Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Islamic Relief aid worker's Diary in Gaza: Part 14

Aid worker diary: Part 14

Hatem Shurrab wrote again.

In the 14th instalment of his diary, 12 January, he says he is too busy to reflect on the loss of good friends in attacks on Gaza.

GAZA: 12 January

I haven't been able to write my diary for 48 hours - I've simply not had time and have been busy working with colleagues to prepare thousands of food parcels for desperate people.

We have to finish distributing aid before it gets dark and make sure that we are back home, as there is no electricity and families and loved ones worry if we are out on the streets. The bombardment intensifies at night and so it's not wise to be out then.

Lost friends

I sometimes wonder if there will be enough space to bury the dead. Yesterday a friend of mine was killed in his home. He was a journalist and worked for a radio station.

Since the attacks started on Gaza I have lost good friends - and if you ask me how I feel about it - well, I can't really say as I'm trying to block it out so I can focus on my work.

I feel exhausted - as does everyone around me - but as an aid worker I have no choice but to keep going

I'm one of the lucky ones, as I can keep busy with my work and focus my energy on trying to assist people - this is one of the things that is keeping me going.

My manager's home was exposed to heavy gunfire - he lives close to the borders of Gaza City - and the bullets hit the room his children sleep in.

Crowded hospitals

I decided today to try and speak to people on the streets around the office to find out more about their situation, but it's hard to find people and when you do everyone is in a rush to visit a relative or friend and pay their condolences to families who have lost loved ones.

The shops are closed, the most crowded areas are near hospitals. I met a few people in the streets but many more are in shelters in school buildings, which are now housing hundreds of frightened people who have fled their homes hoping they will be safer in these buildings.

The "hidden" homeless are staying with their extended family members. Hundreds of families have moved in with relatives and for Gazans this is adding further pressure on them to take care of their extended families.

Islamic Relief has received many phone calls from people asking for blankets and food - they need to keep warm and to feed their families. We are now distributing aid to these families alongside people who are living in shelters.

More aid is arriving in Gaza through Israel's borders and my logistics colleagues work out how to get the aid loaded on to trucks and out to the hospitals and shelters.

I feel exhausted - as does everyone around me - but as an aid worker I have no choice but to keep going.

To donate via Dana Kemanusiaan Palestin (DAKAP) Utusan - Islamic Relief:
Call us 03-8948 6334 or log on to www.irm.org.my


elisataufik said...


la ilaha illa anta, subhanaka inni kuntum minal dzolimin.

Shahrul Peshawar said...

before coming to Alor Setar, kindly send email to me at shahrulpeshawar@yahoo.com

Nice blog bro..

drbubbles said...

Madam Elisa: *Sigh*

Shahrul: Orait!