2000

Email from Nazareth

13 November 2000

Being a postman in Nazareth is trickier than in most towns. The danger of attack by dog is probably no greater than elsewhere in Israel, but finding an address requires an unusually intimate knowledge of the tangle of back streets: most have no name, and the houses no numbers. Space is at such a premium that as families grow so do their homes – through a series of extensions and additions, most of them illegal. As one resident observed: “If the council can’t find room to build pavements, how are we expected to find a plot for a new home?”

Email from Gaza City

24 July 2000

Tairif Abu Dayya has had a hectic month. In his PLO shop in Gaza City, amid dozens of inflatable Yasser Arafat dolls dangling from the ceiling, he and his family have been hurriedly sewing 3,000 flags. The order, placed by the Palestinian National Authority before the start of the Camp David summit a fortnight ago, should ensure there are enough flags to mark the declaration of Palestinian statehood, long threatened by Arafat for mid-September.