Laila El-Haddad’s Plight

10 04 2009


Laila El Haddad and her family,

During the most recent war on Gaza, Laila El-Haddad’s blog was one of those most talked about. The New York Times’ “The Lede” blog wrote a long piece about it, other bloggers blogged about it.

Laila, a young Gazan freelance journalist living now in North Carolina, seemed to know some of the most intricate details and the newest news about what’s happening on the ground. She had written many pieces for Al Jazeera English and the British Guadian.

Laila’s blog “A Mother from Gaza,” also titled “Raising Yousuf and Noor: Diary of a Palestinian Woman” is especially hot these couple of days.

The mother of two children has been stranded in Egypt, locked in for 36 hours in no-where land. She had wanted to visit her family in Gaza, through Cairo Airport and then the Rafah Crossing. Since Rafah is now closed, there’s no way to get in or out of the strip. She told us yesterday that she’s being deported, “away from home.” Laila’s visa to the U.S. had expired. Her intention was to renew it in Beirut, Lebanon, after the Gaza visit.

Amira Al Hussaini wrote about Laila on Global Voices on the day of her post about deportation. You can read it here.

The Egyptian Daily News reported yesterday that the authorities had sent her and her two children back to the U.S. She is expected to have many problems with the U.S. immigration authorities, not surprisingly. 

Many, including myself, are waiting eagerly for her next blog post.