Dr Al Fara will talk about the desperate need to help children in Gaza traumatised by war, and siege and seeing their parents and wider families devastated by Israeli aggression.
The grave situation in Gaza
The Gaza Strip is the most densely populated region in the world. Over 80 per cent of its people are refugees and their descendants, expelled from Palestine in the 1948 war that established the state of Israel. The majority of the 1.8 million residents are under the age of 15.
Israel’s attacks on Gaza in 2008/9 killed 1,473 Palestinians. Israel’s 2014 bombardment, lasting 51 days, reduced entire neighbourhoods to rubble and killed at least 2,100; of whom 539 were children.
According to UNICEF, 373,000 children in Gaza suffer from some degree of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Additionally, 11,000 were injured, one third with permanent disabilities and more than 18,000 Palestinian homes were destroyed. Israel’s siege and the periodic bombardments of Gaza have prevented people rebuilding their lives. Many still live in tents and makeshift homes. Water and electricity are still only available for a few hours a day. For schools, hospitals, workshops, farms and homes to be restored Palestinians need international solidarity.
Khuza’a is a town of 10,000 inhabitants in the south east of the
Gaza Strip. It is situated only 500 metres from the border with Israel. In the 2009 attack, it was reported the Israeli army bulldozed houses in Khuza’a with their residents still inside, and civilians were shot when carrying white flags.
These accounts were corroborated by the Israeli human rights organisation, B’Tselem. Khuza’a was one of the three areas that suffered particularly badly during the 2014 Israeli attack on the
Gaza Strip. Hundreds of its civilians were killed and large areas of the town were wiped out. Some residents were used as human shields by the invading Israeli army. As a result, thousands of children are still traumatised and in need of psychological help.
Khuza’a is about six kilometres from the Never Stop Dreaming Project, which has been supported Sheffield PSC for many years.
It will manage and support the new project, with the help of the charity, Middle Eastern Children’s Alliance (MECA). Sheffield’s Yemeni community raised £9,600 towards the Centre’s construction, and a resident of Khuza’a has donated the
land for the building to be constructed on. The building work will be
finished by the Spring of 2018. The existing staff from the Never Stop Dreaming Project, that is already involved with the local community, will be provided with additional training to support children with post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Thanks for reading this. Please do come to our meeting
Over 60 people came to listen to the talk by Dr Summerfield. It was a very detailed and clear. He documented the role of the complicity in torture of Palestinians by the Israeli Medical establishment. We will provide links for further information as soon as we have them.
Inspiring and Uplifting. These two words were repeated by many of the people present at the Scholarship Fund’s 10th anniversary event in Sheffield Town Hall, marking International Women”s Day 2017.
The town hall reception room was packed to hear the stories of the students who have received scholarships since 2007. The stories are moving and full of hope despite the reality of life in Gaza,
Please pass my deep feelings of love and gratitude to all in Britain connected to the Sheffield Scholarship Fund. You have opened a new window in the dark sky of living in Jabalia under occupation.Sama Wadi, Jabalia refugee camp, 2008
I really appreciate the efforts made by the women’s group in Sheffield to help and support Palestinian women. The scholarships show there’s justice in the world and they tell us that we deserve to live a decent life as in the rest of the world. Thank you from the depth of my heart. Maisaa Salah Abu Khadra, Bureij refugee camp, 2016
Thanks to the Lord Mayor, Cllr Denise Fox and the
Deputy Lord Mayor, Cllr Anne Murphy for hosting the event and welcoming the Fund. The Lord Mayor’s words of support for the students and for the work of Fund was really appreciated.
Thanks to our speakers, Kholoud Ajarma and Musheir El Farra. Thanks to Sheffield Socialist Choir for opening the event with song.
The Scholarship Fund is aiming to raise £23k this year to bring the total sent out to Gaza of £100k in 10 years. Please support us to reach this target. Email for details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Possibly the worst thing a newspaper can do to a Muslim woman is to publish a picture of her under the headline “I am proud to be called a terrorist”. This is exactly what the Mail on line has done to Malaka Shwaikh.
Malaka is currrently at Exter University, studying under Ilan Pappe , a Jewish Israeli Professor; she is in no way anti-semitic. Before she moved from Sheffield, Malaka was a member of Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign. She is an intelligent articulate active anti-racist.
What has stirred the ire of the Pro Israeli and Zionist campaigners is that she is Palestinian, articulate and effective.
The full sentence she used was: “If terrorism means protecting and defending my land, I am so proud to be called terrorist. What an honour for the Palestinians!” This was said in the context of Israel’s 2014 bloody onslaught on Gaza. The wilful ripping out of part of the sentence completely misrepresents her position.
The attack on Malaka is part of a coordinated attempt to discredit pro-Palestinian campaigners. Israel has become increasingly right wing and xenophobic. It is feted by white supremacists and Islamophobes. Its supporters desperately hope to drown out criticism of Israel’s illegal land theft by false allegations of terrorism and anti Semitism.
If the Daily Mail’s malevolent distortion is allowed to stand Malaka’s ability to travel, to return to Gaza, and live a normal life will be made near impossible. It will also embolden the Mail for further attacks.
Professor Ilan Pappe addresses an audience at Sheffield Hallam University on Monday 20th January. He makes the point that Trump may be more energetic in his anti Palestinian stance but essentially the pro Zionist approach taken by America is systemic and not dependent on a single person.
“I am proud of what we have done together” Mona El Farra in Gaza tells Julia South, our newsletter editor.
The Scholarship Fund is proud of what we have achieved in our first ten years, starting with three students in 2007 to supporting 39 in 2017-17. Our special 10th anniversary newsletter includes interviews with students who have graduated and how supporters of the Fund have raised money and awareness throughout the year.
With special thanks to Dr Mona El Farra and Wafaa El Derawi in Gaza and for Julia South in Sheffield for writing and editing the newsletter.
Hosted by the Lord Mayor, Denise Fox, with songs from Sheffield Socialist Choir, stories from our scholarship students, speeches from Sheffield PSC activist Musheir El Farra and Palestinian woman speaker Kholoud Al Ajarma on the power of women’s education.
All welcome to celebrate how Sheffield has shown its solidarity with Palestinian women students in Gaza, Palestine.
Kholoud Al Ajarma is a Palestinian refugee from Aida Camp, Bethlehem and is coming to Sheffield next week to speak to us about her experience of working with refugees.
She has lots of experience working with young refugees, encouraging them to speak out and assert their rights. She worked in the Lajee Centre, Aida Camp, and in other camps across the West Bank developing programmes for the youngsters, particularly in media and photography. She has travelled with the Lajee dancers on international tours and acted as compere, giving voice very strongly to the political significance of dance, an act of cultural resistance to occupation and oppression.
She’s a great speaker and knows the value of Children’s Centres, the cause we’re promoting in this Benefit– come and meet her