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In 1995, the situation there was much better than now, stable enough that a Japanese NGO tour could visit, we even stayed overnight at refugee camp families' houses.

It was an unforgettable moment for me when I entered Gaza. Coming from Israel, everything looked so different, a busy dusty street with old vehicles and many people to start with. At the same time however, a calm and warm sensation of 'being welcomed' came to me. I felt so glad to have come to this place. People were beautiful and strong, cheerful and hopeful.
I've always wanted to go back to this place since, sadly my wish hasn't come true yet, chances seem to be less and less possible. Yet I tell myself that my anger or frustration doesn't do any good, being hopeless - even less. I do what I can, I look for what I can do for the people, people I long for meeting again.

「難民キャンプでホームステイ」というツアーで訪れたガザ地区。イスラエルからの長く厳しい検問を終え、一歩足を踏み入れてすぐにこう感じた 「私、ここが好きだ」。その場所の空気と人が作り出す心地よいエネルギーがゆっくりと自分の体の中に入ってくる、そんな瞬間だった。
明るく懸命に生きていた大人、人懐っこかった子供、テレビや新聞が伝えていたパレスチナには見たことのなかった人々の姿がそこにあった。希望があった1995年。またこの場所に行きたいといつも思っている。