The city of Rafah is about 38km south of Gaza City, Together with its camps; Rafah has a total population of more than 92,000 inhabitants. Rafah has been the border town with Egypt ever since the boundaries were drawn between Egypt and Palestine in 1906. The city is famous for being the city of Cleopatra's wedding. Here one can see the remains of the temples of the Roman Gods, Artemis and Appolon, Rafah is now famous for the crossing point, Rafah Crossing', which is the second most important exit from Gaza to the outside world after Beit Hanoun (Erez), and for the International Airport of Gaza, south-east of the city.
The beaches of Rafah, with their beautiful backdrop ofpalm trees and sand dunes, are with no doubt, the most beautiful in the Gaza Strip. They stand witness that the area has a great tourist potentia1 that has yet to be explored.
The refugee camp of Rafah was split when the new borders were drawn after Sinai was returned to Egypt as part of the Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel in 1978. The new border literally divided families and homes. Although this situation has been protested world-wide, and despite Israeli promises to reincorporate the thousands of Palestinians who found themselves in Egypt, nothing has been done as yet. The constant daily seen of Palestinian kids and older men and women talking to their family members on the other side of the fence is just heart breaking.
To the south of Rafah is the Swedish Village, named so because it was constructed by the Swedish government in the 1950's for refugee fishermen.
By: Dr. Adel Yahya, Dr. Muin Sadeq, Dr. Hanna Abdel Nour