International Women’s Day: Mona al-Farra, MECA's Director of Gaza Projects, was named “the mother of the poor children of Gaza” for her tireless work and for her book on her experiences in the besieged territory.
Palestinian children are taken from their beds in night raids and not returned to their families for months. Most show classic symptoms of PTSD, including being on high alert, suffering from insomnia, and when sleep finally comes, waking up screaming from night terrors. They lose their appetites, withdraw from friends and even refuse to play with siblings. Many detainees drop out of school. Most disturbingly, they are shadowed by a deep sense of futility about the future.
Palestine and The Arab World lost an eminent academic scholar, an internationally recognized and highly respected intellectual, a committed and unwavering Palestinian patriot and a progressive Arab nationalist. Dr. Naseer Aruri passed away on February 10th, 2015.
A little-publicized report released during the final weeks of Israel’s summer offensive on the Gaza Strip last year accuses Israel of targeting water and wastewater infrastructure during the 51-day assault, despite having been provided the coordinates of all water and wastewater facilities.
Maha’s remarkable life is distinguished by her achievements as a Palestinian feminist human-rights activist, leader, and thinker and by her integrity, perseverance, and unrelenting commitment to promoting women’s human rights locally and internationally.
Temperatures in Gaza have been hovering only a few degrees above freezing in recent days as a freezing winter storm buffeted the region, flooding some areas in the small coastal enclave. The situation is aggravated by Israel's eight-year-old blockade.
Mohammad’s family and friends were struck hard by his loss. “Here Lies My Brother,” a short film produced by DCI-Palestine, attempts to provide a glimpse beyond the headlines to see the impact prolonged military occupation has on Palestinian families.
MECA and Gaza's Ark partnered on this effort. Our Gaza Project Director Dr. Mona El-Farra commented, “This is an innovative and positive example of how people around the world can work in partnership to support Gaza. Through this small aid effort, we are helping the local producers as well as needy families in Gaza. These families have been impoverished by decades of occupation and years of a tight blockade; many were also hit savagely by the latest Israeli offensive.”
Dania Husni al-Jaabari, 14, from Hebron won first place in The Mental-Arithmetic International Competition in Singapore. Ahmad Ayman Nashwiyeh, 8, also from Hebron, came in second place. Some 3,000 participants from more than 15 countries took part in the competition.
There is something strange about the death of these children passing without the uproar we’ve gotten used to, an uproar that in actuality never got us anywhere. But still, having someone scream in the face of this death is necessary, it tells us that there is still a pulse beating in this world. The absence of any noise, however, killed this pulse.
Othman, 15, from the Old City in Jerusalem, has been under house arrest for the past 11 months on suspicion of throwing stones. “The longer the house arrest lasts, the greater the psychological impact,” says Hassan Faraj, a psychologist for the charity Médecins Sans Frontières. “The family must play the role of prison warden and parents at the same time.”
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