“We sing and love life despite the Israeli oppression!”

MECA is supporting a music program in Gaza schools for 100 children from refugee camps. At the end of the year, the children’s “Peace Choir” performed for the whole community. A friend in Gaza who attended wrote, “Stunning performance by the Peace Choir of 100 children from the Gaza Strip. They sang a song from their Palestinian heritage about a grandmother’s thobe (traditional embroidered dress); about how each stitch represents a Palestinian story from pre-1948 Palestine.”

School days in Gaza are can be very hard

Many children have difficulty concentrating and learning because of chronic psychological distress. Classes are overcrowded. Buildings are damaged by Israeli shells and the blockade prevents materials for repair from entering Gaza. A shortage of school buildings has made most schools run two or three shifts, shortening the school day. There is no time, money or space for anything but the bare basic instruction.

Location: Gaza Strip, Palestine

The Gaza Strip is home to approximately 1.9 million people, including 1.3 million Palestine refugees. For the last decade, the socioeconomic situation in Gaza has been in steady decline due primarily to the blockade on land, air, and sea imposed by Israel since 2007. The blockade—or siege— continues to severely restrict the movement of people and goods in and out of Gaza. The economy has been devastated, resulting in the impoverishment and de-development of a highly skilled and well-educated society. The average unemployment rate is well over 41 per cent – one of the highest in the world. Over half a million Palestine refugees in Gaza live in eight extremely overcrowded Palestine refugee camps.

In July 2014, Israel began its third major attack on Gaza within seven years with intense Israeli aerial and navy bombardment. The scale of human loss, destruction, devastation and displacement was catastrophic. More than 2,000 Palestinians were killed, including over 500 children. Many more suffered physical and psychological injuries

MECA Project Partner

Palestinian Music Center for Culture and Art