A Month By The Sea - Encounters In Gaza
Bombed and cut-off from normal contact with the rest of the world, life in Gaza is beset with structural, medical and mental health problems, yet it is also bursting with political engagement and underwritten by an intense enjoyment of family life. During her "Month By The Sea", Dervla develops an acute eye for the way in which isolation has shaped this society. Time and again she meets men who have returned to the Strip as an act of presence. Yet the mosque is often their only daily activity, as difficulties obtaining supplies mean few opportunities for creative work. This acts as a recruiting sergeant for the Islamist Qassam brigades and a pressure cooker for the creation of domestic tyrants. In this situation, Dervla becomes a shameless supporter of women's rights - acting as agony aunt and feminist mentor by turn.