This summer camp organized by Dar Al Quran Wal Sunnah (DQWS) in Gaza, Palestine teaches blind children from the School of Hope and Light to memorize the Quran. Their hope is to strengthen the hearts and minds of these children to help them cope with their disability and the adversities of life under occupation.
This is the third year they are running this program following from the success of previous years. The first camp started with 40 children then it increased to 50 in the following year and this year VPM managed to raise funds for 60 children.
This year's camp opened on 7th June. May Allah reward all those who contributed to sponsoring the children at this camp.
Mr. Mhamoud Khass the general manager of DQWS mentioned that the last two camps had achieved big success because some of the students memorized more than 10 parts of the Quran. Khass explained that " DQWS made a plan to develop the camp further this year by including new subjects such as " Tajweed Rules course and Memorizing the 40 Hadiths of Sheik AL Nawawi" in order to develop further the performance of blind students in the camp, he also said " the blind students compete with the sighted students in memorizing the Quran and sometimes the blind can memorize more than the sighted because the blind student have stronger Intuition and higher accuracy in memorization.
As of 3 July, Alhamdulillah, one student Mohamed Jodia has memorized 7 parts (juzuk) in the first month, while the others have memorized between 1 to 4 parts.
The impoverished families in Gaza are living in conditions that are some of the most difficult in the world. But in spite of their extremely difficult lives, these remarkable people show only faith and no sense of despair.
Viva Palestina Malaysia hopes to ease a little of their burden. For only RM150 you too can help by purchasing a food basket which provides basic provisions for a household of five and will last them a month.
This is the 3rd year that we are running this campaign.
Our treasurer, Paun Sri Norma Hashim presenting the book, The Prisoners Diaries edited by Norma, to the new Palestinian Ambassodar to Malaysia, Dr Anwar Al Agha. Together with them are Yousef Aljamal who helped put together the Arabic version of The Prisoners Diaries and Refaat Alareer, Editor of Gaza Writes Back.
Below is the speech by our treasurer, Puan Sri Normah Hashim at Saba Islamic Media book launch of the Bahasa Malaysia edition of 'Gaza Writes Back'.
I am honored to represent Viva Palestina Malaysia to say a few words at the launch of the Bahasa Malaysia edition of Gaza Writes Back.
Zionist narratives of Palestine have ruled over the media for the last 60 years. Because of this VPM has always felt that citizen journalism is important for Palestinians to reclaim this narrative. This is why we have worked with the Centre for Political and Development Studies in Gaza through supporting the library and funding talks and providing laptops and projectors to enable the youth in Gaza to acquire the writing and speaking skills to counter the pro Zionist propaganda in the media.
The importance of good writing skills is highlighted by the success of Refaat Alareer's book Gaza Writes Back and the very favorable reception in the United States to the 10 city book tour which Refaat and 2 of the young writers Yousef and Rawan did in April.
Gaza Writes Back showcases the writing talent that abounds among the youth in Gaza today. This is writing borne out of tragedy and trauma, turned into a message to the world, a plea to people everywhere to learn the true story of Palestine as told by Palestinians living through the Occupation.
Israel has always felt threatened by Palestinian writers, and many writers and artists have been assassinated and killed violently even though they resisted the occupation through non-violent means. But I hope this does not deter the young writers in Palestine!
Yet their words and images live on today many years after their passing. Ghassan Kanafani was assassinated by a car bomb in 1972 yet today, his novels and short stories like "Men in the Sun" and "A World Not our Own" are still read around the world, and the stories still ring true 40 years later .
Naji Al Ali was shot and killed in 1987 in London, but today which Palestinian does not know his cartoon Handala the boy who will not grow up until he can return to his homeland?
They say the pen is mightier than the sword. Indeed, Palestinian words have always been more powerful than Israeli bullets, and they endure long after the assassins are dead, and they will be read long after the Occupation is over.
Lighting up Gaza 2 concentrated on school children who had to study in darkness due to the black-out and power cuts by the Israeli government. The photos below show the second phase of the distribution of rechargeable lamps to students.
