There we were in Sharm e-Sheikh over the July 23 weekend for our annual family vacation. Asleep in our hotel room, we were awoken by a boom. Although I knew differently, I told my wife it was probably some jet breaking the sound barrier. Then the phone started ringing. Relatives and hotel staff wanted to know if we were all right. As the details of the blasts that struck the nearby Ghazala Gardens Hotel, a coffee house and a mall near the old market came to light, the tranquility of our vacation was shattered. Continue Reading »
July 22-27, 2005
It was 1.30 at night, we had just returned exhausted from the center of town after we had a fabulous fish dinner. Bishara carried Dina who had gone to sleep shortly after we arrived, and along with two other family members took a taxi from the Neema Bay taxi stand.
The strong thumb shook the hotel. Salam inquired what it was and, although I felt otherwise, I told her it probably was a phantom breaking the sound barrier, we went to bed only to be woken up at 3am by my cell phone ringing. I looked at the source and it was undeclared. I decided not to answer. Minutes later Salam’s cell phone which she had left in the safe rang. By the time we got to it, the phone had gone dead. The source was also unidentified. I explained that this means the call came from a phone in Israel.
It was not surprising that the long-awaited Palestinian-Israeli summit didn’t produce results. Instead of the Sharon-Abbas meeting dealing with the many issues that badly need answers, it appears to have been a one-sided meeting.
Reports coming out of that meeting talk about Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon using it to lash out against the Palestinian leader because of the security situation. An Israeli report quoted the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas as asking Sharon to help him and Sharon scolding him for that request, telling him that people might actually believe that he is weak. Continue Reading »