On 3rd May 2016 Firefly International held a meeting to raise awareness on the long-lasting plight of Gaza’s children. Chaired by Rosemary Hollis, a renowned scholar specialised in Middle East politics, the event took place in the welcoming and elegant atmosphere of the Bingham Room in Gray’s Inn (London).
The meeting was part of Firefly International’s commitment to keeping the focus on unresolved emergencies. At a time when most humanitarian efforts and public attention are (deservedly) directed towards the Syrian crisis, we should not forget the children of Gaza, who still endure the consequences of recent wars, destruction and a long-standing blockade.
Mahmoud Omar, a Palestinian university student from Gaza, introduced a series of excruciating film clips (from a BBC documentary by Lyse Doucet) showing aspects of the daily life of children in the area where he grew up. Mahmoud followed up with his own reflections and suggestions for how to make the children of Gaza feel less forgotten.
Another very special guest was Northern-Irish writer Damian Gorman, who shared a poignant account of the sectarian violence experienced by him and his family during ‘the Troubles’. Damian’s childhood story of trauma and terror was a reminder that the suffering of children growing up in conflict is psychological as well as physical.
The evening was extremely successful in alerting the audience to the hardships endured by Gaza’s younger generation. Despite not having fundraising purposes, a few generous donations have been collected and will contribute to funding the efforts of the Gaza Cultural Centres Society (GCCs). GCCs currently runs several projects with the goal of improving the quality of life of the students and their families by promoting cultural and educational activities – click on link for more information on GCCs.