By Dr. Mona El Farra
It has been too long since I have been in contact with all of you. During this time, I have been incredibly busy and my situation has been constantly changing. Traveling between England, where my children live, and Cairo, where I have been fundraising for an urgently needed MRI machine, leaves me watching Gaza from a distance. However, I have had daily contact with my friends and colleagues in Gaza, and have also been visiting Palestinian patients from Gaza in Cairo. Listening to their stories and firsthand accounts reminds of the tragic reality for my people.
It is hard to believe that the cardiovascular and cancer patients in Cairo from Gaza are the lucky ones. I have to stop for a moment to recognize what it means to be Gazan: that we refer to some who are terminally ill as the lucky ones. Very few succeed to cross the border of a siege imposed with the help of Egypt, but dictated by Israel and the US, while the vast majority must stay behind the bars in the prison that is Gaza.
With broken heart, I watch the sluggish dialogue between Palestinian factions. We live and suffer under the occupation, and the lack of unity makes the problem of living under occupation more complex. By staying divided, we are giving to Israel a golden gift-we know they are no partner in peace, and their first rule as colonizers is to celebrate any divisions, and then conquer.
Today however, I am inspired to meet with 198 activists of all ages, ethnicities and political backgrounds, many from the United States, united in one idea – Viva Palestina, Live Palestine! United to pass a message of solidarity – that you, Palestine are not alone, you are not forgotten. Justice will prevail. We, a humanitarian convoy of medical aid, will cross the borders in the coming days, on a 2nd humanitarian mission to share in the struggle of the men, women, and children who live under this unjust siege and embargo.
I will continue to challenge myself to write more frequently, and I challenge you to support our work by becoming involved and making a donation to humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza. Visit www.mecaforpeace.org. Viva Palestina!
– Dr. Mona El Farra is a Palestinian physician who lives in Gaza and is a Project Director for Middle East Children’s Alliance. This article was contributed to the PalestineChronicle.com. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.