An opportunity to help the Christian community in Gaza
Fri Feb 6, 2009
Tuesday 20 January 2009
Al Ahli Hospital, Gaza City
To print this article with pictures, click here
“We are exhausted, but we must begin to resume normal operations. We must continue the services that the people of Gaza expect. We cannot rest yet.”
With these incredibly unselfish words, Suhaila Tarazi, the director of Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza, describes her work in the first days of the Gaza ceasefire.
Suhaila states that the cessation of military operations is a tremendous relief after the recent “nightmare” but that the hospital’s work remains very busy. Since the ceasefire began, the hospital has actually seen an increase in the number of patients because many who were afraid or unable to come to the hospital before are now coming to receive care.
Al Ahli hospital is part of the wider work of the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem. Bishop Suheil Dawani praises the Al Ahli Director and hospital staff for their heroism under exceptional circumstances.
"You have demonstrated through healing servanthood and tireless teamwork and ministry, not only the depth of your personal faith, but a faithfulness that has lit a living torch inspiring many across this world with your exemplary devotion and disciplined sense of duty."
Beginning tomorrow, staff members who have worked non-stop for three weeks, will have their first days off to be with their families.
Al Ahli has been greatly encouraged by doctors from several countries coming to help. Five Egyptians are currently offering their services. When they leave, they will be replaced by doctors from Jordan and Turkey. These doctors, mostly surgeons, have been of invaluable assistance. There is a current urgent need for nurses.
With the ceasefire in place, medicines, food and other supplies are starting to arrive. The Diocese is appealing to friends around the world to help. To view a picture of Suhaila Tarazi and print this page, click here
Suhaila says that much effort and time will be needed to restore conditions to normal at the hospital and in Gaza.
The hospital began this process almost immediately when it re-commenced non-emergency surgery. The hospital is also resuming its Medical Mission program beginning with patients from Zaytoun, an area particularly hard hit by the conflict. Patients are being brought to the hospital and offered medical, social, and rehabilitative services as well as basic food stuffs such as baby milk and high nutrition biscuits, before being returned to their homes.
To continue its role as a vital part of the Gaza healthcare community, programs for elderly women and mammography screening are starting again. There is now, sadly, an urgent need to provide ongoing care for children with burns and those recovering from serious injuries.
During this recovery period, all programs and medicines at the hospital are being provided free of charge - despite the hospital’s mounting financial deficit.
Christians in Gaza now number little more than 3,000 people, and need our support. The hospital treats all, regardless of their faith, and each year forty-five thousand patients pass through its doors.
Bishop Suheil challenges us to support the work and witness of the Christian community in Gaza. “In the weeks and months ahead, the needs of Al Ahli will be great as it continues to respond to a suffering and devastated community". To view a picture of Bishop Suheil and print this newsletter, click here
The McCabe Educational Trust is responding to the Bishop’s appeal and we invite you to contribute. All donations will be sent to the Diocese of Jerusalem specifically for the work of the hospital in Gaza. If you giftaid your contribution, we will be able to add 25% to your donation.
For more than twenty years, the McCabe Educational Trust has been creating partnerships with inspiring people we have met on pilgrimage. A special Thank You to McCabe pilgrims who helped us raise £22,932 during January - a magnificent start to our fundraising this year!
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With your help, we will continue helping those in need we encounter on our travels.