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Letters From a Palestinian Refugee

"Open letter from Palestinian Refugee Family living in the Gaza Strip, SOS

Najwa and Taher

I received this appeal a few hours ago. (You can listen to me reading it at this site: www.thestruggle.org) Direct link to interview: show44.mp3

Please lets put our heads together to think of effective action.

Your Excellencies,

The world looks and watches in silence, while the closure of the Gaza strip is still ongoing leaving 1.5 million people facing a severe shortage in the basics of life. With serious economic and humanitarian impacts on their lives, they even lost their faith on the international, Arabic worlds.

The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is intensifying, with hunger and malnutrition reaching alarming levels. Children are searching the dump compounds looking for food, or other stuff that they can sell and benefit of, instead of living their lives as other children in the world.

The Israeli government is preventing essential supplies from reaching the imprisoned population inside by continuing the closure of all terminals since more than 18 months. 1.5 million People – majority of them are refugees- are denied the ability to feed themselves, and to support their families, or even to receive any medical services as they are cut off from the outside world.

UNRWA as a welfare organization finds itself responsible for not only Palestinian refugees but also non refugees who can not find any source of decent living. With the current deteriorating situation in Gaza due to the severe closure, UNRWA food warehouses in Gaza are completely empty and closed their doors in the face of thousands of families that totally depend on the food assistance distributed by UNRWA. Since Israel started its closure of Gaza UNRWA is facing a severe budget problems, therefore its services has been affected, and many thousands of refuges are deprived from receiving any food distribution, or other essential services. Without UNRWA services, the people of Gaza will face starvation and hunger which lead to more violence, and radical opinions.

It’s hard to imagine that in the 2lst century a complete nation can be punished under the eyes and silence of a modern world, it is hard to imagine that in the 21st century families spend their night hungry, and children spend their nights studying on the dim light of a candle. It is even worse to imagine that in the peak of the world modernization, a whole nation locked in a small place and denied a freedom of movement.

Israel theoretically ended the occupation of Gaza, but the truth is that Israel is controlling the aspects of lives of the 1.5 million living in Gaza.

Our son Mustafa -9 years old- insisted to participate in this open letter saying;” what is the benefit from teaching us human rights in school, while on reality we do not practice any, I have the right to play, to be free, and to have electricity “he comments with his nice smile “I dream of a decent life, and fruit. My dream is to travel and see the world, It is not my fault that I was born as Palestinian refugee living in Gaza, it is just my fate which I have nothing to do with. It is not only me, but it is all other Gazans kids. I am always frustrated since there is nothing to do Why me?! And why us?! Please answer my questions!”

Ahmed-8 years’ old- added “ I want to play freely without hearing any shooting sound” “ I want to watch TV all the day since there is electricity, I wish I could forget my worst dream where I got killed”

Our little daughter Salma-2.5 years’ old- in her simple words say” there is no Kahraba-electricity-, and she freaked out whenever she hears any loud sound”

Even our little boy Mohammed 4 months old can not find any yogurt, or baby formula to help him while his mother is at work. Sometimes I and my wife blame ourselves for bringing our children into this world.

My wife-Najwa- writes and said” My letter is addressed to the world, outside the borders of the Gaza strip, where I am sure that every thing is different and a life.

I am a Palestinian refugee; my parents are refugees too, as well as my grandparents. I have been raised in a place called a refugee camp, in the southern of Gaza strip, and now after I got married I still live in another place in the middle of Gaza strip called a camp too. My husband is a refugee too as well as his parents and grandparents, I have four kids, and in their ID mentioned a refugee too. A definition of those who lost their homeland, and lived in another place that is not theirs.

We lost our homeland, and forced to live in these camps where houses are so close to each other, the streets are so small and dark, unpaved, hard to be sunny even at the middle of the day. No infrastructure, nothing. If you want to say something at your home, other will hear it.

Though the life inside the camp was not promising, but I can tell memories of my own, nice memories, of how our life was not easy but we enjoy it, unlike my kids.

We urge you all to do something to save our kids and their future, and treat us as human beings who have the right to have a decent life.

Please, accept our highest consideration and respect.

Best regards,

Taher El-Assar, Najwa El-Assar (Sheikh Ahmed), Mustafa El-Assar, Ahmed El-Assar, Salma El-Assar, Mohammed El-Assar

Nuseirat Refugee Camp, Gaza Strip.


The Secretary General of the United Nations

The President of United States

The EU Commissioner

The Prime Minister of United Kingdome

The President of the Arab League

The Prime Minister of Japan

The Prime Minister of Israel

Najwa Sheikh's blog: http://www.najwa.tk/



Immigration within the camp

Najwa Sheikh Ahmed

Word stands helpless in front of the continuous sufferings of the Gaza people, a continuous journey of migration, but this time the migrations inside the camps of Gaza, and inside the same camp.

I and my kids got very scared from the voice of the airplanes, and the bombings, so we decided to stay few nights with my husband's family, We took the kids, some blankets, and joined the family, the funny thing that when we left the building where our apartment is, I and my kids saw a family that heading towards the building, with their pale faces, and scared lost looks, they were holding their blankets seeking a residence with relatives there, what a caustic situation……

A another immigration, but this time with no hideaway, we are targeted in an evil, malicious way, I was preparing a small bag to take with me, and my kids started to bring what is so precious to them, Salma brought shoes that she adores very much, Ahmed brought his small play station, and Mustafa brought his stuffed dog, things that sound so small but means a lot to them, I felt very bad as I knew that we might not return to this house, my kids still have too many things to adore and love, and they want to keep but I can not take every thing with me.

The children's grandfather house is not so big, only 70m, you can barley find a place to sit comfortably without any body to walk over you. When we went there we found my husband's sister with her four children seeking a safe place after she fled from her house in al Buraij camp, after she heard that a mosque is targeted nearby her house. So we ended up 9 adults, 12 children in a 70m only, imagine how the situation was???/

My husband convinced me to stay home tonight, and that we don't have to bother our four kids in this rainy weather to go to his family house where we used to sleep in the last two days, as my kids feel more secure there as the house on the ground floor.

We finally have electricity, and I am trying to write before another hit occurred, though the weather is very windy, and rainy I can still hear the sound of the Israeli planes which make me very tense and scared.

Being a refugee is not a good thing, you won't have much to enjoy, your life won't be easy, so in a way life and death are the same for us, but as a human being and as a mother, and as many parents, speak and tell the feeling of may parents we want to live, we still have things to enjoy with our kids, we want to raise them, we want to see them grow, and continue their lives.

I still want to get old, to have my kids marry and had their children, I want them to bring their kids and stay with me, and I want them to call me granny.

Oh, Salma my sweet Salma, I still want to give her the advices she needs, I want to see her as a woman, and to handle her to the man she choose to be her husband, and I want to live a normal live.

My five months old Mohammed, he started to giggle in a funny way, and to smile in a funny nice smile, I still want to listen to him say mommy.

So, please give me the chance to do so!!!!!!!!!!

January 1, 2009 By Najwa Sheikh Ahmed, Nusierat Camp-Gaza. Najwa Sheikh's blog: http://www.najwa.tk/



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