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Gaza Blockade Erodes Palestinian Culture, Education

Although the recent blockade on Gaza is often characterized as depriving residents of vital food supplies and medicine, Asmaa al-Ghoul argues that the real tragedy is embodied by the intellectual blockade on the Strip.
Palestinian sisters Dunia, 10, and Dana, 5, sort out their school books after finding them among the debris of their parents' destroyed home in the southern part of Gaza City January 20, 2009. Voicing shock at stark scenes of destruction, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, and Israel was poised to withdraw its troops before the U.S. presidential inauguration later in the day.  REUTERS/Anja Niedringhaus/Pool (GAZA) - RTR23N6B
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Is the blockade on the Gaza Strip a blockade of stomachs or a blockade of minds? Are store shelves empty of goods or are library shelves devoid of modern Arabic books and newspapers? Does the blockade on Gaza — which was imposed by the United States, Israel and most European nations after Hamas took control of the strip by force of arms in 2007 — prevent the organization's ministries, institutions and schools from development and knowledge, and leave the arena open for the ideological financier, who maintains a religious vision, to implement its agendas?


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