Asia Pacific Community for Palestine (ASPAC) with some Indonesian NGOs; KNRP (National Committee for the Palestinian People), RZ (Charity House), the National Institute of Humanitarian PKPU, BSMI (Indonesian Red Crescent), Wafaa International and PAHAM (Center for Legal Advocacy and Human Rights) heading for Istanbul to join the international NGOs together to rebuild Gaza. The event was initiated by activists of Miles to Smile; it’s to declare corporate commitment to rebuild Gaza. This event has titled Seminar 1, the International Public Foundation to Aid Gaza held for two days, August 30 to 31 2014. Located in the Ballroom, Gorrion Hotel Istanbul, with main sponsor by Qatar Charity.
At the opening ceremony, the event was opened by reading verses of the Qur’an that was recited by Sheikh Ibrahim Jibreel, a scholar from South Africa; he was representing the International Muslim Council of Judges.
The first speech was submitted by the seminar committee, Ir. Wael Saqqa, Jordan (Arab Director of Public Foundation to Aid Gaza). In his speech he stressed the importance of networking various stakeholders who have a commitment to rebuild Gaza after Israel’s brutal attack. Through this forum, it is expected more effective in the exchange of experience and listening to the latest news from the source and then followed up with real assistance to the Palestinians, especially in Gaza. Due to various conditions, the humanitarian aid is expected to be distributed.
In particular, representing the organizers and participants expressed gratitude to Qatar Charity which is the main sponsor of this event.
Keynote speech conveyed by the initiator of this event, Dr. Isham Yusuf, activist of Miles to Smile who was born in Palestine in 1955 and expelled from his homeland in 1967. His short speech was quite evocative, despite starting with choked sob. On the occasion, he expressed his gratitude and gave the highest appreciation to the people of Gaza, after thanking to God.
The appreciation is given for the persistence and the patience of Gazan people. How hard they defended the honor of Muslims.
After his speech then he led the participants reciting Takbeer, just like Eid. Takbeer of victory (Allahu Akbar), in welcoming the Palestinian victory. Then he specifically thanked to Turkey particularly through it leadership, Erdogan that fully supports the Palestinian cause. Not to forget he conveyed thanks to Qatar Charity who donated about $ 70,000 for the purposes of this seminar.
“The main theme of our meeting this time is how to effectively end the blockade of Gaza to include as many parties and the nation. Then against the colonization that is also very synonymous with the occupation, the illegal settlements and the blockade of Palestinians from all sides.” Dr. Isham Yusuf added. “Despite the efforts of peace have done by several parties. However, it cannot end the blockade and stop the occupation”
“Today, mandate is ours to rebuild New Gaza,” the words of Dr. Isham Yusuf barb the humanitarian activists, “Severe damage occurred as the result of Israel’s brutal attacks. So that more than 300,000 people cannot settle their homes. And the numbers of mosques were destroyed is too much. This is a deliberate to challenge God”
“So, if we let our brothers in Gaza who reluctantly ask for help to us to help them, then it is the next crime against humanity. We shall not to do that. Do not let they asked help to us. Do not increase their suffering by letting them ask help to us. Respect and thank them by joint to rebuild Gaza. “Dr. Isham excitedly continued and ending his speech with the heroic phrase, “After that we liberate al-Quds together”
In this meeting, the delegation of Algeria, Dr. Muhammad ad-Duwaiby also conveyed his remarks, as well as head of the Presidential Office and Tunis Presidential Spokesperson, Dr. Adnan Missoni. Both conveyed the full support of Algeria and Tunis, both the people and government are supporting the Palestinian cause, especially to the people of Gaza who have for years been living in inhumane blockade.
The next speech conveyed by Yasyar Shad Oglu from Turkey that representing the Islamic NGO union members in the IHH (İnsan Hak ve Hürriyetleri) Humanitarian Relief Foundation, which consists of NGOs in 100 countries
Cooperation which should be realized at this time is in the humanitarian side and social aid to Gaza, known as a symbol of persistence and robustness against various sufferings, occupation, and blockade that they experienced. He also added that the IHH also do some Islamic seminars to counter the growing issue of Islamophobia in some circles that are often claimed as the modernization movement.
