Worry, sadness spread in Western Pennsylvania for brethren in Mideast
When Alex Goldblum traveled across Israel and Palestine, he looked through a camera lens to see bombed-out buildings and graffiti, but also sunsets, flowers and friends.
Now back home in Squirrel Hill, where an exhibit of his photos closed earlier this month, he worries for those people he knows on both sides of a Gaza conflict now escalating in violence.
“My heart goes out to people on both sides of the border because this conflict has devastating effects for people on both sides,” said Goldblum, 27, an adjunct professor in multimedia at the Community College of Allegheny County.
Thousands of miles from the Middle East, people across the Pittsburgh region on Friday worried about friends and broken prospects for lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip have launched hundreds of rockets into Israel over recent days, firing toward Jerusalem Friday and setting off air raid sirens in the city. Israel has attacked Gaza with airstrikes and moved ground forces toward the border after calling up 16,000 reservists.
The situation evokes heartache for Simin Curtis, president of the American Middle East Institute, a group based in Pittsburgh that promotes business growth across the region. She sees not only lost lives but failed opportunities too.
“It makes me very sad when I see that there is so much hatred,” Curtis said. “Think of how much could be happening in terms of educational opportunities and job opportunities and all of the things that could be happening with peaceful trading partners.”
Ryan Branagan, president of a University of Pittsburgh group called Students for Justice in Palestine talked Friday about the larger issues that he sees behind the conflict. But the increase in fighting also frightens him, he said, for his friends on the ground.
“It's a very tense and scary situation,” Branagan, 21, a Pitt senior said. “It really humanizes it a lot. … Knowing the people, and the forces and military might levied against them, makes it really scary.”
Fighting in the Middle East adds to tensions among interfaith groups in Pittsburgh, no matter whether their members are focused on issues there or domestic ones in the United States, said Deborah Fidel, executive director of the Pittsburgh Area Jewish Committee.
She said it is sad to see any losses of life.
“I wish that national leaders could work this out and we could all get back to working together to do good,” Fidel said. “I have lots of friends and people I love in Israel, but through my work, I have gotten to know people in Gaza too. My thoughts are with them and their families as well as with my people and my friends. It's lose-lose.”
Andrew Conte is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7835 or email@example.com.
Add Andrew Conte to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Lure of tuition aid, gifts draw college students to ‘sugar daddy’ sites
- Crosby, Malkin dazzle fellow All-Stars
- Woman killed in Washington Township crash
- Long-term solution for wastewater disposal eludes shale gas industry
- Starkey: Rinaldo doesn’t belong in NHL
- State’s no-bid contracts with private law firms prompt scrutiny
- Tough times are in past for Pitt senior guard Kiesel
- Pitt women’s basketball team upends Boston College
- Frye: Mystery rifle stirs memories
- Pitt, Louisville square off after unusually long layoffs
- Fleury’s relay team struggles in NHL skills competition