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Gaza’s Gravel

08/03/2013

Gaza's Gravel

Today I watched a short shocking documentary, shocking not because of any unusual artistic quality but simply because of what it documents. Gazan children who spend their priceless childhood extracting gravel from the sand of Gaza all day long so their family can have enough money to buy staple food. Much of the film shows the endless work itself – hitting the ground, taking out the sand, sifting it, piling the gravel, carrying away the large stones. And all from the cynically flat earth of Gaza. They say when you look at the sky and see the stars and remember that earth is a part of the solar system and the solar system is a part of the milky way and the milky way is just one of hundreds of billions of galaxies you realize the universe is immense and imperceptible and your problems manage all of a sudden to seem much smaller. But when you think of the large and immense and imperceptible universe and about all the hundreds of trillions of stars that populate it the gravel that hides in the earth of Gaza seems immeasurably tinier and more miserable and the thought that kids waste their childhood extracting it with an axe and sifting it with a strainer looks even grimmer in a few orders of magnitude.

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