Ahmed Abu Artema hates fences. A barbed-wire fence kept him from his mother for 19 years.
There is a universal loathing of fences among Palestinians. In Gaza, there is a common Arabic phrase used to refer to life in the Strip — min al-silik ila al-silik (from the fence to the fence), referring to being trapped by the Israeli fence in the east, the Mediterranean Sea in the west, which is guarded by Israeli warships, and the Rafah border with Egypt in the south.
So it is not surprising, then, that the catalyst for the Great Return March was a fence.
In December 2017, Abu Artema was walking along the barbed-wire fence that separates Gaza from Israel when he noticed birds flying over what he and two million others in Gaza could not cross.
It was an image that affected him greatly.
Later that day, he wrote on Facebook: “In the prison that is Gaza, the opportunities to visit our occupied land are rare. To see beyond the fence is an achievement. What if one of us dreamed we were a bird and soared over these cursed fences? Is it not a person’s right to move as freely as a bird?”….more