Media Advisory from Zeinab al Hajj, Executive Director, The Sabra-Shatila Scholarship Program, Beirut
Shatila Camp Lebanon
July 23, 2014
The Executive Director of the Beirut-Washington DC based Sabra-Shatila Scholarship Program (SSSP) and the American Friends of the SSSP (AFSSSP), Zeinab al Hajj, announced from Shatila camp on 7/20/14 as the death toll from the Gaza massacre exceeded 400 killed, that 404 Palestinian students in Lebanon will donate their current semesters SSSP tuition grant awards to Gaza City’s Shifa hospital clo Dr. Mads Gilbert. Mads Gilbert, MD PhD is Professor and Clinical Head Clinic of Emergency Medicine University Hospital of North Norway and for three decades he has delivered emergency medical aid to Palestinian refugees and others from Gaza, Occupied Palestine, and elsewhere.
The 404 Palestinian students from Lebanon’s 12 Palestinian camps, 194 of whom are women and 210 are men, with academic majors ranging from medicine and engineering to business and computer science have agreed to transfer this semesters tuition grants to Gaza as an act of solidarity with their countrymen, since July 7, 2014 under intensive criminal siege by Zionist forces in occupied Palestine.
As casualties were being brought into Shifa hospital by the minute, some in ambulances, others in cars and trucks, Ms. Hajj announced to Lebanese media that, “This act of solidarity with our countrymen under siege in Gaza is to help with emergency medical supplies and to deliver the message that every Palestinian in Lebanon is of Gaza. And we will continue our struggle for the liberation of our country from the Zionists occupiers, from the river to the sea until we achieve Full Return.”
Asked by the New York Times about the SSSP Board of Directors decision, Ms. Hajj explained: “We Palestinians in Lebanon’s camps want our countrymen in Gaza to know that they are not on their own and that many people are in solidarity with them. Although we are prevented from being with them physically we are with them and they must not give up. We ask that all people of goodwill to support the people in Gaza by acts of resistance in any way they can. Our student tuition grant designee’s for this semester have generously acted in support of their countrymen. And we want to do more to support them.”
On 7/19/14 Dr. Gilbert sent the following message to the SSSP Executive Director, Zeinab al Hajj:
Dearest friend Zeinab and all students and volunteers at the Sabra-Shatila Scholarship Program,
“The last night was extreme. The “ground invasion” of Gaza resulted in scores and carloads with maimed, torn apart, bleeding, shivering, dying – all sorts of injured Palestinians, all ages, all civilians, all innocent.
The heroes in the ambulances and in all of Gaza’s hospitals are working 12-24hrs shifts, grey from fatigue and inhuman workloads (without payment all in Shifa for the last 4 months), they care, triage, try to understand the incomprehensible chaos of bodies, sizes, limbs, walking, not walking, breathing, not breathing, bleeding, not bleeding humans. HUMANS!
Now, once more treated like animals by “the most moral army in the world” (sic!).
My respect for the wounded is endless, in their contained determination in the midst of pain, agony and shock; my admiration for the staff and volunteers is endless, my closeness to the Palestinian “sumud” gives me strength, although in glimpses I just want to scream, hold someone tight, cry, smell the skin and hair of the warm child, covered in blood, protect ourselves in an endless embrace – but we cannot afford that, nor can they.
Ashy grey faces – Oh NO! not one more load of tens of maimed and bleeding, we still have lakes of blood on the floor in the ER, piles of dripping, blood-soaked bandages to clear out – oh – the cleaners, everywhere, swiftly shoveling the blood and discarded tissues, hair, clothes, cannulas – the leftovers from death – all taken away…to be prepared again, to be repeated all over. More then 100 cases came to Shifa last 24 hrs. Enough for a large well trained hospital with everything, but here – almost nothing: electricity, water, disposables, drugs, OR-tables, instruments, monitors – all rusted and as if taken from museums of yesterday’s hospitals. But they do not complain these heroes. They get on with it, like warriors, head on, enormous resolute.
And as I write these words to you, alone, on a bed, my tears flows, the warm but useless tears of pain and grief, of anger and fear. This is not happening!
An then, just now, the orchestra of the Israeli war-machine starts its gruesome symphony again, just now: salvos of artillery from the navy boats just down on the shores, the roaring F16, the sickening drones (Arabic ‘Zennanis’, the hummers), and the cluttering Apaches. So much made and paid in and by US.
Mr. Obama – do you have a heart?
I invite you – spend one night – just one night – with us in Shifa. Disguised as a cleaner, maybe.
I am convinced, 100%, it would change history.
Nobody with a heart AND power could ever walk away from a night in Shifa without being determined to end the slaughter of the Palestinian people.
But the heartless and merciless have done their calculations and planned another “dahyia” onslaught on Gaza.
The rivers of blood will keep running the coming night. I can hear they have tuned their instruments of death.
Please. Do what you can. This, THIS cannot continue.”
Gaza, Occupied Palestine
Mads Gilbert MD PhD Professor and Clinical Head Clinic of Emergency Medicine University Hospital of North Norway N-9038 Tromsø, Norway
The Sabra-Shatila Scholarship Program (SSSP), since its establishment in 2013 has awarded 491 University tuition grants to Palestinian refugee students in Lebanon.
Ashraf al-Qedra, a staff member at the Gaza health ministry is providing a list the names of those killed since the start of the latest Zionist aggression on Monday, July 7, 2014. SSSP has named a scholarship in honor of 404 of the dead, pairing each of this Semester’s 404 SSSP scholarship recipients with one of the Gaza martyrs listed below.