Part of the money raised for our last Winter Crisis project was spent to rehabilitate homes in the impoverished Betlahiay area. Here is the Inspection work conducted by Hani Thraya and sister Alaa Hamduah on the refurbished houses.
|The funds raised have been disbursed to Palestine as follows:|
|Month / Year||Purpose||NGO Partner in Palestine||Amount disbursed (RM)|
|Jan 2009||Medical relief||Gaza Ministry of Health||150,000|
|Dec 2009||3 fully equipped ambulances||Gaza Ministry of Health||265,000|
|Jan 2010||Artificial Limb to Palestinian Child||Palestinian boy||-|
|Oct 2010||6 vans loaded with educational & medical aid||Gaza Ministries||340,000|
|2010||Summer camp for Palestinian Children||Palestinian Children Relief Fund||12,000|
|Aug 2011||Projects related to Sewing & Embroidery, Bakery, Beauty & Hairdressing, Student Tutorials, Public Library, Computer Literacy||Family & Society Development Association||210,000|
|Aug2011||Medical drugs & consumables||Hospital Karamah||30,000|
|Aug2011||Micro financing projects||Seeraj al Ommal Society||60,000|
|Jun 2012||Miles of Smiles convoy : projectors, laptops, cameras||Centre for Political & Development Studies||14,000|
|Jun 2012||Wheelchairs & Crutches||Ministry of Health||22,000|
|Jun 2012||Taaj al Wakar Hafiz Summer Camp||Dar al-Quran wa Sunnah||160,000|
|Jun 2012||9,500 Solar lamps||Islamic Society Jabalia||170,000|
|Aug 2012||Ramadhan food baskets||Islamic Society Jabalia||300,000|
|Mar-Dec 2012||Rehabilitation of schools in Jabalia in collaboration with Malaysian Ministry of Education||Islamic Society Jabalia||1,730,000|
|Jul 2012||Housing project||Salam Society||79,800|
|Jul 2012||Generator for Health Centre||Palestinian Welfare Society||48,000|
|Aug 2012||Mini bus||Darul Quran||79,000|
|Aug 2012||Braille embosser||Islamic University of Gaza||18,000|
|Aug 2012||Braille Qurans||School of Hope and Light for the Blind||10,000|
|Aug 2012||Mini bus||Islamic Society Jabalia||79,000|
|Aug 2012||Books, fixtures and fittings & translators’ salaries||Centre for Political & Development Studies||42,075|
|Oct 2012||Distribution of Qurban meat||Islamic Society Jabalia & Multaqa Rahmah||90,000|
|Nov 2012||Gaza emergency fund appeal for victims of Israeli attacks||Islamic Society Jabalia||456,000|
|Jan 2013||Womens microfinancing project||Family & Society Development Institute||61,000|
|Feb 2013||Retinal laser machine||FIMA Save Vision project||62,400|
|March 2013||Car for transport of speakers||Centre for Political and development Studies||72,000|
|March 2013||Generator||Palestine Welfare House Medical Centre||19,000|
|April 2013||Minibus||Salam Society||92,000|
|May 2013||Generator||Ladies Institute||34,500|
Rechargeable lamps for 1,500 poor families
|Islamic Society Jabalia||79,200|
|May 2013||Surgical sutures||Syifaa’ Hospital Gaza Paediatric Surgery||8,500|
|May 2013||Film Editing Machine||Emad Burnat||15,000|
|July 2013||Adopt a Hafiz (with MPF & AS) for 680 students||Dar al-Quran wa Sunnah||350,000|
|July-Aug 2013||Blind Students Camp for 40 students||Dar al-Quran wa Sunnah||30,000|
|July 2013||1,500 Ramadan food baskets||7 NGOs in Gaza||238,000|
|Sep 2013||Education Equipment for 270 students||School for the Deaf||7,200|
|Sep 2013||Develop 2 kindergartens for 500 Students||4,800|
|Sep 2013||Back to school project||Salam Society||51,194|
|Sep 2013||Planting of grapes in Bil’in, West Bank||Economic & Social Development Centre of Palestine (ESDC)||148,000|
|Oct 2013||Agricultural project||Islamic Society Gaza||150,000|
|Oct 2013||Kurban meat project||ISJ, Salam Society, Darul Quran||68,200|
|Dec 2013||Rechargeable lamps for school children||Ministry of Education Gaza, DQWS||84,500|
|Dec 2013||Emergency aid for Gaza flood victims||Salam and Rowad Societies||72,000|
|Jan 2014||Repair of homes for poor||Islamic Society||60,500|
|Feb 2014||Scholarships for Palestinian - Syrian refugees||IUG, UCAS and Al Quds Universities||18,500|
Update 7 Feb 2014
Update 23 Jan 2014
We have received another USD 20,000 for the winter crisis.
