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Photo by Amir Sadafi


Gaza is a tiny territory, densely populated with refugees. Yet the visitor is surprised at how green it is: every available patch of land is used to plant date palms, fruit trees and vegetable gardens.
Maggie Schmitt witnesses what life is like
Eating Under Siege
amid Gaza's fruit trees, family farms, and fish markets.
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02_port_slideshow.jpg

Photo by Amir Sadafi


The port of Gaza is home to hundreds of small boats and about 50 larger ones. Each boat represents the livelihood and assets of a whole extended family which relies on fishing now that other employment is unavailable. Many were destroyed when the port was shelled in January.
Maggie Schmitt witnesses what life is like
Eating Under Siege
amid Gaza's fruit trees, family farms, and fish markets.
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03_fish_market_w_bike_slideshow.jpg

Photo by Amir Sadafi


At the foot of the port is the fishmarket, which crowds with bidders early in the morning when the boats come into port.
Maggie Schmitt witnesses what life is like
Eating Under Siege
amid Gaza's fruit trees, family farms, and fish markets.
4 OF 12
04_fish_boxes_slideshow.jpg

Photo by Amir Sadafi

The haul each day is poor, and the fish tiny. Since limits were imposed on the fishing waters, the total quantity of fish brought to market has reduced - according to the market's manager - to about a tenth of what it used to be.

Maggie Schmitt witnesses what life is like
Eating Under Siege
amid Gaza's fruit trees, family farms, and fish markets.
5 OF 12
05_kaak_slideshow.JPG

Photo by Amir Sadafi


Vendors of kaak , a round bread baked with sesame seeds, serve the crowd at the fish market.
Maggie Schmitt witnesses what life is like
Eating Under Siege
amid Gaza's fruit trees, family farms, and fish markets.
6 OF 12
06_beach_slideshow.JPG

Photo by Amir Sadafi


Beachside cafés survive in the shadow of destruction. These residential buildings were leveled by F16s.
Maggie Schmitt witnesses what life is like
Eating Under Siege
amid Gaza's fruit trees, family farms, and fish markets.
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07_donkey_cart_slideshow.jpg

Photo by Amir Sadafi


An elderly woman collects feed for animals amid the rubble of her family's home, destroyed in the bombings this winter.
Maggie Schmitt witnesses what life is like
Eating Under Siege
amid Gaza's fruit trees, family farms, and fish markets.
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08_lamb_slideshow.jpg

Photo by Amir Sadafi


Mustafa and his extended family have been farming this patch of land at the Eastern border of Gaza long before the border existed. Most of his family's livestock was killed when their barn was shelled in January. The surviving lambs are lovingly tended.
Maggie Schmitt witnesses what life is like
Eating Under Siege
amid Gaza's fruit trees, family farms, and fish markets.
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09_maqlouba_slideshow.jpg

Photo by Amir Sadafi


Maqlouba, the traditional "upside down" rice dish, here prepared with chicken and cauliflower and served with little bowls of salad with lemon and dill.
Maggie Schmitt witnesses what life is like
Eating Under Siege
amid Gaza's fruit trees, family farms, and fish markets.
10 OF 12
10_under_the_watchtower_slideshow.jpg

Photo by Amir Sadafi


The children of Mustafa's family play in the fields within sight of the border and watchtowers. They can no longer harvest the olives from the trees beyond this shelter, as they will be shot if they do.
Maggie Schmitt witnesses what life is like
Eating Under Siege
amid Gaza's fruit trees, family farms, and fish markets.
11 OF 12
11_launching_slideshow.jpg

Photo by Amir Sadafi


The whole family participates in the care and upkeep of the boats.
Maggie Schmitt witnesses what life is like
Eating Under Siege
amid Gaza's fruit trees, family farms, and fish markets.
12 OF 12
12_sunset_boats_slideshow.jpg

Photo by Amir Sadafi


Little boats head out to sea for the night shift of fishing. We will hear artillery fire all night as gunboats impose the three-mile limit on these fishermen.
Maggie Schmitt witnesses what life is like
Eating Under Siege
amid Gaza's fruit trees, family farms, and fish markets.