October 2010

The images of Gaza and the small Christian community that lives there

It must be because, living and travelling around the Holy Land, you get used to the checkpoints, military controls and situations of tension. It must be because, for years, TV and the press have bombarded us with images and news on the situation in the Gaza Strip. It must be because, with the slackening of the blockade, daily life and the availability of products and goods seems, at least according to those who live in Gaza, to have improved. The impact, on “entering” the Gaza Strip and reaching Gaza City, is perhaps not as strong as expected. A lot of traffic and a lot of dirt, old and battered cars, buildings are destroyed and left in piles of rubble, of course, but there are also colourful markets, shops selling all sorts of objects, a beach crowded with youngsters who go fishing, swimming and are playing. There are lots of children. The poverty is striking, of course, and even more so the lack of life in the eyes of many children. Not many of them laugh in the main souk. There are many difficulties and little hope. Even inside the Christian community, which like every Sunday, meets in the  courtyard of the Patriarchate, a small oasis of peace in the centre of Gaza City.

“The youngsters don’t know what to do: they’ve studied, they’ve learned a trade, but they cannot find work,” says Father Elias, deputy parish priest of  Gaza, as he takes us to visit one of the two Catholic schools in Gaza, the best in the whole Strip. We also go into the two centres for disabled children, we speak to the operators and we hear many stories of abandonment and welcome, of love and need. Above all, realize that, despite all the difficulties, the Christians continue in their work of charity and support for the neediest. And they ask for help from those who, from home, want to support the Christian presence in the Gaza Strip.

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The project

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Previous news about the project (in chronological order)

Christians in Gaza: the ATS project starts (August 2010)

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Help support the Holy Places. Maintain the Christian Community in the Holy Land:

https://www.proterrasancta.org/en/help/

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