We will use USD 10,000 to finance 20 homes in Beitlahia that need to be repaired .
Report from our Representative from Gaza:
- About helping Betlahia area: Islamic society HQ in cooperation with Islamic society (IS) branch in Bitlahyia made field visits to families affected by the flood in the area and selected 20 families that needed help, the aim of IS is to conduct rehabilitation for homes such as painting walls, maintenance of electrical tools, doors, floors ..etc. that were damaged from the flood and each house need about USD 500.
- About Emergency Aid with Rowad Society: Alhamdulilllah they finished distributing all the aid to the affected families in the Tunnel area at Gaza City.
- About Emergency Aid with Gaza Society for relief: they will start distributing the needy aid on 25 Jan 2014 for 35 families in south of Gaza City , I will be one of the distribution team to check on the distribution, and to check the situation of the selected families as I did previously with Rowad society.
Update 18 Dec 2013: VPM had sent the first USD10,000 to Salam Society for Jabalia . Subsequently we sent USD5,000 each to NGOs in Shaik Radwan and East Gaza. The next USD10,000 will be for Beitlahia, a farming area and Rafah inshaa Allah. That way we target to help all of Gaza.
Gaza Premier, Isma'el Haneya visited Salam Society during their preparations for the aid funded by VPM. Haneya spoke to Sheik Yacoub Soliman and his Board members in Salam Society for Relief & Development.
Kia Ora Gaza Trust, an NGO based in New Zealand has also launched a similar emergency appeal. And in their appeal they mentioned, " we will join the international appeal headed by our aid partners, VPM, who work with the Salam Society in Gaza providing immediate, practical assistance to the thousands of desperate families who have been made homeless by the widespread deluge. http://kiaoragaza.net/
The people living in Gaza Strip are currently suffering because of a wave of bitter cold, rain and flood in Gaza Strip.The Areas that completely affected are:
1. Jabalyia Al Nazlah (more than 150 Families affected).
2. East Gaza City - East Al Zitoon Neighborhood. (112 Families affected).
3. Khanuness and Rafah (more than 200 families affected).
These families desperately need a helping hand. There is no fuel, no gas, no water and no electricity. Children are hungry and cold. Their homes destroyed and their cows and goats have died because of the floods.
Update: March 2014 - Letter from Jamal Burnat
This is an agricultural proposal from Emad (Director of 5 Broken Cameras) for his village Bil'in. It is a land reclamation project for agricultural lands that are next to the apartheid wall that has already cut off some of the land from the farmers. The sum requested is USD45,000 for land reclamation, irrigation and grape plants. They started work in July and hope to plant the grapes in winter. Project is implemented by ESDC, an NGO in the West Bank. The photo shows the land where the project is implemented and directly behind it, the white buildings, is an Israeli settlement, which was once their land.
Update 4 Jan 2014:
The rechargeable lamps have been distributed to students in Gaza strip.
Update 6 Dec 2013 :
The tender announcement for rechargeable lamps has been published in Palestine newspaper on 11 Dec. The tender will close on16 Dec and we will announce successful bidder on 18 Dec.
We will then know the exact price of one lamp and calculate the no. of beneficiaries.
We will select a price of between USD17-19, God willing.
Funded By: Viva Palestina Malaysia
Implemented By: Dar Al Quran Al Karim Wa Sunnah - Gaza Palestine
Palestinian political leader and Chairman of the Hamas political bureau. Khaled Meshaal was in KL on 2 Dec 2013 and VPMers were very fortunate to have had the chance to meet and have short discussions with him.
In 1997, Mashal was the target of an assassination attempt carried out by the Israeli Mossad under orders from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his security cabinet. Meshaal was involved in negotiating a prisoner exchange deal which released captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israel. In 2010, the British magazine New Statesman listed Khaled Mashal at number 18 in the list of "The World's 50 Most Influential Figures 2010". In 2012, he visited Gaza for the first time, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Hamas.
