Thursday, January 31, 2008

Letter in The Nation

Ho-Ho-Holiday Donations, 2007 Edition

Please add Playgrounds for Palestine to your list of nonprofits worthy of support. This foundation was started by a Palestinian- American friend of mine, Susan Abulhawa. With donated funds, she buys playground equipment at discount from a Pennsylvania manufacturer, ships it to Israel, goes through endless time-consuming paperwork to get Israel's permission to transport it to the OPT, then hires locals to assemble and maintain the playgrounds in villages in Gaza and the West Bank.
Palestinian kids live in abysmal conditions. Bringing a little joy to their lives is so easy for us, so meaningful to them. Susie tells me that the people living in Rafah in southern Gaza have planted gardens all around their playground and keep it in very good repair. They cherish it.
Susie, a single mother with an MS in biology, works as a medical writer. She has also published a novel worth your attention, Scar of David. It has been published in several languages and has received great acclaim and awards in Europe. It has not so far received th attention it deserves in the United States. The story of a Palestinian family and their fraught entanglements with Israeli Jews, it is moving and compassionate.

Evalyn Segal
Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East
Philadelphia, PA