Interview with the Association Nour al-Marifa in Gaza

An interview by Milena Rampoldi, ProMosaik e.V.  
In this post we would like to introduce you to the Gazan Association Nour El-Marifa Association (N.M.A). Nour El-Marifa is a charitable, non-governmental and nonprofit organization in Gaza. It provides educational, social, humanitarian, cultural, and development services to the people in Gaza. 

ProMosaik e.V. talked to Islam Ghorap of Nour El-Marifa to speak about the general situation in Gaza, one year after the Israeli aggression and to understand the concrete and most important problems people and in particular women and children have there because of the siege and the constant Zionist threat.


For further information:
ProMosaik e.V. thinks that the children in Gaza are the real victims of the Israeli aggression. Which problems do they have?


The most important problems children face in Gaza are the following: 


1.- Poverty: Because of the suffocating siege imposed to the Gaza Strip by the Israeli occupation, we have a bad deterioration of the economic situation of the majority of the families in Gaza. Many of them live in poverty because of Zionist oppression. 
2.- Lack of a sense of psychological stability: The reason for this instability are the continuous Israeli aggressions against the Gaza Strip. The vast majority of children in the Gaza Strip feels fear, anxiety and existential insecurity. 3.- Prevalence of learning difficulties among children in the Gaza Strip: this is because of the instability of the situation (of the schools in Gaza in general), and because of the lack of a sense of students’ safety in their schools. The result is first of all a reduced level of students in school and the diffusion of the phenomenon of the difficulty of learning. In our organization, we analyzed this problem to support children at school and to promote activities to help them. 
4.- The increasing number of children orphaned and women widowed by the frequent wars in the Gaza Strip: Children and women suffer from emotional deprivation, are alone and abandoned. Many children and women lost their family members during the war, and also have extreme difficult economic situations to face.


What can we do to help women in Gaza?


As you know, there are many widows and women who lost their husbands in the Israeli wars against the Gaza Strip. Our organization pursues the goal of supporting women and their children, and orphans. In our case unit we offer social and psychological support and learning help to children. They need both, economic and psychological support. We offer vocational training courses to women in different areas like sewing, food processing and cosmetics, to help them to enter the labor market and to improve their standard of living for their families.


How can peace come for Gaza?


There is no peace in Gaza because of the suffocating siege by the Israeli regime. This is the fundamental reason why chances to have a sustainable peace for Gaza are very weak. All parties together have to support peace for Gaza. The siege must have an end, and people in Gaza must get the support they need.


Can you tell us the story of a couple of families (without telling the names) to make people understand how the real situation in Gaza is?


Allah knows their stories better. But the most symbolic example of needy families in Gaza is that of the breadwinner losing the job, being ill and incapable of caring about the family. The economic situation is catastrophic, in particular because of the total lack of private jobs in the Gaza Strip. Many people here have studied at the University, and after their graduation they did not find any job. So they cannot care for their children. There are thousands of graduates who suffer from unemployment and poverty due to the deterioration of the situation because of the occupation. 
 Why is Zionism the root of the problem of Gaza?


Our organisation is not a politcal one. So we do not discuss Zionism and Zionist politics.


We are convinced that Allah loves humanity, and that we are all human beings and all equal. Gaza has to be free and independent to guarantee a life in dignity for all its inhabitants. The siege must be broken because it is the root of the problem. Zionist occupation of Palestine is the root of all problems. But our goal as non-profit organization is to serve Palestinians, exposed to violations because of this suffocating siege. And to help our people we need partners, humanitarian associations helping us.