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Archive for the ‘irish in gaza’ Category

Amid scenes of utter devastation, is the ever prevalent, ever existing humility, humanity, resilience that is Palestine.  We returned yesterday to Umm al Nasser village in Northern Gaza. A village that Israel, in its latest attacks on Gaza tried to wipe out and almost succeeded.

It’s hot and dusty, all around us are remnants of an unjust war, and still the children play and we sit, as usual, cross legged on the sand and drink sweet, sweet tea and talk and listen and admire in awe the hospitality of this village where we spend so much time these days.

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As is customary, We sit under the shade though there have been times, we have sat indoors for shelter from a scorching sun or the wind and rain…It is not an option today, unless we climb through the rubble and search in vain for a room with a roof left. Later we wander around to where the Mosque used to stand, pass by the car that was driven over by an Israeli tank in the area where the new well will be drilled, see home after home partially or totally destroyed, 150 families in this village alone have no home left. The homes that remain are riddled with shell holes, bullets holes or walls knocked from tanks.  Some are staying with friends or relatives, some have moved out of the village to rented apartments in nearby towns and some just erected makeshift tents of plastic and canvas sheets in the ruins of their family homes. For those that did leave, it is almost impossible to return each day to begin to salvage what is left of their homes and lands.

 

 

Further up the sandy road is the Kindergarten…or rather was the Kindergarten. This was an Italian sponsored kindergarten for the preschool children of a village of 5000 residents. Flattened!  All that remains is a massive crater, dust, twisted pieces of metal…and a burned and torn EU flag that originally flew from the building… (There was nobody left in the village when the Israeli’s blew up this school… Is education of infant’s such a threat to the national security of Israel? )

Kindergarten

Kindergarten

On the eleventh day of the onslaught, the villagers were all forced to evacuate. The Israeli ground troops actually invaded the village. The village is right beside the Israeli border and the front line for Gaza. The tanks rolled in across the crops, the bulldozers flattened what they came across….and 50 days or so without water meant that what the tanks, the bulldozers, the flares and the shootings did not already destroy, the harsh sun dried to a crisp…. There is nothing left. The chili plants disintegrate between your fingers, the corn is brown and dusty, and the ground is sand…. Destroyed. Lemon trees broken, burned, crumbling. Many of their animals were killed, camels, sheep, cows… One man alone lost all his crops, all his animals and his home destroyed……..

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But already they are beginning to replant … they have no choice. The UN came, took notes, and never came back. .. The NGO’s did not turn  up. We did, thanks to your support and donation’s … We promised a well and we will drill a well!

We believe Water is a right, we believe life is a right… and we believe water is a right to life. The villagers will replant their fields, slowly… The children will return to a classroom somewhere and the village will find a way back….but not without water. There is no water in the village, 5000 people are relying on trucks to turn up to deliver water sporadically.

We begin to drill this week… We will continuously update with news, pictures etc but we are short of the funds needed to complete……….We are close but still short. Please, on behalf of the villagers of Umm al Nasser, on behalf of Irish in Gaza, on behalf of just 2 people, Derek and Jenny Graham and on behalf of what is left of humanity, do what you can. Donate, if you can, Share, even if you cannot…

 

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Back in Gaza and trying to catch up, but with intermittent electricity and extremely slow internet….So, bear with us please…

 

Firstly. let us tell you about  and thank the beautiful and inspiring

Miss Maisie Green…10685630_798143520228100_689669579_o

 

Apologies to Miss Maisie Green for not posting this sooner a few weeks ago before school started Maisie decided to have a sponsored haircut and this fantastic little girl raised over £700.00 Maisie asked that the money raised be used to help children in Gaza and has donated through IFOPBF to Irish in Gaza £525.00 to help with the build of a well so children can have a fresh supply of water and the remaining balance was donated to IMAP. Maisie has also donated the hair she had cut off to the Princess Foundation who make hairpieces for children diagnosed with various hair loss illnesses. via Irish friends of Palestine, Beal Feirste

 

Maisie, you are an absolute inspiration and a reason for us all to believe in . Your friends and family must be so proud  and we think you are even more beautiful with your new haircut… From the many many young children like you,  that you will now help in Palestine , we thank you so very very much, habibti.. Derek and Jenny

And finally, ( for now) The Sunday after we left Ireland, A run/walk for Gaza was held in Belfast. The walk was organised by Irish friends of Palestine, Beal Feirste and supported by so many more. Hundreds turned up to take part in Solidarity with Gaza and all money donated will go towards the drilling of a well in Umm Al NAsser village in Northern Gaza. For details of the well project please click Here:  https://irishingaza.wordpress.com/2014/08/15/time-to-rebuild-water-for-life/

We offer our absolute gratitude to all those who participated, sponsored, donated and helped in so many other ways…. with a special word of thanks going to Michelle, John, Ann, Philomena, Edel and Bernie…. And of course to Eva and Natasha for your ongoing, never wavering support and for travelling up to Belfast to take part, Well done every single one of you.. Go raibh mile maith agat, Shukran, Thank you so very very much….

Continue below for pictures and video. Pictures credited to Mr. John Mallon.

 

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We are close to reaching our target to complete the first stage of the well project for Umm Al Nasser, but need your support and donations to complete …

To donate please click :https://irishingaza.wordpress.com/donate-urgently-for-gaza/

 

 

 

 

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As you arrive at the gates of Gaza Sea port, a monument stands  directly facing you. With large flag poles to the side billowing proudly , The  monument , erected to the memory of the 9 Martyrs of the Mavi Marmara Massacre,  rises majestically .

The marble memorial   is regularly the site of demonstrations , especially at times of  Flotilla’s or individual attempts to break the siege by Sea. The top of the monument is a large globe of the world and below are the names of all nine murdered civilians each with a Palestinian  / Turkish flag below their names., symbolizing the strength of international solidarity and their lives as honorary Palestinians

Nine activists were killed in the raid, on May 31st, 2010

Cengiz Akyüz (42),

Ali Haydar Bengi (39),

 İbrahim Bilgen(61),

 Furkan Doğan (19),

 Cevdet Kılıçlar ( 38) 

Cengiz Songür (47),

 Çetin Topçuoğlu (53),

Fahri Yaldız (43),

and Necdet Yıldırım (32)

As we Wandered around the Port, The realisation of just how small this world  is really  dawns on us as we bump into Dearbhla Glynn. Dearbhla is an amazing documentary film maker from Ireland, in Gaza for a few weeks working in co-ordination with Trocaire and P.C.H.R.

Dearbhla’s documentary, Gaza: Post Operation Cast Lead  scooped the top prize in the ICCL Human Rights Film Awards 2010..

The last time we met Dearbhla was at a fundraising and awareness concert she helped organise in Dublin before the Irish Ship, The MV Rachel Corrie joined the Mavi Marmara and the other ships of  the first Freedom Flotilla to highlight and attempt to break the Siege on Gaza in 2010.

Irish in Gaza will post details of Dearbhlas latest trip to Gaza soon.

Day by Day there really are more and more “Irishingaza”  !!!

Pictures by Jeff Bright:  , Facebook:  Jeffrey  Bright Photojournalist

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