Marking the first anniversary of Israel’s 2014 attack on Gaza, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor is launching a campaign to promote We Are Not Numbers (WANN), in which youth are trained to tell the human stories of life under occupation to the external world.
A press conference kicked off the campaign, with many of the participating 30+ writers joining local artists to paint graffiti on public streets in Gaza saying “We Are Not Numbers.” From July 8-August 26, at least one story or artistic portrayal per day will be published on wearenotnumbers.org.
“The writers are choosing to tell their stories in English in order to reach the broadest audience possible among those whose governments are supporting Israel and its continuing blockade of Gaza, whether directly or indirectly,” said Ramy Abdu, PhD, chair of Euro-Med. “Beyond the obvious deaths and injuries, the military attack on Gaza in 2014 impacted every aspect of life in Gaza, even now, 12 months later. These youths’ stories illustrate that reality in small, but very dramatic ways.”
WANN is a partnership between international supporters, including published authors and English teachers who mentor the Gaza writers one-on-one and through group Skype talks, and Gaza youth organized by Euro-Med. Mentors include such luminaries as Susan Abulhawa, author of Mornings in Jenin; Laila Al-Haddad, author of Gaza Kitchen; and Miko Peled, author of The General’s Son.
A fundraising campaign is underway to allow more writers to be involved, and to share their stories more widely.