Helping Those Most in Need in Gaza, Palestine

Hani 2 I have had the honor of talking with Hani Qtra, a volunteer at Enterprise Community Training Centre and Crisis Management in Gaza.

Hani’s organization works in some of the worst marginalized border areas stricken with the most fragile groups of Palestinian citizens, and they specialize in helping them from a psychological aspect and social awareness perspective and often with the children by encouraging them through play and art therapy that allows the children to find a means of expressing and releasing emotional stresses and fears in safe and meaningful ways.

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Hani and his team carries out their efforts to help others, people whose marginalized lives and homes have been destroyed by the Israeli occupation of their homes and land in the Beit Hanoun border area. These people are forced to live in small-iron caravans not fit for human habitation as the iron structures are dangerous in extreme summer heat and in the severe freezing cold winter.

These people have lost everything, homes, land, and necessities of life itself.  Hani’s team strive to work with and help these marginalized people, many of which are suffering from severe psychological distress of conditions like PTSD that are incredibly prevalent.  Hani’s team try to bring a greater social awareness of these conditions. 

The ones most affected from Hani’s team observations are the children who suffer greatly from the effects of deep psychological trauma and many have issues of aggression, fear, anxiety and depression, all of which is seen in the low academic achievement levels as a result of several wars, constant conflict, crises and government neglect in providing a humane standard of living through housing and financial aid.

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Hani and his team are working with people to help give them a sense of security and provide an atmosphere of ongoing psychological, and social support.

The reality for Hani and his team is a severe lack of necessary resources, supports and supplies to meet the ever-increasing demands and needs of the many displaced people in Gaza.

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Hani, his team and others like his, working in Gaza, within the camps, need help desperately, in the way of financial support, supplies and other resources to continue their efforts, especially with the children they see and treat.

For those of you reading this article, if you wish to support Hani, his team and organization, please contact Maria Atherton, head of the Faces of Palestine literary project at facesofpalestine@gmail.com

 

2016 Another Year of Hope for Palestine

1170723_10207199263912902_6965094478210071624_n 2016 is here.  It represents another year of hope for the Palestinian people; hope for peace, hope for change, most of all hope for freedom.

I say goodbye to 2015 feeling a sense of gratitude so great and unlike other years.  In just a short time at the end of 2015, I have been blessed to meet and work with some very incredible people in my own country, my own city here in Canada.  What started for me as an opportunity to help incoming refugees from the Middle East resettle in my city an opportunity that is ongoing for sure into this new year, has led my heart, ambition and abilities to Palestine.

The Faces of Palestine project is in its infancy, but I have great hope that this year will bring much success for this project, for my partners Haitham Khatib and Fadi Thabet, and collaborator Sary Baraka, without them, their help, their knowledge, experiences, and their eyes and ears on the ground in Palestine on my behalf, this project would not continue to progress or succeed.

As we bid farewell to 2015 the beautiful Faces of Palestine welcome with hope 2016 ~

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The light of Palestine shines bright in the eyes of her children and every child in Palestine is like every child in the world, filled with hope and dreams for their future!10250258_10207148634927209_8588347955187711560_n

In spite of continued challenges, conflicts and darkness, the light that is the soul of Palestine shines on unfailingly so.

May humanity take note that the resiliency of the human spirit is unsurpassed by any other.

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The pride of Palestine lives strong in her children, the future of a strong and free Palestine will be reality because the coming generation is striving to live, be educated and make a better country.

 

 

 

 

 

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The handsome faces of two generations of strength, resistance, resiliency and great hope for the future of Palestine!

 

 

 

12366322_577208325768698_3095207307809717800_n The life joy of children in Palestine is no different from any other place.  They love to laugh and play and forget the ongoing conflict around them.  In the midst of the worst circumstances, children only want to be children.  The humanity of the world owes this to the children of Palestine.  Let us all work toward peace and freedom.

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Together we can all make a difference.  Like a stone dropped into still water, the ripples become endless and the water will never be the same again.  Let us stand and work together to be the stone that leaves in its wake ripples of change, strength, peace and a better Palestine.

12346398_958616560884035_3914899219623339068_n New Public Relations and Media graduates of Al Aqsa University.  The greatest force against the occupation of Palestine is the use of technology, social media, and photo journalism.

Instead of guns, these strong young graduates are armed with education, knowledge, cameras and a bold unwavering determination to show the world the true faces of Palestine!

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Every Palestinian is fighting for what so many in the world take for granted – a normal life, a life of peaceful co-existence with the greater world around them.

In spite of deep wounds to mind, body and spirit, the soul of Palestine remains strong, determined, filled with ongoing hope and dreams for a future without conflict, without killing, and a future of freedom and peace.  Together we can make this a reality.  Just as war begins in a day, freedom can also come in a day.  No one human being has a right to life greater than any other human being.  When one is killed we kill also a part of ourselves, it is only when humanity sees this, accepts this, and works together to keep humanity whole that peace will be realized.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

1888612_10202934194408830_6174820751435918259_n “Our thirst for Freedom in unquenchable, for we are lovers of life and justice, and haters of barbarity and chaos ~ I put my trust in God.”  Haitham Khatib

In speaking with Haitham and others living, working and surviving in Palestine, this sentiment rings true throughout Palestine.  The greatest desire of any and all Palestinians is for peace in their country; an end to the barbarianism that is all to prevalent in the day-to-day life.  The people of Palestine want what everyone wants, to be able to live, exist, work, have families and make a good life for themselves and contribute positively to the world around them.

Like any other society caught in the middle of conflict, not of their own choosing or design, but by leaders and oppositions ruling for greater control over the other, the Palestinian people feel trapped and overwhelmed.

Every human being has a breaking point when faced with exceptionally overwhelming odds, and many living in Palestine face their own breaking points daily and yet in spite of it all, their spirits rise, and they hold their heads high, pushing through the pain, the loss, the struggle, resilient to the very core of their being, and hold on to continued hope that positive change is coming and they will see a free Palestine.