Playing Soccer in Gaza

By: Andrew Ford Lyons – United Kingdom

You’re watching your kid play soccer. It’s a chilly weekend morning and you may be upset at the lost sleep involved in getting up and getting him there. The grass is green and the net, goal posts, striping are new and unscarred from previous play; their maintenance secured through a school district budget that generally passes grudging voter approval every two years. You see the mix of parents, some of them groggy, some of them slightly too excited by the impending competition. And it’s all incredibly normal.

DSC_0163What if the infrastructure for everything in the above scenario simply didn’t exist? What if there wasn’t a dew-covered green field behind the local elementary school that was open to all for community activities, funded by tax payers and maintained by salaried groundskeepers? What would it take for that scene to play out in in a refugee community in the Southern border town of Rafah, Gaza? Every year, community members in the Yebna neighborhood of Rafah find out.

Amid the ongoing brutal siege and blockade conducted by the Israeli occupation forces and the often violent struggle between internal political factions comes the third annual Ramadan Soccer Tournament, organised by the Rachel Corrie Sports Initiative in Rafah…

Read more at the Palestine Chronicle