What, there was a war here?

Here’s a question. Should a Middle East correspondent for a major news organisation (in this case, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation) have any experience in the region?

The ABC’s Anne Barker just arrived in Jerusalem and filed this piece for Correspondent’s Report:

It’s one thing to see a disaster zone on television or read about it in the papers. But no matter how good the journalism or the footage, you never really get the full picture until you’ve been there.

And that’s how it was with Gaza; nothing really can prepare you for the devastation.

It didn’t help that I’d only arrived in Israel two days before as the ABC’s new Middle East correspondent. I’d never even been to the Middle East before.

Yet here I was on my second day jet lagged, culture shocked, confused, heading to Gaza for my first assignment. And what I saw wasn’t at all what I expected.

I think I’d naively believed that life inside Gaza, before the bombs at least, wasn’t so different from life outside – in terms of the people, the buildings, the quality of life.

God help us. Yes, Anne, Gaza is just like a holiday camp, but with more bombs.

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