MECA Welcomes New Staff in Berkeley and Gaza

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Ghada Mansi, Maia Project Coordinator, is an engineer living in Deir El Balah town in Gaza, Palestine. She joined the MECA staff in July 2018 as the Maia Project Coordinator, overseeing the installation of new water purification units for schools through Gaza, regularly checking the water quality at each school, and following up any necessary maintenance and repairs.

Ghada is the cofounder of the Sketch Engineering Company which aims to use engineering to improve life for the local community by solving some of the problems for everyday life under occupation and siege in Gaza. Sketch engineers designed the “Gaza Lights” systems that MECA has installed in hundreds of homes throughout Gaza.

In her spare time, Ghada is researching how to use wind energy to help alleviate the energy crisis in Gaza and taking care of her nine cats.

“Polluted water causes children to die in Gaza, we need serious action to save our children. I’m proud to contribute to the solution of one of the biggest disasters in the Gaza Strip through the Maia Project. When I see children drink clean water from the Maia Project units, I feel a positive feeling inside me different from any other feeling.”

Patrick O’Neill, Bookkeeper and Administrative Coordinator, spent most of his life in the Arabian Gulf where he completed his education in International Studies and later worked as an educator and program coordinator at a not-for-profit K-12 school. An activist and artist, he has always been committed to raising awareness about issues surrounding the Middle East, social justice, and the environment. In addition to his work at MECA, Patrick works to promote Arab Culture through the arts in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Patrick says, “I’ve been familiar with MECA’s work for several years. When they invited me to join the team, I was very eager to contribute to MECA’s mission, which is one very close to my heart.

“I’m most amazed at the ingenuity and drive of those on the ground who are coming up with real life solutions and making the most of incredibly difficult circumstances. It’s very heartwarming to witness the generosity of the community and grassroots organizing that is happening throughout the world to support those who need it most.

“It’s been great getting to know the MECA team. Everyone here has a whacky sense of humor and that makes for an interesting and hilarious work environment.”