From Gaza to Flint
I received this in a message from a friend from Palestine and it brought me to tears. I know you will feel the same. – Tawana Petty
Dearest Women in Flint,
On International Women’s Day, we, the Palestinian women living under Israeli occupation, announce our solidarity and extend our compassion to you. We understand what you are going through because we face similar hardships in Gaza.
Access to clean and healthy water is a basic right according to international law and agreements. But many people are still fighting to achieve this right. For example, we are living in the Gaza Strip and are suffering a lot and struggling to get clean and healthy water. The Israeli occupation steals our water from the aquifers, controls our water resources, and does not allow us to access the clean water in the West Bank or to build water treatment facilities. Sea water, waste water, and other pollutants contaminate our water leading to sickness and death. This forces us to choose to buy clean water at unaffordable prices or to provide other basic necessities for our families. We know you face these impossible choices too.
In Gaza, we survived three brutal wars in six years and we have lived more than 10 years under harsh economic conditions as a result of the Israeli siege imposed on the Gaza Strip. The poverty and unemployment reached unbelievable levels. Because what we have been through, we know and we understand what you are going through. It is sad, it is tough.
Disease is spreading among our children because of the polluted water in Gaza and Flint. We know what you are going through. We understand your sadness and helplessness. And we want you to know that you are not alone. We are standing with you until all of us overcome this crisis and access our right as humans to clean water for ourselves, our families, and our communities. We are standing with you as we struggle to hold the governments and private companies accountable for poisoning our children.
Our hearts and full compassion are with you.
Signed by mothers, activists, students, workers and leaders in the Palestinian community in Gaza:
Sana Al-Mashal, Red Crescent Society of the Gaza Strip
Nehaya Abu Nahla, Qattan Center
Jamila Dalloul, Olive Roots
Women of Afaq Jadeeda Association
Women of Sanabel Society
Maha Abu Zur
Nadia Abu Nahla
Marian Abu Duqa
Dunya Al-Aml Ismail
Sabah Abu Reda
Nahla Al-Bader Sawi
Mariam Abu Awda
Mada Abu Khattab
Manal Abu Ayesha
Lina Abu Hamra
Rana Abu Ramadan
Hanan Abu Ramadan
Huda Abu Ramadan
Besan Abu Hameed