Optimistic Language Employed in Describing Gaza

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Amanda Edelman
Optimistic Language Employed in Describing Gaza

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Reliefweb published an article yesterday describing International Women's Day (March 8th) in Gaza. Much of the language the article was used was incredibly optimistic. I have mixed feelings about this sense of optimism in this article. On the postive side, the optimisic language used is empowering to Gazans. So often journalists use garish, slightly condescending language to potray Gazans as victims of circumstance whose lives revolve solely around suffering. This positive language indicates that Gazans are clearly their own individuals with talent and bright futures. A good example of this writing style is when the author describes the artwork created to commemorate International Women's Day. The author writes, "The objective of the graffiti-style paintings was not only to bring women issues to the forefront through art, but to contrast people’s perception with reality. Women in these positions [musicians, judges, engineers, football players and taxi drivers] already exist in Gaza – although not in high numbers due to both the difficult economic situation hindering employment opportunities and the implications of traditional values prevailing in society." However, I worry (and to backtrack here, I understand that it is not necessarily my place to give an opinion on this language, as I am not from Gaza, but I give my opinion as an outside observer) that this optimistic language obscures the suffering of the Gazans and trivializes their maltreatment by Israel. In conclusion, this positive langauge is refreshing and empowering on the small scale, but I hope it does not obscure the larger picture of Palestinian oppression.

The link to the article is here: http://reliefweb.int/report/occupied-palestinian-territory/gaza-situatio...



  • Gaza; international women's day; palestine; israel; language


  • Middle East