IBBY Visit to Gaza

Monday 10 February 2014

IBBY Solidarity Visit to Gaza

The visit of high ranking IBBY delegation to Gaza in mid April 2013 coincided with almost ten years of the declaration of IBBY Palestine as the 65 section of IBBY. This solidarity visit to the children of Gaza who suffer from occupation, oppression and siege was the best celebration of the International Children Book Day, and to highlight the importance of Children in Crisis Fund.

The delegation was composed of Ahmad Redza Khairuddin President of IBBY, Patsy Aldna President of IBBY Foundation and previous President of IBBY, Liz Page Executive Director of IBBY and Jehan Helou President of IBBY Palestine.

Unfortunately, the visit was for two days only, almost one day was spent on Rafah crossing because of the complicated arrangements for the permits, but the delegation members were determined to enter Gaza and they did!

After a quick tour of Rafah the delegation headed to PBBY library on al Shawka around 8:00 p.m. The children were waiting enthusiastically and patiently since 3:00 o’clock

The delegation saw the smiles on the children faces and their love of books and their library. The same enthusiasm and warmth was witnessed in the PBBY al- Ata’a library in Beit Hanoun. Children spoke about their experiences in the library, how it changed their personality and widened their knowledge and about books they read and stories they wrote.

Children read from the stories they wrote and illustrated, they spoke about their trauma and fears having to endure the continuous horrific Israeli aggression and siege

The delegation met with parents in both libraries, they expressed their content and pleasure with the very positive role of the library in the lives of their children, they said their school performance has improved, their personality developed positively as well as their self confidence was enhanced...

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