A Wall of Sand: A story unfolds when a scent of romance blows across the barbed concrete fences of the Israel-Gaza border


After a brief stint in romance which ended with a comedy of errors, it was like once bitten twice shy for a young Palestinian boy called Fahd. Thereafter, his life took a turn for the worse due to the untimely death of his father, and being the only son, he had to quit studies and take up the challenge to put food on the table for himself and his mother. His first job was as a waiter in a Gaza-based catering company, which unfortunately wasn’t enough to support two people, so he became a part time taxi driver for a local taxi company.

Since the catering company also had business in Israel, he once met a beautiful Jewish girl at a marriage function where he had a brief but interesting encounter with her.

The girl was called Leah and after studying to be a nurse, she took a brave decision to do her internship in a hospital in Gaza. She believed if so many Palestinians could come to Israel for work, why couldn't she do the same and help build trust between the two communities. It was also because many young Palestinians and Israelis were very optimistic about improving relations and Leah decided to do her bit in contributing to the cause by choosing to work in a Palestinian hospital rather than elsewhere.

The job was very satisfying but her main problem was commuting through the narrow streets of Gaza until she met Fahd again. They recognized each other right away and Leah decided to hire him to travel to work on a regular basis.

That went on for some time until a minor altercation at the Israel/Gaza border escalated into a full-fledged conflict while Leah was still in Gaza. Fahd tried several methods to send her home but failed because the border was sealed and there was no way she could go home. Since the situation deteriorated rapidly, Fahd was left with no other choice but to bring her home where he lived with his mother.

In the beginning, he expected the conflict to end soon but things didn’t go as planned because it went on unabated for several months. As a result, she had to spend almost three months in his house, disguised as a Palestinian girl, until they devised an ingenious way to get her out of Gaza. Although their plan was successful and Leah was eventually reunited with her family, but until then, they had no idea how difficult it would be to say goodbye.