Egypt: Palestinians find niche near border guiding journalists(Read article summary)
With reporters covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Palestinians living across the border in Egypt find plenty of business serving as guides.
â€˘ A local, slice-of-life story from a Monitor correspondent.
AL ARISH, EGYPT â€“ Some 30 minutes from the Gazan border is Al Arish, a town populated by Egyptians and Palestinians who live against the backdrop of a wider conflict that has been affecting the area for decades. Here in this coastal town, Palestinians have made a niche of their own: helping foreign journalists cover events and news stories related to their Gazan brethren.
Ahmed Ziada is a local taxi driver, driving passengers to and from Rafah on the Egyptian side. For him, it is a chance to educate.
â€śI have been here since I was 2. My family came from Khan Yunis,â€ť he says, pointing across the horizon to where 1.5 million Palestinians live. â€śI havenâ€™t been back since then ... but it is my home.â€ť For now, at least, he resides in Al Arish, using his old Mercedes as a taxi. He has become a magnet for journalists â€“ a â€śfixer,â€ť as such guides are known â€“ due to his knowledge and connections.
Despite all the tension that conflict can bring, this little bastion of helpers, such as Mr. Ziada, has given journalists a real sense of the situation on the ground. Getting the story in Al Arish is much easier, thanks to them.