20/20 Vision

What do you see?

Masked man #1

Masked man #1

Masked man #2

Masked man #2


Masked man #3

Masked man #3


I’ve had trouble with my eyesight the past couple of weeks in Cairo.  At the oddest times, walking down the sidewalk, or reading a book, or watching a movie (day or night), I find myself struggling to focus my vision.  Soon enough, I regain clarity.  Or as much clarity as an old woman can expect.

This “problem” has gotten me thinking about the importance of our sight . . . and its limitations.   Even with perfect 20/20 vision, I don’t think the human brain can comprehend all the information our eyes are transmitting.

As an example, when I arrived in Gaza in September, I was very lucky to meet a Palestinian family (father, mother and twin daughters in their early 20s). I knew right away how special this family was, and I understood the treasure I was handed when they agreed to let me live in their apartment for three months!

For the life of me, however, I couldn’t tell the two girls apart for 7 – 10 days.  I watched them closely, and tried to discern different mannerisms or small distinguishing facial features. I listened to their speech patterns, but nothing worked.   They were carbon copies as far as I could tell.  

Until one day, they weren’t.

I don’t know exactly which day, or what happened, but suddenly I knew exactly who was who.   Their unique personalities and physical features were so obvious to me!  How could anyone confuse one for the other?

What if none of us can really “see” the world clearly, especially at first?  We don’t actually perceive any problems, assuming that what we see, is what there is … nothing more.  Our actions, reactions, understanding and decision-making are all based on this faulty “vision.”

The point I’m trying to make is that we need to appreciate our limitations and imperfections.  What we see is perhaps only part of the truth.   We mustn’t jump to conclusions.

So what did you see with those three masked men?  

  • Terrorists?
  • Sons, brothers or fathers?
  • Police or security forces?



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Filed under Gaza, Hamas

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