Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Laila El-Haddad, on Gaza Mom

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Laila El-Haddad, on Gaza Mom

Article excerpt

Laila El-Haddad-professional journalist, activist, Palestinian, and mother-discussed her new book, Gaza Mom: Palestine, Politics, Parenting, and Everything in Between, at the Palestine Center in Washington, DC on Nov. 18. With her husband and two children in the audience, El-Haddad asked the audience, "How does one assess the situation in Gaza?" While she started her blog, , in 2004 as a way to stay connected to her husband, the site eventually evolved into a portal into everyday life under occupation. This blog, she eventually realized, could help the average person understand what life was like for Gazans.

Early on she received a comment from a Florida schoolteacher who read entries from the blog to her students every week, to help them understand the situation. Then there was the Israeli journalist who told El-Haddad that she was an avid reader of the blog, and explained that she read it to her brother, who was institutionalized after being overtaken by guilt while serving in the Israeli army.

Over time the blog became popular, but a problem arose. "Unless you are a religious follower of my blog from the start," El-Haddad explained, "keeping up with the time gaps and the narrative shifts became harder and harder to do over the years. …

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