Sleepless nights, foreshadows of bombs and hunger are Heba’s companions. A mother of two young boys and a widow, Heba’s story is one of the many of the dispossessed citizens of a city destroyed.
More than 73 years of wars, bombardment, blockade, and displacement makes the recent history of Palestine. For the residents of Gaza, every day is a reminder of waking up to an “open prison”, with no water, no jobs and no food.
The Gaza Strip, the most densely populated place on earth has 2.1 million Palestinians living under land, water and air siege, imposed by Israel.
Nothing erases Heba’s trauma of looking at the mangled caved in asbestos roof that once sheltered her modest one room home. She and her young boys managed to escape with their lives. A life she is tired of living and in constant fear of losing. “I cannot sleep at night, wondering if the next bomb will kill my children. As a mother, I live in constant fear. I cannot educate my children, cannot feed them and now even my shelter has been taken away”.
There is no employment in Gaza and forceful captures of homes and evictions have resulted in many Palestinians becoming refugees in their own land. Others have fled to Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. Today there are more than 7 million Palestinian refugees making it the largest refugee population in the world.
Our Teams are on the ground and are the first to provide Emergency and Life-saving aid. But we are also there for the long-term. To build back the broken school wall, to re-construct water pipelines to provide food packets to the orphaned and people in need, to provide PPE kits to hospital staff and provide life –saving medicines for those who need them.
Wesam was one of our beneficiaries of a Murabaha (Cost-Plus Financing) system that helped him establish his agricultural greenhouse in 2016. He and his brother farmed a variety of crops and supported their family of eight. “My greenhouse was destroyed by the recent bombing by the Israeli forces, tell me how will I feed my children now?” his despairing plea to the world to stop the conflict.
COVID-19 has shown us the infallibility of life, the restrictions imposed have curtailed our freedom and affected us. It has affected our dreams, a commodity not available to those who live under the shadow of wars.
Our campaign “I HAD A DREAM” is about Palestinians trying to survive. It is about families losing their livelihoods and children going to bed hungry. It is about mental health crisis for those living in war zones. It is about hospitals not able to function, and dispensaries empty of stock of life-saving medicines. It is about a generation of children denied education, to barely survive.