Tuesday 30 December 2008

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

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

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