I guess few things symbolize freedom as well as a sailing ship under full canvas gliding along down a river towards the immensity of the ocean. There is almost no noise, a gentle movement, and, for the sailor, a feeling of being in complete harmony with nature tinged with slight apprehension. The ocean can be a fearsome place.
As you contemplate this scene of tranquility, spend a few minutes thinking about the ordeal of 2,000 Palestinians who, following a Haj pilgrimage, found they couldn't get back into Gaza unless they went through an Israeli checkpoint rather than the Egyptian-controlled one they'd left by. Quite rightly they refused.
For days they were prevented from returning to the concentration camp that is their country while Israel and Egypt argued about which checkpoint to use. Efforts by Israeli-apologists were even made in the American Congress to stop aid to Egypt unless they acceded to Israel's demand.
Eventually, after two deaths caused by privation, Egypt allowed the pilgrims through their checkpoint much to the displeasure and murmurings of retaliation from the Israelis. There was much rejoicing among the reunited families.
Yes, freedom is a word that is precious to many people but some people don't know what it feels like, have never experienced it even for a minute.
Since the creation of Israel, the Palestinians are one such group.
Photo: from Reuters.