NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING
DONATE TODAY

  $169,130


  February 21, 2013

Disabled in Gaza


Disabled people in Gaza fight for their rights, proving they are producers not consumers amid ignorance from the local authorities
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



Real News simply has no entertainment value. But its news value puts CNN,MSNBC,ABC& BBC to shame! - Santhip
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

latest stories

Paul Jay on What Makes The Real News Special
EpiPen Prices Soar Because Our Current System Can't Restrain Profit-Seeking Corporations
The Real Scandal of Clinton's Emails: Conducting Foreign Policy In Secret
Time is Running Out - Help Us Expose the Koch Brothers' War on Climate Science
More Social Programs For Ex-Prisoners Would Lower Recidivism
How Ukrainian and Russian Elite Benefit From New Flare-ups at the Border
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Fights North Dakota Oil Pipeline
Detroit Reverend: 'Electing a Democrat Doesn't Mean You Are Safe'
Baltimore Police Union Could Thwart Planned Civilian Oversight
Brazil Moving Towards Right-wing Foreign Policy
Why is Emma Thompson in the Arctic?
Saudi Arabia Bombing Yemen To Quell Demonstrations for Democracy
Feds Say Locking Up the Indigent Because They Can't Pay Bail is Unconstitutional
Green Party of Canada Leader Reaffirms Leadership Following Row Over BDS
Competing While Black: Rio 2016 Olympics and Racism
The False Equivalence of 'White Lives Matter'
The Corporate Arbiters of Opinion
Brazil: A State of Economic and Political Paralysis
Labor Rights Brazenly Violated In Global 'Corporate Utopias'
Afro-Colombians Place Hope in the Peace Process
The Empire Files: Chevron vs. the Amazon - The Environmental Trial of the Century
Rattling the Bars: U.S. Prison Strikes
Imperialism, the Refugee Crisis, and the EU
The Laura Flanders Show: Free the Land: Shirley Sherrod and Black Land Struggles in the South
How Stock Buybacks Harm the Economy
Activists Call on Obama to Pardon U.S. Political Prisoners
Refugees and the Political Crisis of the EU
Departure of Health Insurers From Exchanges Demonstrates Need for Single Payer, Says Advocate
Lucrative Arms Sales Secure Ongoing U.S. Support for Saudi Arabia's War on Yemen
Maryland Green Party Forum 2016

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