Council of Dar Al Qur'an Al Karim Wa Sunnah (DQWS) sends their most sincere regards to Viva Palestina - Malaysia, and highly value your efforts in supporting Qurban Meat Project – 1434 A.H. which helped to put a smile on the faces of poor and needy family in these holy days.
God bless you,
Dar Al Qur'an Al Karim Wa Sunnah Chairman
Dr. Abdurrahman Yousof Al Jamal
VPM's contribution funded 2 cows which were acquired from The Islamic Institution – Jabalia (ISJ), each cow weighted about 480 Kilogram and cost USD3,000 per cow. The cows were carefully checked to make sure they match Islamic Shari'a Qurban rules.
The project targeted 300 Qur'an Memorizing Groups' teachers (Mohafiz) who come from needy families of some poor background. Meat shares were equally distributed between both genders around Gaza Strip to all 14 branches of DQWS. 300 Kilograms of pure meat were given away to beneficiaries each receiving 1.5 Kilogram.
Some of the most successful projects by VPM to create sustainability in Gaza are the micro-financing projects. VPM contributes between USD500-1,000 to eligible business owners for their start-ups. VPM's representative monitors these projects and so far, Alhamdulillah, most, if not all of these projects have been successful.
Below are some of the projects: Ahmed Abu Shaban with his Breeding and Sale of Poultry business, this business has enabled him to support a family of 10; Islam S. Dahman with his mechanic workshop, he is now able to get married after opening this business; Youssef A. Al Shrafi with his shop and he supports a family of 8 from this business; Fayzah A. Al Ashqar with her tailoring business, she is a widow and supports her family; Moneer. M Dahrooj with his sheep breeding business and he will start to sell the sheep for the upcoming Eid Al Adha; Mahmoud M. Abed Al Rhman with his blacksmith workshop, he is now able to support his family with this business.
Heartwarming stories from 2 of our beneficieries to show our kind donors how useful and effective their donations have been:
Project: Mobile shop
Name: Sameh F. Ziyarah
Amount of loan: $ 1000.
He is a young man in the beginning of twenties, he draw this cute smile in his face when he was seeing me entering his small shop, before I entered the shop, I saw 3 men were dealing to buy some accessories for mobiles, I introduced myself to him, then I started asking him some questions that will help me in evaluating and mentoring his micro project.
He told me that he knew about the project of “ Hallal loan “ from advertisement, he called the families development society (FDS) and asked them how he can apply, I visited the FDS and I applied for loan by small project to developing mobile shop, after one month FDS called me and visited me in my shop, also they visited me in my home and checked my social and economic situation, I didn’t think they will call me again, but it is Allah wanting , they called me and told me that I got loan from kind people in Malaysia.
After I got the fund, I started in buying what I need for my shop ,now anybody want any accessory for his mobile he can find it in my shop, a lot of customers are dealing with me.
On other hand my family feel so happy now, because our income fairlyincrease, this will make me to pay for my family needing, also to pay for loan payments, and I think $ 50 is suitable amount for pay every month.
Project Name: sewing shop
Name: Faezah Al Ashkar,
Amount of loan: $ 800
She said “ I have been working on sewing machine since 36 years , I used to work in my house to help my husband in our house income, but after I became a widow the responsibility was increased, I have 5 sons with 2 daughter , the middle son has been traveling to Europe to work there, but unfortunately the news from him stopped and we didn’t know anything about him since 6 years “ she spoke with Shedding tears” , after than I forced to tack care of my son’s family “ his wife with his children “, I told myself if I will continue working in my house, my work and my income will still weak, so I thought to open small shop near my house by borrowing some money from some friends and relatives, I started my small project but it need raw material , so when I heard from my friends that there is women organization give you Halal loan without hard restrictions, I directly visited FDS, and they helped me in applying for my projects, they visited my home and evaluated me situation, after 1 month they called me to sign the agreement for receiving the loan.
Directly I bought the needed raw material,I started my work by “ renewing the old dresses and selling it again or designing and sewing for customers, and Al Hamdulelh my work developed and I pay the loan payments in progress way, the only problem that I faced is the cutting off the electricity, but it is public problem in Gaza so Allah Al mustaan.
I would like to thank all brothers and sisters who donated for this charity project in Malaysia, and may Allah accept from them “.