Hannah and Je together

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Cash Only

Last January while I was attending APCE conference in downtown Chicago, I was on my way from the hotel to nearby shopping mall food court for lunch because hotel restaurant is expensive.  And a guy asked me for help.  So I told him back what I could do for him.  He said he was hungry.  I said to him,

“Oh good timing.  I am on my way to eat lunch.  Please come with me, I’ll buy you a lunch.”

“No, that’s OK.  Can you just give me cash?”

“Well, sorry.  I do not carry cash.  I use only credit card.  But I can definitely buy you a lunch.”

And he finally told me: “There’s ATM right next building.  You can get some cash for me.”

I was so shocked about what he said, and of course I refused: “Sorry.  That’s too much.”

When I was in Canada, I used to spare some coins or gave some money on the streets to the pan-handlers, and I saw couple times that they were buying alcohols and tobaccos with “MY” money.  Since then, I made it my rule not to give cash even when they want “CASH ONLY.”

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Saturday, 16 August 2014

Second Holy Land Trip – Forty Fifth Day – Food for Gazans

Today I went to a supermarket in Beit Sahour.

Palestinian Supermarket

Palestinian Supermarket

And it looks like the picture above, with huge Coke sign on it.

Food for Gazans

Food for Gazans

Then I found this shopping cart with a picture and an arabic writings on it which I could not read.  So I asked a girl working there.

Je: Marhaba (Hello)
She: Marhaba (Hello)
Je: Bihki Inglize? (Do you speak English?)
She: Yes.

This is my current Arabic level.  And then I asked her what the shopping cart is for.  She told me that it is for the food donation which will go to the people in Gaza.

My food donation

My food donation

So I bought two cans of food, and put them in the cart.

When I came back home and told the hosting family about that, they told me that every single supermarket in West Bank now has the food donation basket for Gazans.

Pita Bread

Pita Bread, Image from Google Image Search

And the father of the house has a close friend in Gaza, and yesterday he talked to him over the phone.  According to his friend in Gaza, there are food distributions there, but it is just almost nothing.  He waited eleven hours (actually he did six hours, and his wife did another five hours) in line, and all he got is one pita bread for whole his family.  NOT one STACK, but one PITA (the Palestinians do not call it pita, but I forgot the Arabic name of this bread).

A lady posted on Google+ that Gazans may freeze to death this winter because Israeli destroyed the houses.  But what is really urgent is not the cold weather in another four months, but the food to eat right today.  And as far as I know, Gaza is not that cold so that people would freeze to death.  I commented there asking how cold it is in Gaza, and she answered me after three days, “It is cold in Gaza.”  Well, that is not a real answer.  It is OK to blame Israel or others, but blame them with true facts, not fake lies.  There are thousands other true factors to blame them.

Anyway, I think we seriously need to help the Gazans with foods (not with money).  Why not with money?  Because the Hamas and political leaders use the money to buy weapons, to build tunnels, and to make themselves millionnaire.  And consequently the people stay hungry.  We need to help them with foods.

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