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One man's return to Gaza

In an interview with Al-Monitor, the journalist Majdi Arbid, who fled Gaza eight years ago, tells of the dire situation he encountered when he returned.
Palestinians walk near the ruins of houses that witnesses said were destroyed or damaged by Israeli shelling during a 50-day war last summer, on a winter day east of Gaza City February 20, 2015. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa (GAZA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY) - RTR4QE85
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That the situation in Gaza is serious is a well-known, indisputable fact. The leitmotif of countless reports is the plight, poverty, anxiety and suffering of the people. The testimony I’ve heard from my friend Majdi Arbid, who returned to the Gaza Strip after an eight-year absence, is especially unique and heartrending.

Majdi was the photographer I worked with when I covered Gaza during the second intifada, 2000-2005. Back then, he was also the owner of the al-Huriyah (Freedom) radio station, which employed dozens of people broadcasting news, current affairs and entertainment programs. We used to crisscross the Gaza Strip together until Majdi was forced to flee by the skin of his teeth during the 2006 Hamas coup, because his radio station was airing messages against the movement’s policies.

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