Children in Crisis in Gaza

43ca27c984With her permission I’m sharing
this recent message from Liz Page,
the Executive Director of IBBY
International Board on Books for Young Children
in Switzerland:

For the past five years IBBY has been supporting two children’s libraries in Gaza through the IBBY Children in Crisis Fund. In 2013 an IBBY delegation of the President, IBBY Foundation President, IBBY Palestine President and myself, visited the two libraries…

The two IBBY library areas that are border areas (Rafah and Beit Hanoun) have been heavily bombarded by Israeli military, thousands of Palestinians living there have been displaced. The two areas are now military zones after the Israeli land invasion. PBBY received this message from the librarian in Beit Hanoun, Abla Hassan, about the situation there before she was displaced two days. (It is getting worse):

The al-Ata’ community based centre that hosts the library has been targeted and very badly damaged. The children court yard has been destroyed as well as books, computers, windows and walls. As to houses of the children who use the library, three houses have been completely destroyed and thirty houses partially destroyed. The number of children or their family members killed is not known yet.e8c0a0b9c5

No known news about the library in al-Shawka – Rafah. All families are displaced including the librarian Mahmoud who left two days ago and described the situation it was ‘horrific tens of civilians killed and tens of houses destroyed no specific news about the situation of the children using the library and the library building.

IBBY’s founder, Jella Lepman, believed that books could build bridges of understanding and peace between people. These are our friends and colleagues, people who like you and I, who believe that through good books and reading we can change our futures and bring understanding between people. These children have no such belief any more.

As time goes on the situation in Gaza and the life of these children and families gets worse – they are trapped. This abominable war must stop and the blockades must be lifted. Tell your governments, share the news.



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