Drones are increasingly being used for surveillance and extra-judicial execution in parts of the Middle East, especially by the US, but in nowhere more than Gaza has the drone become a permanent fixture of life. More than 1.7 million Palestinians, confined by Israel to a small territory in one of the most densely populated areas in the world, are subject to near continual surveillance and intermittent death raining down from the sky.
There is little hope of escaping the zenana – an Arabic word referring to a wife’s relentless nagging that Gazans have adopted to describe the drone’s oppressive noise and their feelings about it. According to statistics compiled by human rights groups in Gaza, civilians are the chief casualties of what Israel refers to as “surgical” strikes from drones.
An unmanned aerial vehicle (Photo: Israel Aerospace Industries)
An earlier post on Israeli drones over Gaza and surfing as a way to avoid them stated that "zanana" translated as mosquito.
Ha'aretz wrote in 2010 that Gazans "have begun using the slang word zanana to also refer to those Gazans who report to the Hamas authorities what people say and do, with whom they meet, who visits them, and whose brother has gone to Ramallah."
The Washington Post in 2011 wrote this: "Roughly translated, zenana means buzz. But in neighboring Egypt, a source of Gaza custom and culture, the term is slang used to describe a relentlessly nagging wife."
I guess it could be all those things. And deadly. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.