Het is al ruim een jaar geleden dat bij het Gaza-conflict twee kinderbibliotheken werden getroffen door raketten. Dankzij bijdragen van veel IBBY-secties, waaronder die van Nederland, konden de bibliotheken weer opgebouwd worden. Jehan Helou, President van de Palestijnse IBBY-sectie doet verslag.
It is around one year now since the Israeli horrendous attack on Gaza and the complete destruction of IBBY al-Ataa library and the damaging of al Shawka library.
The sad reality is that our people in Gaza did not get the opportunity to mourn their dead, heal their wounds and build their houses. The infrastructure is still damaged and the destroyed houses are still rubbles! The Israeli occupation (1967) goes on and the siege is ongoing since 2006 accompanied with the Egyptian closure of Rafah crossing into Egypt; thus making Gaza the largest prison in the world!
Conflicts in modern times marginalize Child Rights Convention; civilians, and children in particular, are the main victims of the horrors of high tech weapons. Palestinian children suffering is ongoing, it did not stop with the dreadful loss of more than 551 children and the wounding and displacement of thousands; till this date, thousands of children including the children of the two libraries are struggling with loss, stress and displacement!
IBBY was up to its Mission and responded quickly to the disaster, in pursue to its vital program ‘Children in Crisis situation’, (Gaza in 2008), and to its commitment to move forward in supporting Children Rights, launched IBBY Gaza Appeal 2014 expressing its obligation and commitment:
The IBBY community has an obligation to rebuild these libraries, and we will – re-housing and re-stocking them in order to try to bring these children who have lost so much, help and the knowledge that they are not alone, not abandoned as they rebuild their lives once again. Perhaps with time they can regain a sense of safety and belief in the value of dialogue and hope for the future. They will know that we care.
We the PBBY Administrative Committee and members express our thanks to all our dear IBBY Friends. Thank you for your solidarity and for your concern. Special thanks and appreciation to the National Section, member or friend who contributed to IBBY Gaza Appeal.