Local people dig deep to support medical efforts in Palestine

An online raffle and musical extravaganza held last Sunday has raised over £1,000 for Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP).

The Hastings and Rye Palestine Solidarity Campaign (HRPSC) organised the online event with the help of local businesses in Hastings and Rye who generously donated prizes that included meals out, cinema visits, glamping breaks, home décor and even cocktail making lessons.

On Sunday, during the live draw, the audience was treated to a Bach recital by cellist Tibah Saad from the Galilee, a traditional Palestinian folk song from Najlaa Hmeed in Gaza, and even a theatre performance by four children in Gaza.

HRPSC Chair Katy Colley said the evening went better than they could have imagined: “We realise this is not an easy to time to be asking for donations but the people of Hastings and Rye responded so generously,” she said this week. 

Live online performances from Palestine were part of the evening’s entertainment.

“We had incredible prizes donated by local businesses and sold hundreds of raffle tickets on the night, making our grand total an impressive £1,039 and thanks to the Hands Up Project which organised the remote theatre performance and Palmusic, which provided the musicians, it was a really uplifting and inspiring evening. We’d like to thank everyone who supported the event and contributed towards a great humanitarian cause.”

MAP provides immediate medical aid to Palestinians living under occupation and as refugees and right now in Gaza their teams are on the ground  providing vital medical supplies to support infection control and help medics treat patients. But as recent reports have shown the rapid rise in infections mean that the Gazan health system is likely to be overwhelmed in days.

Gaza’s two million inhabitants live under an air, land and sea blockade, which has led to profound levels of poverty and a health and sanitation system already on the brink of collapse. Now health services are stretched to breaking point.

MAP Community Fundraiser Zahra Yassine, who gave a speech on Sunday night about the organisation’s work, said: “We are so grateful to the people of Hastings and Rye for showing their compassion and giving generously towards this event. It was a great night’s entertainment and I was humbled by the powerful performances of the children and the musicians. Every penny counts right now towards helping save lives and this event shows that great things are possible even in lockdown and we all have so much to gain from sharing our culture and experiences with one another.’

To learn more about the campaigning work of HRPSC visit: www.hastingspalestinecampaign.org

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