From Gaza, with Love

Friday, February 23, 2007

messege to Herman and Shanon

i tried to email you several times , the email kept bouncing back

Thursday, February 22, 2007

photos from Jabalia

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photos from jabalia


From Ausralia to jabalia in Gaza with love

Dear all
My post will be today about AL-AWDA hospital, rather than boring you with the political situation in Palestine, at the moment, and the new national unity government, and which political party will join or not. Or Mrs. C. Rice and her visit and the obstacles that faces the peace process, or the Israelis crafty way of putting more obstacles towards the peace process, and the Palestinian tax money that Israel holds , to contribute more and more in the poverty in Gaza and WB, and making the humanitarian situation worse and worse.

AlAwda hospital
Jabalia camp for refugees
Largest refugees camp population 120.000
AlAwda Hospital catchement area is north of Gaza , population 250,000
the Austarlian humanitarian mission targets all children of Gaza via AlAwda hospital
februry Tuesday 20 th 2007

I had the pleasure to meet Professor Pady Dewan and his team, during their 2nd humanitarian visit to Palestine
This mission staring from 13th of February to 24th of February, it is the 3rd Australian humanitarian mission to Gaza, continuity of the children 1st project
, Professor Dewan is a prominent Australian pediatric Urosurgeon, from the kind cuts for kids foundation in Melbourne this surgical team traveled all the way from Australia to Jabalia, to conduct highly sophisticated urosurgical operations and procedures for kids aged 1month to 15 years of age
, Those operations are not available in Gaza, for several reasons, most important one is that we lack the right highly qualified surgeons for such specialty,
And those kids and their families, cannot cross the borders, for further treatment abroad (this sort of operations cost fortune), leave alone the families financial hardship, where 70%of Gaza’s population depends on outside aid, and when poverty is prevalent in any society, it severely affects health and nutrition in the 1st place
the children will get it with nominal fees , and middleast children alliences ,contributed with part of the hospital subsidised fees .

This humanitarian mission is an outcome of 3 years of relationship between the hospital with the marvelous Moira Kelly from children’s 1st foundation in Melbourne
Philip Sakka Beit Jala community association
Sonia Kara women group
And many others who contributed by their time, efforts and money, to make those missions to Gaza a great success, and to put big smile on the children faces.

I still remember the determination of Moira, and Philip Sakka on their 1st visit to Gaza in April 3 years ago, and the difficulties they faced, when they arrived the Eritz Checkpoint, and there was confrontation between the Israeli occupation army and Palestinian resistance, they stayed in the barracks for one hour, I was with Raid AlAdssi, on the other side inside the ambulance , hiding behind a cement wall

In the end we all succeeded to reach the hospital
And the mission will continue helping the Gaza children, and prove for others that we can change the world into one big family, that enjoy peace and justice
children of Palestine like all the world children , deserve better life full of peace , supple and security.

Please read below
Prof .pady Dewan email regarding this mission

p.s Riad is Al-Awda hospital head of emergency department , he played big rule in the coordination of this mission inside the hosopital and he loves the children and cares for them great deal, I told him several times , he works from his heart , and that what makes the difference

Dear All,

Congratulations to Riyad for his untiring work.

A feature of this visit is the sense of ongoing care to patients with difficult
Problems, thanks to the participation of David Croaker and Erroll Simpson in coming
Here in November. Also, there is an increasing involvement of Gaza Pediatric
Surgical and Urological staff who are very eager to help care for the children,
Learn from the visitors and improve the care through their challenging questions -
Not to mention that they are great fun to work with. The Kind cuts for Kids
Foundation is particularly focused on sustainable assistance, thus the training
Aspect is vital, and in the Gaza mission is vibrant.

Thanks to all who have provided support and assistance?

Kind regards

Paddy Dewan
Kind cuts for Kids Foundation

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Gaza today after few days of palestinian fight

It is a nice sunny warm morning. I thought it would be a good idea to let you know a little bit about the general mood here in Gaza.

Yes, it is calm in the streets of Gaza, but Israeli F-16s are back flying too low in the sky as well as some helicopters to the east of the town of Gaza.

After the tough days of the Palestinian inter-fighting in the streets of Gaza, people feel relieved but not sure of the future. We had a rough time during the clashes. I feel relieved but also really sad about the 76 people who lost their lives and the 400 more who were injured. It is awuful when you think how politics and power struggles can use people ordinary poor people. Many people and youth were part of the fight just because they are paid in the end of the month; a secure job to be in the so called "army" or Hamas forces.

And then with a political agreement all of a sudden there is no fighting in the streets. OK, it is great that the fighting has stopped. But why did it start in the first place?

Mecca is the sacred place. Where was all that one week ago when there was bloodshed in the streets of Gaza and when the HOLY ambulances, hospitals, mosques, and universities were attacked?

Life continues in Gaza and another chapter has started. The new national unity goverment has formed but with great polarization between the 2 largest factions and at the exclusion of the mainstream of different factions, the independent people, and civil society figures. So when power in the streets is the judge and when the place of negotiation is Mecca whose leaders glorify the US's agenda, especially in the Middle East, I can only expect the worst for the Palestinian national agenda. I cannot help thinking that we would not need to go to Mecca to agree if there was a real national agenda.

I shall continue my work in Gaza, my struggle against the occupation, and keep reminding myself and the world that the peacemaker of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is the Right of Return and peace that is based on justice.

In solidarity and love

Friday, February 02, 2007

Situation Update

The situation over the past few days has been very bad, we have no electricity now and I have dictated this post to my son in the UK for distribution.

The infighting has escalated and shattered the truce. Hamas ambushed a fatah convoy bringing some sort of supplies to the Presidential guard (either logistical supplies or arms?? no one can know for sure), they have also been attacking the presidential compound overnight with a variety of weapons (including mortars and rockets) This is just outside my flat and has caused me great distress (, Some of the explosives have been falling a few feet from my doorstep. Presidential forces on the other hand stormed the Islamic University in an alleged search for arms and they claim to have arrested seven Iranian "military experts".

It looks very bleak. I am worried that the western powers want to support a coup This can only take Palestine back to a peace process similar to Oslo that serves Isreal and the west more than it serves Palestinian liberation.

On a personal level, the past 24 hours have been disturbing because I have been separated from my daughter Sondos by the fighting. She was visiting her sister half a mile away and I have no way of reaching her safely. I am stuck in my flat with my sister, a friend of mine and her 10 year old niece. We were coming back from Khanyounis where we were visiting my mother for her 85th birthday.

From Gaza with love


Academic and Medical Boycott

I have put a link about my aborted visit to the UK where I was supposed to speak about Palestine at the launch of the ENOUGH coalition. The article is written in The Guardian, in the Comment is Free online section, by Victoria Brittain. Here is the link, and here it is again in case it is not showing