tuque /tūk/ n Canadian English, var. toque [19th c. Canadian French, from the French toque, from the Basque tauka] 1 A close-fitting knitted cap, often with a long tapering end or tassel or pompom. 2 fig Something quintessentially Canadian.
souq /sūk/ n from the Arabic سوق var. souk 1 An open-air marketplace. 2 fig A central meeting place for the circulation of news and ideas.

Monday, January 19, 2009

From underneath the rubble of Gaza

“From talking to many people, I can say that Palestinians in Gaza are against the continuation of fighting. They are relieved it is over. Hamas has sensed that; therefore, Hamas political leaders have decided to abide by the truce. From talking to Hamas senior leaders, one can sense their interest in the truce not only because of the public pressure but also because they need to succeed in governance.

“Regarding the firing of the rockets, there is split of opinion. Those supporting Hamas view the Qassam rockets as a method to put pressure on Israel to ease their lives. One woman said, 'It’s symbolic. With firing the Qassam rockets, we want the world to notice our issue of occupation,' one Hamas member said. 'The goal is to try to create a balance in fear.' On the other hand, there is a stronger voice that is against the rockets. Their logic is: why invite an Israeli retaliation? It will be interesting to see if that voice will become louder in the coming stage. It’s too early to come out with a conclusion regarding Hamas’s popularity. Definitely there are those who are disappointed at Hamas for driving them into this stage, but we can’t ignore those who are blaming Israel.”

-- Taghreed El-Khodary, New York Times Gaza correspondent, in an interview about her time in the Strip during the war.

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