Issue 23.3, August 2008

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Essay Excerpt -

As most people persisted in trying to get where they were going, they became busy with the little details of movement: which road is open, how long of a walk is involved, can the car climb the mound of dirt, has a good citizen with a tractor moved the massive cement blocks, are the soldiers shooting today, or are they just throwing rocks.  So many conversations began with a usually blasé recounting of the journey that brought the speaker to that exchange. So much time was spent talking about time: “How long we stood in line at the checkpoint. How long they took to inspect each car. How long they held us by the side of the road. How long they kept our identity cards. How long they went on break while we waited for the checkpoint to reopen.”  Nevertheless, most businesses, schools, medical establishments, and NGOs did continue to function, and like the staff at the Ramallah NGO, most people continued at least trying to get by.

- Lori Allen, “Getting By the Occupation”