I came to the Middle East Children’s Alliance office yesterday for the last time until April 7th, or maybe later. We will be working from home and communicating online. I hope you’ll stay in touch with us.
When I see what’s happening around us, I think about my childhood in a Palestinian refugee camp in the West Bank. We suffered the trauma of displacement, the humiliation of depending on UN rations, the deprivations of poverty, the violence and repression of Israeli occupation.
But we had each other.
No matter how little food we had, we always shared it with the neighbors before we ate. The women in the neighborhood watched out for all the children. The families of people jailed by Israel were always well cared for. When Israeli soldiers sprayed us with tear gas, someone was always ready to hand out onions (an antidote) to everyone.
This sense of community is hard to find in the US in the 21st century, but I do find it at MECA. It’s a community that stretches across borders and includes activists, supporters and volunteers along with our dedicated partners in Palestine and Lebanon who struggle every day to meet children’s needs.
I’m sure that you are doing everything you can to take care of yourself, your friends, your family, and the vulnerable members of your own community.
Meanwhile, MECA’s staff in Gaza are working tirelessly with our partners there to prevent and prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak. We’ll send a message from Dr. Mona El-Farra with more information shortly and I hope you will contribute to our life-saving efforts.
I am so grateful to you and everyone who is part of the MECA community.
Zeiad Abbas Shamrouch