A Samira Project Success Story

This is from the Middle East Children’s Alliance project assistant in Gaza, who tells us that the program now has 220 children enrolled over two shifts. Photos are taken with consent, and A’hed’s first name is used with the family’s approval.


Related articles:

  • Samira Project Children’s Counseling
  • Samira Counseling Photos

  • A’hed is a nine year old boy. He joined the project from the early beginning – in August 2015. During the primary activities of that month, like ice-breaking and introductory activities, the psychologist noticed that there was something wrong about A’hed. “I noticed that he was very aggressive and very nervous during the activities. He attacked his colleagues more than once, he was moving a lot during the activities, he was sensitive and he refused to make any relationships with the other children,” said psychologist Haneen Jomaa.

    She explained: “These regular symptoms showed that A’hed is suffering from a severe psychological trauma. I talked to A’hed privately in order to complete a form about his case. After several questions, I figured out that his father had died during the last war on Gaza in 2014, his mother left him and his sister after his father’s death, and they live now in their uncle’s house.

    In conclusion, his family was broken, his mother was uneducated, and he and his sister faced serious economic problems. As a result of this session with A’hed, I called his uncle’s wife for a meeting to complete the parents form with her. I asked her to speak freely and honestly about A’hed in order to help me healing him. During her speech, many problems showed up.

    “A’hed was suffering from bed-wetting, he was terrified from the frequent assault of his uncle, he was a forgetful, his requests must be done immediately, he was treating animals cruelly, and, finally, A’hed once set fire to the house!” said his uncle’s wife painfully.

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    Samira Project Children’s Counseling

    Gaza Mental Health Foundation

    At the request of the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA), the Madison-Rafah Sister City Project (MRSCP) has agreed to raise funds for the Samira Project in Rafah.

    This project was requested by the Rafah branch of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees. It will provide psycho-social counseling for 150 children with disabilities in Rafah and their families.

    The project is scheduled to run for one school year and start in September, so we need to move fast. Out of a total cost of $14,900, all but $4000 has been raised or committed by MECA and the sponsoring group. MRSCP has agreed to raise and contribute the final $4000.

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    Fighting Israel with a camera and a stethoscope

    Raymond Deane, The Electronic Intifada, 31 July 2015

    Night in Gaza by Mads Gilbert (Skyscraper Publications)

    Since 2006, Israel has launched four merciless assaults on the besieged and defenseless Gaza Strip. After Operation Cast Lead in late 2008 and early 2009, with its 1,400 Palestinian fatalities, the Norwegian surgeon Dr. Mads Gilbert published the best-selling Eyes in Gaza.

    That book, a record of his and co-author Erik Fosse’s experiences in Gaza’s al-Shifa hospital during the massacre, made him the object of a relentless campaign of defamation by Israel and its fellow-travellers.

    In July 2014 Operation Protective Edge, the most recent Israeli onslaught, inflicted more than 2,200 Palestinian fatalities, including 551 children. This attack was also partly witnessed by Gilbert; in its wake the Israeli authorities did not stop at defamation, but imposed a permanent ban on his entry to Gaza, reportedly for “security” reasons.

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    Gaza patients stranded at Egypt’s border

    Charlotte Silver, The Electronic Intifada, 18 June 2015

    Palestinians queue at the Rafah crossing on 14 June. Ashraf Amra/APA images

    Fahad stood on his crutches at the Rafah terminal, the border crossing between Gaza and Egypt, his right foot swaddled in bandages. He waited for his name to be called.

    Fahad, a 27-year-old man from the northern town of Beit Hanoun, is one of more than 3,000 Palestinians hoping to cross into Egypt to receive medical care that is unavailable in Gaza.

    Fahad’s right leg was seriously injured when it was hit by shrapnel during Israel’s assault last summer. At the time, he was rushed through Rafah to receive care in Egypt. But once he returned to Gaza he was unable to get the necessary follow-up treatment.

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    ‘Gaza Is Hell’

    Desolation and destiny in a land in limbo

    Banksy artwork on the ruins of a building destroyed by Israeli bombardment in Beit Hanoun (Alice Su)

    Alice Su, The Atlantic, May 2, 2015

    BEIT HANOUN, Gaza Strip—Eight months after last summer’s war between Israel and Palestinian militant groups, Gaza remains in ruins. Drive five minutes into the territory from the crossing point in southwestern Israel and you reach Beit Hanoun, one of the areas hit most severely by land and air during the conflict. Bright blue sky spreads over buildings with big bites taken out of them. Half-eaten bedrooms and kitchens yawn open to reveal tangled wires, broken rock, and household goods: a slipper, a pack of sanitary pads, a ripped-up schoolbook. People peek over mounds of rubble from tents behind their former homes, like aliens come to settle an abandoned planet.

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    March 15, 2015 Rafah Filmmaker Fida Qishta at First United Methodist Church

    (See Funding Campaign for Filmmaker Fida Qishta)

    Sunday, March 15
    First United Methodist Church
    Fellowship Hall
    203 Wisconsin Avenue
    Madison [Map]
    7:00 pm

    Join us for “Dessert and a Movie” at this year’s Rachel Corrie commemorative event with Rafah filmmaker Fida Qishta and her ground-breaking Where Should the Birds Fly? The event is free and open to the public, but donations to cover costs will be appreciated. Desserts, including baklawa, and coffee and tea will be served. Please RSVP to dwallbaum (at) gmail.com with the number of attendees.

    March 16 will be twelve years since Rachel Corrie was crushed to death in Rafah by an Israeli bulldozer as she tried to stop the demolition of the Nasrallah family home. Just last week, the Israeli Supreme Court confirmed a lower court decision that the Israeli army bears no responsibility for her death; for more info and a statement from Craig and Cindy Corrie visit the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice. Portions of Where Should the Birds Fly were filmed in and around the area where Rachel died.

    Don’t miss your chance to see this powerful film and meet the remarkable woman who made it.

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