Thursday, November 10, 2011
Where is Philadelphi Road?
Firstly, my profuse apologies for the lull in the writing of posts and the updating of my blog. Life is hectic, as you well know, and time does not pause for any man. The first draft of Under Philadelphi Road is complete and editing and copywriting is underway. Actually, it's going quite swiftly, at this stage anyway, due to the fact that the reason it took almost 4 years to complete the draft is that I have already spent hours, and sometimes even days, on a single paragraph, a sentence or a word, not to mention the Everest of research I was required to do for this challenging, but most satisfying, work to date.
A question posed by several people around me, and at a distance, has prompted me to write this first post about my upcoming novel. I am thankful for questions and deeply appreciative of feedback as I write not only for myself, as a necessity, but for you the reader, who indeed insists to excel in and forever develops the curiosity and want for knowledge, understanding and literary quality. And quite rightly so.
The question and interest that has come up regards the title of the book, which some think has to do with Philadelphia, USA. This could not be furthest from the truth. Firstly, it is Philadelphi (with an i at the end). So, where is this so-called Philadelphi Road and what is it's importance to the story?
The Philadelphi Road or Route refers to a narrow strip of land, 14 km in length, situated along the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. Under the provisions of the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty of 1979, the buffer zone was controlled and patrolled by Israeli forces. After the 1995 Oslo Accords, Israel was allowed to retain the security corridor along the border. One purpose of Philadelphi Road was to prevent the movements of illegal materials (including weapons, ammunition and illegal drugs) and people between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. Palestinians, in cooperation with some Egyptians, have built smuggling tunnels under Philadelphi Road to move these into the Gaza Strip. The 1979 Egypt-Israeli peace treaty, in which Israel agreed to withdraw from the Sinai in exchange for peace with Egypt, stipulated that the border with Egypt would follow the border of the Palestine Mandate. The main border exchange would be in the town of Rafah. (info from Wikipedia).
Rafah is where the story begins but this is for another post. Above then, you have the explanation of what and where Philadelphi Road is. The reason for the title, well, this is also for a following post :)
Thanks for your time and stay tuned.