New garden and park opens in Beit Lahia, Gaza

Hundreds gather at the opening of the Turath Garden in Beit Lahia, Gaza

Last month, I went to the opening ceremony for a new garden and park in Beit Lahia, Gaza. It was amazing to see that the place which was empty with no grass or plants and old and unusable playground equipment just a few months ago change completely to become a garden. Both MECA’s team and our partner, Al Turath (Heritage) team, were very happy to see our achievements grow up in front of us.

I think that building a community garden for children and their families in such highly populated area is very important. The garden provides ventilation and relaxation place for mothers and a safe place to play for children. The pressures of life which are increasing dramatically in Gaza as a result of the unemployment, poverty, electricity shortage, water pollution, siege, closure of crossings and unstable political and security situation raise people’s need for such green places to free themselves. The garden is a rare recreational space.

Children enjoy the new playground equipment

When I saw the happiness and excitement of children and people during the opening of garden, I realized that this project, which took a lot of our energy, focus, time and ideas, was worth it.

People’s enjoyment of the opening ceremony was clear. 600 people came from all over Gaza to celebrate with traditional music and debka!

Debka dancers perform traditional dances during the opening celebration