The opening ceremony ended with a speech of main sponsor, Qatar Charity presented by Dr. Ibrahim Zeinal Musa.
The event was closed for awhile for the coffee break sessions. This session was used by Indonesian delegation to hunt some important figures who attended the event. Indonesian delegations took time to pose in front of the main stage.
In this break session Dr. Saiful Bahri, MA had a conversation with Dr. Tahir Abdurrahman, one of the founders of Aspac from Malaysia to formulize the Asia-Pacific regional seminar to support Gaza.
The event continued with the delivery of current issues in Gaza after the Israeli military aggression. In this second session also held a live teleconference with representatives of social ministry in Gaza over the Skype network.
“What Gaza wants from you now? Billions even more than that”. For health, education, social, economic, development and humanitarian. But aid that is very urgent, exhort and the most priority is humanitarian aid for the refugees. There are 18,000 buildings were destroyed. Hundreds of thousands of children and parents were forced to vagrancy because they have nothing. There was no money, clothes, food and eligibility standards of living as a human. They are scattered everywhere. In schools and temporary displacement, also in the hospitals.
“We know that it is important to rebuild buildings, hospitals, schools, mosques and homes. But for now, more urgent is to help those who do not have anything. Helping them to live as human beings. Even with minimal assistance. There are more than 6000 stalled economic activity. And that means there are a lot of people who do not earn anything, other than those who have lost homes and destroyed.”
Sheikh Mustafa Abu Khalil, representing the International Public Foundation to Aid Gaza submitted the latest figures related to the victims of Israeli aggression in Gaza. There were 58,080 buildings were destroyed and damaged. 2,080 of them were completely destroyed and 8,000 buildings severely damaged and could not be used. There were 38,000 buildings with minor damages, although it could still be used. Approximately of 461,643 people were homeless. Some of them went to their brother’s house, some fled in schools, partly to move erratically. There were 121 mosques were damaged by this attack. 71 of them were destroyed or heavily damaged.
The death toll for more than 50 days the Israeli aggression on Gaza killed 2,140 people. There were 11,161 people were injured. 2,088 were women and 3,374 children. Including permanent disability and serious injuries.
Gaza is currently without electricity, minimal food, medicine, clothing, and water. Almost no life. Where do they get water? How they perform clean-up activities (MCK), how to wash limited clothes ?
So while the estimate, a family needs minimal assistance for US$3,000 for four months.
Along with the humanitarian aid of this program, the rebuilding of Gaza becomes a shared responsibility. The development is in various sectors; health, education, public facilities, economic and social.
The second session ended with the delivery of aid commitments led by Dr. Isham Yusuf as the head of the International Public Foundation to Aid Gaza. One by one the delegates and NGO representatives expressed a commitment that begins with minimum nominal of one million US$. Qatar, Algeria, Saudi, Bahrain, Russia, South Africa, France, Jordan, Malaysia and so on with varying amounts. Until finally the Indonesian delegation agreed of one million US$ to support health programs, children and education. In speech that representing the Indonesian delegation Dr. Saiful Bahri, MA precedes the strong historical ties between Palestine and Indonesia, as well as the closeness of the Indonesian people and nation with the Palestinians, although geographically distant. “After several aid phases to Gaza in this year, also ambulances and medical devices”. “And now …?” Dr. Isham cut. “By God willing we are committed to helping one million US dollars” Dr. Saiful Bahri, M.A ended his speech.
From Gaza, we do not see the childishness of small children who mature quickly. From Gaza aging in older people and the elderly are invisible. Also, we do not find sad face and weakness on the faces of the women of Gaza.
Gaza is symbol of persistence and honor … against the tyranny and brutality of occupation.