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We Are Not Numbers – Sharing the stories of the people living, laughing, crying and dying in Gaza

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I am very happy to take part in this important project,

Imagine what it is like to be converted into a number. That you are not a unique, living, breathing, laughing, loving individual. You are merely a digit in a much larger number, one that just keeps on growing. Your entire life is reduced to a number. 

When a human being is made into a number, his or her story disappears…Nobody asks to hear the stories behind these numbers. Nobody uncovers the beauty of the lives they led – the beauty that vanishes with every attack, disappearing behind a thick, opaque wall of numbers.

These words were written by Atef Abu Saif in his diary from the summer war. However, they capture the truth for virtually all of the 1.8 million Palestinians living in Gaza.

That’s why established writers and teachers from around the world – some Palestinian, some Jewish, some simply human rights advocates – are joining with youth in Gaza to create “WE ARE NOT NUMBERS.” Through this online community, we will share the stories of the Palestinians of Gaza, encouraging publication and engagement far and wide. Developing writers in the Strip will be paired with our experienced mentors, helping them tell their tale in the most effective way possible to the Western audiences who need to hear them most.

How will this project work & how will it help Gaza?

We are focusing on “young, developing English writers.” Fifty percent of Palestinians in Gaza are between the ages of 15 and 25, and English literature is one of the more popular university majors. These youth have a burning desire to share their stories and break their deepening sense of isolation – particularly after the summer war and the failure of the international community to facilitate reconstruction.

We Are Not Numbers will showcase already accomplished writers in Gaza alongside these budding storytellers, who normally don’t get much exposure. To provide the coaching they need to reach their full potential, each participant will be assigned a mentor who is both a native English writer (so rare in Gaza these days) and published author.  At the same time, the youth will be building relationships with influential advocates around the world. (And because we are hate saying “no” to writers who show signs of talent but whose grasp of English is insufficient, we have recruited several ESL teachers to coach them in a “language club.”

Learn more and help this important project.

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2 Responses to - We Are Not Numbers – Sharing the stories of the people living, laughing, crying and dying in Gaza

  1. Carolyn Ballard

    Among other occupations, I have been a freelance writer. I had one book published in 2000, “Odyssey of an American Dream,” the 50-year history of a major credit union in the state of South Carolina. I also wrote a social / political commentary column for a now defunct local arts and entertainment magazine, wrote a monthly newsletter for an Episcopal children’s home as well as a 100-year commemorative history in magazine form. I would be honored to help these Palestinians tell their stories to the world.

  2. Hi.
    I am Maisoon , 22, from Gaza . Here is my page . I want you please to open it and help me to share my words to the world.
    http://maisoonbashir.blogspot.com/