Chicago Radio Host and Friends Present Talk on Gaza Relief Convoy
Saturday, 4:00 pm at OMNI Center, Chicago radio host Thaer Ahmad, and two other members of last summer’s “Gaza Relief Convoy” will tell the story of their caravan to Gaza. Light refreshments will be available, and opportunity to donate to relief work in Gaza. More info in the press release below.
FAYETTEVILLE, AR, MARCH 4, 2010: The OMNI Center for Peace, Justice and Ecology will present a talk and discussion of the Gaza Blockade on Saturday, March 13 at 4:00 p.m. The speakers will be a group of students and others who participated in the July 4th Gaza Relief Convoy that departed from John F. Kennedy International Airport last summer. The event will take place at the OMNI Center for Peace, Justice and Ecology, 3274 N. Lee St. inFayetteville.
The convoys, which originally began in the U.K. under the leadership of George Galloway, M.P. are designed to call attention to the deplorable condition of the people of Gaza resulting from the prolonged Israeli blockade of food, clean water, medical supplies and equipment, building materials, fuel and consumer goods. Since the massive attack on the densely-populated Gaza Strip in January 2009, the blockade has been tightened to the strangulation point, with only a trickle of surplus Israeli foodstuffs allowed to enter through the modern crossing points that were financed by US and European taxpayers in order to improve Gaza’s economy. Anything else the population needs must be imported though tunnels dug beneath the sandy soil of the border between Gaza andEgypt, generally hauled by children who are small enough to fit in the narrow tunnels. Some have been killed when the tunnels collapsed on them, but the work goes on since the unemployment rate in Gaza is well over 80% and the tunnel business supports what remains of Gaza’s economy.
Once a thriving center of trade, specialized agriculture and light industry, Gaza has been plunged into severe poverty leading to malnutrition and death from preventable diseases, especially among children. Because of the deliberate bombing of Gaza’s water treatment and sewage plants (described by the Israelis as “terror infrastructure”), kidney failure is now common among young children who lack access to reliable sources of clean drinking water. Many other diseases that would be treatable with the right medications and equipment are fatal there because of the blockade restrictions. Hospitals have not been able to replace dialysis machines, incubators and other life-saving equipment.
Speakers for the March 13th presentation include:
Thaer Ahmad, who graduated with a degree in psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is pursuing a medical doctorate degree. He is currently a host of the radio program "Radio Islam" in Chicago. He is very active in the Palestinian cause, and was a main organizer for the past convoy.
Mohamed El-Housiny received a Masters in Architecture from the University of Kansas State and is currently completing a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Kansas. He is devoted to improving his community and active on the Palestinian cause. He left Gaza when he was four during the first intifada and only returned 20 years later on the 2nd Convoy.
Mohamed Soltan is a student of economics at the Ohio State University. He is currently the president of the Muslim Student Association at OSU, and is completely submerged in community affairs. He was born in Cairo Egypt but was instilled with the love of Palestine by his father from a young age.
Possible Additional Speakers:
Omar Bayazid was born in Damascus Syria, and moved to the United States when he was 8. He is currently finishing a degree in business at LongviewCollege, and balances school life as a business owner in the Kansas City area.
Jomana Qaddour recently graduated from the University of Kansas with a law degree. She is active in the Kansas City community and is active in the affairs of the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation.
Sara Jouhari is currently studying Journalism at the University of Kansas. She was active on the campus of Johnson Country Community College and hopes to transfer that enthusiasm to the University of Kansas.
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