By Nawal Tamimi, Volunteer Coordinator

As the Volunteer Coordinator for the Middle East Children’s Alliance, it always does my heart good to see people give their time to help the people of Palestine, especially since I was born into this issue. MECA is more than a job for me. MECA and the many volunteers I have worked with over the years are family to me.

My father was born in Palestine and he came to the US in 1947. I grew up hearing about the loss of his country, what it was like for him growing up under the British Mandate, and about our relatives still living in Palestine.

In the late 1980s, when I was working with the Palestine Solidarity Committee in San Francisco and I started to hear the name Barbara Lubin [MECA’s Founder], I was only 27 years old, politically a little naive, but very, very curious about Barbara and how this new organization was going to help the children of Palestine.

I first visited Palestine in 1995 to meet my many aunts, uncles, and cousins who still lived in Halhul, a village near the city of Hebron, where my father was born. I thought of myself as well versed on the subject of Palestine and yet, when the Israeli military imposed a curfew in the area, I began to understand how my family lived under Occupation. I felt the need to do more to help.

Later, when I went to graduate school and I was required to volunteer with a nonprofit organization, I knew I wanted to work with MECA. I continued to volunteer until I was hired as the Volunteer Coordinator.

It’s not often that a person dreams about working for an organization and then their dream comes true. Being the Volunteer Coordinator for MECA has truly been the honor of my life.


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