jihad, one of our guides (a third year student of English at the local Islamic University) tells us bombed and damaged roads can't be repaired due to shortage of building materials because of the siege. That must be why the mosque lies unfinished. Jihad studies Animal Farm and Death of a Salesman and says capital punishment is just because it satisfies the basic human urge for revenge. He's 22.