Private Museums Store Gaza’s Artifacts
At Walid al-Aqqad's home in Gaza, hundreds of ancient pots and other objects hang on the walls. In his backyard, pieces of Corinthian columns are on show.
These works represent five thousand years of Gaza's history.
A small piece of land on the Mediterranean, Gaza was a major trade path between Egypt and the Levant.
But years of uprisings, war and political problems have hurt examples of its rich archaeological history.
Hamas took control of Gaza from the Palestinian Authority in 2007. In answer, Egypt and Israel ordered a blockade on Gaza.
The Palestinians say the closures have also restricted excavations, limiting new discoveries.
Hamas has done little to protect Gaza's ancient works and in some cases has destroyed them. In 2017, Hamas leaders destroyed large parts of Tel Es-Sakan, the remains of a 4,500-year-old Bronze Age city, to make way for building projects.
Ayman Hassouna is professor of history and archaeology at Gaza's Islamic University. Hassouna blamed Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas equally for not protecting the territory's cultural history.
He says Israel has seized objects from archaeological digs and did little to prevent sales of important ancient pieces.
Palestinian leaders of Gaza since 1995 have "attacked many archaeological sites — either intentionally or not," he said.
He also blamed a lack of awareness among Gazans of the importance of keeping ancient objects and sites untouched.
"When they find something, they [people in Gaza] would hide it or build over it," he said.
Heyam al-Bitar is an archaeologist with Gaza's ministry of tourism and antiquities. She said trafficking of ancient goods is a problem. She added the ministry only learned earlier this year that many ancient Greek silver coins were stolen from Gaza in 2016.
"It's difficult to track down the trafficking because everything happens in the dark," she said.
Al-Aqqad is one of the few people trying to save such objects in Gaza. He began his collection in 1975, buying from collectors or searching the coast and new construction sites. Now his house in the southern city of Khan Younis is a museum, welcoming school children and other students of history.
"This museum was established by personal efforts and at the expense of my children's bread," al-Aqqad said.
His is one of five legally registered private collections in the Gaza Strip, according to the ministry of tourism.
The ministry keeps a record of all private collections to prevent objects from being sold or removed from Gaza, said al-Bitar.
Owners have received training from the ministry and the Islamic University on how to care for and repair ancient works, she added.
I'm John Russell.
1.private collections 私人收藏
His work is part of public and private collections all over the world.
2.track down 追捕
All of these things help us track down the issue sooner.
3.on show 展示；展览
Most of the works on show are landscape and genre paintings in various styles.
4.at the expense of 以...为代价
The government took this position at the expense of an increasing deficit and national debt.
5.He also blamed a lack of awareness among Gazans of the importance of keeping ancient objects and sites untouched.
a lack of 缺乏
There is a lack of confidence in the government's ability to manage the economy.
A lack of prudence may lead to financial problems.
6.The ministry keeps a record of all private collections to prevent objects from being sold or removed from Gaza, said al-Bitar.
keeps a record of 记录
The doctor keeps a record of all the serious illnesses in the village.
The government keeps a record of all unofficial payments.
在瓦利德（Walid al-Aqqad）位于加沙的家中，墙壁上挂满了数百个古老的陶罐和其他物品 。他的后院正在展出科林斯式的圆柱 。
哈马斯于2007年从巴勒斯坦权力机构手中接管了加沙地带 。作为回应，埃及和以色列下令封锁加沙 。
哈马斯几乎没有采取任何措施来保护加沙的古代建筑，甚至在某些情形下摧毁了它们 。2017年，哈马斯领导人摧毁了Tel Es-Sakan的大部分地区，只是为了给建筑项目让路 。Tel Es-Sakan是一座有着4500年历史的青铜时代城市的遗迹 。
艾曼·纳（Ayman Hassouna）是加沙伊斯兰大学历史和考古学教授 。哈桑纳同样指责以色列、巴勒斯坦权力机构和哈马斯没有保护该地区的文化历史 。
比塔尔（Heyam al-Bitar）是加沙旅游和文物部的考古学家 。她说，贩卖文物是一个问题 。她补充说，该部门今年早些时候才得知，许多古希腊银币是2016年从加沙被盗走 。
阿卡德（Al-Aqqad）是少数试图在加沙拯救这类文物的人之一 。1975年，他开始收集文物，从收藏家那里购买，或者在沿海地区和新的建筑工地四处搜寻 。现在他位于南部城市汗尤尼斯的一所房子是一家博物馆，欢迎学生和其他历史专业学生前来观赏 。