Disabled in Gaza
NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING
DONATE TODAY

Disabled in Gaza


Disabled people in Gaza fight for their rights, proving they are producers not consumers amid ignorance from the local authorities -   October 3, 14
Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here

Audio

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter



I support this network as contributors are allowed the time to develop their arguments - CM
Log in and tell us why you support TRNN

Transcript

Disabled in GazaYOUSEF ALHELOU, TRNN CORRESPONDENT, GAZA: The latest statistics conducted by the Palestinian Central Bureau of statistics show that there are about 40,000 people out of Gaza's 1.7 million population who suffer from different kinds of disabilities. Of those, 47 percent have mobility impairments, and this number increases yearly because of the frequent military attacks and conflicts in Gaza. The second-largest group are those with hearing impairments, followed by visual impairments, then learning disabilities.

Many NGOs are working to support the disabled, offer psychosocial support, and create opportunities for them and help them overcome their disability by integrating them into the society.

IMAD MASRI, ERADAH PROJECT (VOICEOVER TRANSL.): Eradah Project is a Turkish-funded project targeting people with different disabilities, especially those who became disabled as a result of their injuries sustained during the 2009 and 2012 Israel wars on Gaza. We have finished the training process and now give these disabled the chance to be productive. We want them to feel that they are normal and integrate them into the society.

ALHELOU: These disabled people defeat all odds. They say that they are producers, not consumers.

~~~

ALHELOU: Handicapped Palestinians make and sell handmade products to maintain independency. These handmade products, which are ranging from embroideries, wooden and ceramic items, reflect the creativity of their makers, showcasing their products in exhibitions as they refuse to depend on charities.

Many disabled individuals in the Gaza Strip received electric wheelchairs that were donated and brought to the tiny strip by pro-Palestine activists and NGOs through humanitarian aid convoys. These wheelchairs give them hope to support their families, especially in light of the hardships and poverty.

The sports sector has been hit hard under years of an Israeli blockade and two devastating wars. Athletes, especially the disabled, say that they are practicing different kind of sports despite the lack of proper equipment and facilities. Some sports facilities, including the Disabled Union Building, were completely destroyed during the recent Israeli eight-day war on Gaza in November 2012. Al Jazeera Club, which is the only sports facility for women and girls, with its own women's football team, amongst other activities, was also targeted, leaving the disabled athletes to train in poor facilities.

NABEEL HAMDEYAH, DISABLED ATHLETE (VOICEOVER TRANSL.): I am one of the founders of the Paralympics committee for the disabled in Gaza, and I have participated in many championships in many countries, such as France, Emirates, and Tunisia.

ALHELOU: The disabled athletes show a great enthusiasm and determination. Many have won gold, silver, and bronze medals in many championships worldwide.

MAZIN SARHAN, PALESTINIAN PARALYMPICS COMMITTEE (VOICEOVER TRANSL.): The javelin and discus throwing, as well as the shot put and the long jump, are the main athletics that we train for the disabled.

The first gold Olympic medal was won by a Palestinian disabled athlete in Sydney in the year 2000. The second medal was scored in Athens in 2004. And then a group of our disabled athletes won twelve medals in the Asia championship that was held in Japan in 2009.

ALHELOU: Although there is a law that deals with access and employment for disabled people in Palestine, it is not enforced. There are no curb cuts for wheelchairs, no easy access to public buildings, no public transportation equipped to deal with disabilities, and no audio traffic signals to alert the blind, to name a few.

KHALED ABU ZAID, NATIONAL CENTER FOR COMMUNITY REHABILITATION (VOICEOVER TRANSL.): Disabled people have potential, but they face many obstacles. Sadly, the local authorities in Gaza are not paying attention to the needs of the disabled and their rights.

ALHELOU: The Real News talked to an official from the Ministry of Youth and Sport in Gaza to find answers, in particular why the government is not giving the required attention to the disabled people.

AHMAD MUHAISEN, MINISTRY OF YOUTH AND SPORT (VOICEOVER TRANSL.): The Disabled Union Building was destroyed recently during the war, and many people became disabled because of the severe injuries resulting from military attacks. We are doing our best to assist the disabled in all fields, but we lack financial support to rebuild what was destroyed.

ALHELOU: And as the disabled are fighting for their rights with the help of some NGOs, a radio station called Fursan Al-Erada—or the Knights of Will in English—is dedicated to helping disabled people through programming. The radio station, which is the first of its kind in the Middle East, was created in 2006 as a voice for people with disabilities, run by reporters with disabilities. The station's media strategy aims to change the attitudes and perceptions about people with disabilities while also assisting them in preparing to become leaders in their communities.

Yousef Alhelou for The Real News, Gaza.

End

DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


Comments

Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

Comments


Latest Stories


Varoufakis Sued for Alleged Treason While Syriza's Left Platform Is Accused of Conspiracy
Prosecutor Charges Cop, Releases Video of Sam Dubose Killing
A New War is Unfolding on Turkey's Eastern Border
What Obama Didn't Say in His African Union Address
Will Congress Unravel the Iran Nuclear Deal?
Turkey Enters Fight Against ISIS, But Target is Still Assad
Sandra Bland and Black Girls Matter
Gay Pride Celebrated Amid Concerns Over Trans Rights
Movement for Black Lives Conference Demonstrates Power of Organized Community
Only Civilian Oversight with Subpoena Power Will Stop Sheriff Abuse, Say LA County Residents
Nations Exposed To Risky International Debt Financing, Why & What's at Stake? (1/2)
Donald Trump and Liberal Media: The Joke's On You
Erratic Weather or Climate Change?
Ending Mass Incarceration? The Shortcomings of Left-Right Coalition Politics (1/2)
Will the Greek Left Unite to Oppose Austerity?
In Turkey, Kurds See Airstrikes and Protest Crackdowns as Political Revenge
Cornel West and Rick Wolff on White Supremacy and Capitalism
Economists Join the Fight For $15!
How the Greek Shipping Industry Schemed to Win Big in the Debt Crisis (2/2)
After 54 Years, US Isolated and Forced to Renew Diplomatic Relations With Cuba
Dodd-Frank's 5th Anniversary Passes, But Should We Celebrate?
The Global African: Cook Up & Peace in Mali
UN Reports Blasts Canada's Human Rights Record on Violence Against Indigenous Women
How the Greek Shipping Industry Schemed to Win Big in the Debt Crisis (1/2)
Rap News: Immigrants! Feat. Donald Trump & Tony Abbott
Trump Cast as Perfect Ringleader of Corporate Media Circus
Justice Department Details Investigation of Black Police Chief's Firing as Community Calls for Mayor's Resignation
Revolutionary Expectations and the Fight Against Austerity - Catarina Principe on RAI (5/5)
Cash-Strapped Puerto Rico at Hedge Funds' Mercy (2/2)
US Condemns Israel's Plan to Demolish West Bank Village - Just Lip Service?

RealNewsNetwork.com, Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network. Click here for more

Problems with this site? Please let us know

Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting