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For the next 18 months, our main Palestine campaign will be ‘Ahlan Gaza’ (Ahlan means ‘Welcome’ in Arabic), and we are delighted to be working with the Gaza youth advocacy organisation We Are Not Numbers.
Ahlan Gaza will follow the simple stories of people living in Gaza — people trying to live with dignity as their options close in around them.
Capturing the dignity in the daily struggle for an ordinary life.
The highlights of most people’s trips to Palestine are not the places they visit or our incredible partners — it’s the people they meet, the hospitality they experience and the chance to hear everyday stories of life under occupation.
Of course, these trips only ever experience a small part of Palestine — they never get to visit Gaza and its 2 million occupants. We would love to take people there but this is impossible. Access of any sort is getting harder and harder and it still remains incredibly difficult for Gazans to get permission to get out. As the isolation grows, so the normal stories of everyday life fade, coverage is only given to the newsworthy and to the dreadful.
A group of young boys in the back of a small van waving as they ride down a Gazan street.
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How do you encourage children to be hopeful for their future when unemployment is at 59%? How do you feed your family when 70% of the population is on food aid? How do you run a business on 5 hours of electricity a day?
The consequence is that in our heads we picture Gaza as a 25-mile long and 7-mile wide prison camp, full of people living in the most appalling conditions. And while this is true, it is a fraction of the story and fails to capture the dignity in the ordinary struggles of everyday life.
As well as running the Ahlan Gaza campaign, we will still be:
But our focus will be to tell the stories of life in Gaza that are going on every day, every week — outside the spotlight of a crisis-driven news-cycle.
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Please watch our short films from Gaza.
Made for our 2020 Christmas Appeal for Gaza, ‘Protection’ shines a light on everyday life on the Strip. With thanks to Massive Attack and Tracey Thorn for allowing us to use their song.
‘Open The Borders’
Under blockade since 2007, 1.8m people live in Gaza — a besieged strip of land where there have been three wars in 6 years, where 50% of the population are children, where unemployment runs at 40% and where 80% of the population are dependent on humanitarian aid to survive.
Ahlan Gaza (Welcome Gaza) follows the simple stories of people living in Gaza, people trying to live with dignity as their options close in on them each year.
Watch and share our short campaign film, ‘Open The Borders’.
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Read more about Amos Trust’s work across the West Bank and Gaza.