Posted on 05/08/16
by Nadia Abuelezam
When I first met Amahl Bishara, I was in awe. Here was a woman who was an academic (something I have aspired to become) ,who was raising a beautiful daughter, had published a book with two on the way, was maintaining a rigorous research program, writing an alphabet book with youth in a Palestinian refugee camp, and supporting her husband’s non-profit organization. I mean, how could I not be in awe!?!
Besides writing an alphabet book with the youth in Aida Refugee Camp at the Lajee Center, (which you can hear more about in our 8th episode) Amahl and Nidal (her husband) have dedicated a great deal of time to improving access to clean water in the camp as well. Recently (April 2016), Nidal’s organization 1for3 hosted a walk in Boston to raise money for a number of different projects they plan to complete with the support of Lajee Center in Aida Refugee Camp. While the mission of 1for3 is to create a rain collection water garden, athletic facility/playground, rooftop/household gardens, community gardens, a health clinic and a pre-school, they also gained a great deal of support and attention for the water crisis during this walk. The day included inspirational speeches by Amahl and Nidal, beautiful and energizing dabke by the Boston Dabke group, and an awesome Skype session with Aida Refugee Camp residents who cheered walkers on from across the ocean. The walk was also celebrated in three other cities including Santiago (Chile), Detroit (Michigan, United States), and Bethlehem (Palestine).
How often do you have to think about your access to clean water? Have you ever worried that you might wake up or return from work and not find any water in your pipes or in your home? Have you had to ration water or collect rainwater to shower or wash your face? These are all daily worries, fears, and realities for those living under Israeli Occupation. With the support of individuals like Nidal and organizations like 1for3 we may begin to see a new reality for residents of Aida camp. If you feel compelled to help 1for3, you can learn more about the organization and donate to their cause at 1for3.org.
Make sure you check out the 8th episode of Palestinians Podcast that features Amahl Bishara! Click here to listen!