Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Gaza's Pink Fighters

Its a doubtless fact that only a marginalized minority in the world relates anything but negativity to "Gaza". But how many of the overwhelming majority remember that the people of Gaza are vulnerable to other issues faced by humanity, such as, cancer, and, more specifically, breast cancer?

Few. And its shocking because cancer is the second cause for death in the Gaza Strip. Today, there are 11,000 cancer patients in Gaza, not counting those who have not been diagnosed yet.

Women Die Waiting - Breast Cancer in the Gaza Strip

So this month, Gaza celebrated Pink October by launching an extensive awareness campaign, calling on women to get early screening and protection. The campaign also featured:

Making the largest pink ribbon in the work, ON GAZA'S BEACH!

And we did! The organization behind this amazing initiative is called the Aid and Hope Program for Cancer Patients Care. It's led by Eman Shannan, a survivor of the disease. Running on a low budget provided by several Palestinian private sector institutions,  the team (75% of the staff are patients or survivors of breast cancer) made the ribbon using a 1.4 kilo long pink cloth, breaking the Guinness Record, on the beach. 

Its a message to the world, and more importantly, to ourselves. Living in Gaza takes a fighter, but a fighter with cancer? A female fighter with cancer? Fighting off the disease and its provider (the occupation) with abnormal resilience, hope, and will. Israel's war machines, the #1 provider of Cancer cells in Palestine, do not only destroy buildings or human lives, they also cause slow death and prolonged suffering, embodied in cancer.  

It might destroy a human body, but it would take a lot more to destroy a Palestinian soul, and it never will.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Yasmin for this wonderful account of Gaza's pink ribbon campaign! And, for writing and raising awareness about the breast cancer crisis in the Palestinian community. Our organization, Healing Across the Divides ( currently working to get a major grassroots project off the ground that would significantly improve the treatment of breast cancer for Palestinian women in the West Bank (and hopefully in Gaza soon too) -- stay posted. We welcome your thoughts and look forward to more of your blog!