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Don’t let the lights go out in Gaza! Maram Humaid, YouthSchool-PalestineDirector, Gaza Strip

 

It may seem odd when you call a group of your friends and you discover that most of them are sleeping at 5pm! This state of sleeping at unusual times and awakening at other times has become the norm for the people of Gaza.                                                . .

It became so normal after the recent shortage of electricity, which has led to 18-hour daily power cuts. That leaves 6 hours of electricity per day to do everything: iron your clothes, do your homework, study, watch TV, have internet access, or just to enjoy the light of electricity. Certainly People outside of Gaza do know what electricity can do for your life! These 6 hours are divided into four slots: morning, afternoon, evening and midnight.

According to this schedule, people must organize their lives. To catch the electricity at midnight, most of the students sleep in the evening so that they can wake up at midnight to do their homework or study for their exams. This way, the people of Gaza try with great difficulty to cope with the growing crisis of electricity. Complaining about the crisis of electricity does not stop all day! When you leave home where the power is off, you take a taxi where the driver and passengers discuss the situation of electricity, then reach work and all the colleagues talk about their struggle with the problems of power shortage.

Mohammed, age 26 and a project coordinator, expressed his distress due to power cut.  He said, “Even though I have UBS charger (A Battery can run the house lights and some simple devices for a short time) the general atmosphere affects my mental state. The problem of power cut affects every single thing in our life at all levels”. Describing himself as a mobile set of laptop and mobile chargers, age 24 is a busy web programmer. He says, “I’m on the edge of madness due to the power shortage. My work depends on electricity – 6 hours of electricity a day is not enough! I found myself divided between home and work trying to catch the power.” He added, “I have encountered many problems with my clients, trying to complete contracts on time.” The problem of electricity is not new, there has been  daily cut of eight hours per day, for more than seven years. However, the electricity supply is only one of many problems that students In Gaza have to contend with on a daily basis.