There may now be a way to re-open our Rachel Corrie Rebuilding Campaign in Gaza and complete the 2nd home. This spring, the Free Gaza Movement will send a flotilla of ships destined for Gaza with cargo ranging from school supplies, to sports equipment, to building materials. They have invited the Rebuilding Alliance to participate and will deliver cement and steel re-bar to our partners at the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme for the construction of the Al Bahry family’s home.
You may remember, we began our Rachel Corrie Rebuilding Campaign in Gaza in 2004, and successfully completed construction of a home for the family whom the late Rachel Corrie had sought to protect. Completion of that first home was a significant challenge due to the blockade first imposed on Gaza when Israeli settlers were being relocated from Gaza to Israel.
We dream of rebuilding whole neighborhoods in Gaza. In 2007, despite the blockade, we boldly started raising funds to build a second home, this one for physiotherapist Ali Al Bahry and his family. He is a key provider at Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, serving children and adults who’ve also lost their homes and more.
The blockade and siege kept us from realizing our goals as the price of building supplies dramatically increased then became entirely unavailable in Gaza. We’ve explored many alternatives. Recently, we joined an engineering conference in Doha Qatar to help UN engineers develop plans to rebuild using compressed earth blocks. Now, with the help of the Free Gaza Flotilla, we would like to move forward and rebuild the Al Bahry family’s home at last.
This will be the 9th expedition undertaken by the Free Gaza Movement. Like the previous journeys, we expect some or all of the ships to be detained by the Israeli authorities (5 made it, 3 did not.) Please remember that the boats will be carrying humanitarian aid, will be fully inspected at the port of sail, and will be received by Non-Governmental Organizations in Gaza. We’ll soon be asking your help to contact Congress to request their endorsement of our shipment. Should the ships be detained, we’ll ask you to call them again to ask their staffers to urge free passage on your behalf.
I will be in touch in the next few days to decribe our rebuilding plans in detail.
Thank you again for your support and your continued trust, supporting our work to rebuild war-torn communities and make them safe.
P.S. I appreciate that you may have many questions -- send me email at dbw@RebuildingAlliance.org and I'll reply. I look forward to hearing from you.