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Five Star Hotel in Gaza

A welcoming reception in the heart of Gaza


Written by Špelca Koleša-Golob 

On entering the lovely hotel I'm surrounded with smiling faces of friendly Palestinians, bright, white smiles of innocent children having fun on a small part of the beach guarded with Israeli war ships who are constantly terrorizing Palestinian fishermen and destroying their already weak ships. Surrounded with beauty of the Mediterranean and the sound of waves whispering cruel stories about fishermen of the sea, I enter the hotel.

At the reception I'm warmly welcomed and then when I enter the hotel lobby I see a donkey tied to a pillar, looking at the sky, hoping to serve it's purpose once again one day.

After signing the guest book, I am kindly invited by the local herdsmen, to a tour of this prestigious hotel and also to meet the other people who are employed in it. A dozen shepherd boys waved at me to come closer and I walk through a beautiful hallway towards the hotel's interior. I can already hear the bleating and soon I see a herd of goats and sheep seeking for a shelter from a hot summer's day. But enough shade for today, it's time for afternoon pasture. The shepherd boys chased the herd out of the building. Again you can hear loud bleating and stamping of the hooves, the dust rises, glistening in the sun. I cover myself with a scarf to protect my face from the rising dust. I continue with the tour of the hotel.

The walls that had not been destroyed are covered with graffiti which are speaking to the visitor, encouraging him to stay and see the beauty of occupied Gaza, trapped under the iron military foot of Zionist murderers and blood-thirsty madmen.

I walk up the stairs and I meet some guests. They all greet me with smiling faces, I know they are happy with my visit. On the first floor I decide that I would continue with an elevator. A big hole revealing the greatness of the sky above it. The elevator is out of service so I walk outside. There are smiles everywhere and goodhearted welcome from the people forgotten by the world. Surrounding me are children, with sparkles in their eyes who believe and hope for a better future, which is anything else than certain.

And yet despite this uncertainty the hotel has a distinct unique charm about it. Some of the unpaid staff have ingeniously turned one of the walls into a climbing frame for local residents and guests.  I watch as one guest decides to run up and see how far up the wall he can go without any equipment.

It appears that most of the guests and staff at this five star hotel are mostly refugees who were brutally banished from their own homes, their own land, because Israel is restlessly destroying people's homes and this is happening for more than four decades. It's amazing to see how positive the people's view of the world is, even though, there isn't even one of them who have not lost at least one family member whom they deeply loved. They are refugees, living on the most populated piece of the earth, without any roof over their heads and yet they turn out to be kind,lively,peaceful and full of hope that the Israeli occupation will soon end and they would be finally able to return to their homeland, where their roots have grown so deeply into the Palestinian land, the soul of Palestinian nation.

The sad reality is that this is one of many luxurious buildings and hotels all destroyed under occupation and yet if you decide to visit make a reservations whilst you may not get a room you can be guaranteed of a very warm reception. Please enjoy your stay.

Welcome to Hotel Gaza !



Hummingbirds of Gaza

"Like the hummingbird the people of Gaza are given no choice but to adapt swiftly to ever changing situations which includes having their houses destroyed, human rights violations and dealing with trauma every single day. The Palestinian people and those in Gaza retain the true spirit of the Hummingbird by remaining joyful, compassionate and sensitive in the face of extreme adversity."

- Sarah -


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