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Time Zones of Division!

September 25, 2011

I had my IELTS exam earlier today and unlike other exam days I wasn’t stressed out or shaking of caffeine overdose! Instead, I was surprisingly calm while going through revision notes and finalizing some preparations. On my way to the exam, however, that changed and the creepy feeling of something not being right dominated as the taxi crossed the first traffic light. Then I had the scariest thought ever! My adrenaline level surged and pupils dilated for the uncertainty of whether the British Council (holding the exam) follows the Gaza time or the Ramallah time!!

According to the map of Palestine and to some distance calculator Google found me, Gaza City and Al-Khalil (Hebron) of the West Bank are about 70 km. Eliminating the occupation, checkpoints and crossings this is a less-than-one hour drive which cannot possibly explain living in different time zones! While it is 10:57 in Gaza, clocks in Ramallah indicate time is 11:57!

Clocks were pushed back an hour at the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on August 1st in the West Bank and Gaza. The Palestinian Authority cabinet decided to revert to summer time (+3 hours GMT) at the end of Ramadan. But the Hamas government’s civil services bureau in Gaza to continue to work on winter time (+2 hours GMT) after Eid Al-Fitr.

The Gaza office of the British Council is responsible for all arrangements of the IELTS exam so you may think that it is logical to expect them to follow the Gaza time. True. But many international organizations working in the Strip decided to follow Ramallah’s time since they usually disagree with the regulations issued by Hamas while strictly following PA’s. I can’t explain it further!

Therefore it is understandable I had that episode of sympathetic stimulation! My seemingly irrational reaction was provoked by a rational, high index of suspicion!

The fact that Palestinians are made to live in different time zones for the very first time in history is another manifestation of the shameful division between Fatah and Hamas; the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. I am trying to articulate the way I feel about this tragedy but my vocabulary is failing me.

They who call themselves leaders should really go bury their heads in the sand!

Damn you!



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