23 September 2010

975 uniforms made for girls and boys

There is extreme poverty in Gaza. Half the breadwinners have no jobs and 80 percent live below the poverty line. The gift of a uniform is welcome.

Education is revered by most families in Palestine. Firstly it is a non-violent way to fight the occupation. Secondly it can provide a way out of the tight ghettoes and the deepest suffering. The very bright and assiduous reach great heights as I saw in the medical students at the Islamic University. But at the lower end, children cannot keep up. They drop out and might earn a few shekels for the family, as with Hasan W in the previous story.

Consider what these children have been through as with the greater shoah of Vilnai 27 December 2008 onwards for three weeks. Almost all are said to have suffered PTSD. Many adolescents are bed wetting. However, in spite of their young lives being threatened by the barbarous acts of the occupier of Palestine, 93 percent are literate. That puts British youngsters to shame.

We allocated 10,000 dollars for the making of uniforms this summer. 975 were made for girls and boys. Would that we could afford I million dollars to make 100 times the number. We first did this in 2004 when Adli Hammad organised the manufacture.

The cloth was imported (through the tunnels probably - the press call it smuggling) and precious employment was given. One machinist spoke of dusting off his machine for the first time in 5 years.

Nihad Taha will paint the picture in his own words in the following message.

I add that 5 young but very poor scholars have been embraced by the Dove and Dolphin Dollars for Scholars scheme. There is great sadness in all their stories.

They are Mahmoud Fattoh, Waseem Rayan, Ahmad Alzae'em, Samar Jab Allah and Ahmad Tayeh. Welcome boys and girls. We stand with you.