Deaf in Gaza: Learning to make themselves heard

Gaza Under Attack – in pictures | Attacks on Gaza Timeline

Published: 19 November, 2011, 13:21 — RT

This poet inspires those who have also lost hearing (RT photo/Nadezhda Kevorkova)

This poet inspires those who have also lost hearing (RT photo/Nadezhda Kevorkova)

TAGS: Children, Conflict, RT Exclusive, Middle East, Gaza Stories, Nadezhda Kevorkova, Education

Even the daily routine of going to school is associated with breaking the blockade in Gaza. Education is seen as vital, and education for the deaf is no exception. Thus, the building of the Strip’s first secondary school for the deaf is a true milestone.

­RT’s Nadezhda Kevorkova went to the Strip, where the construction of the school for the deaf started a year ago. Though the building is still unfinished, classes are already running for 150 young women and 50 young men. They study in separate buildings. Another school has been built nearby, so the children here do not feel isolated.

“Most students are from very poor families. We have a lot of children like this; it comes from living in poverty, under bombardment, with a lack of medicine. Children lose their hearing as a result of untreated illnesses. These children, especially the girls, find themselves written off. There’s no education or jobs for them. But our school provides training, and an opportunity for social contacts and life prospects. Just look at their faces!”

Principal Alihassan abu Jehad admires his pupils as they chat using sign language, accompanied by sounds from the construction site.

The girls are saying: “We are glad to see you!” (RT photo/Nadezhda Kevorkova)
The girls are saying: “We are glad to see you!” (RT photo/Nadezhda Kevorkova)

“There was a school for disabled children in the Strip, 1st through 9th grades. After graduating, the kids were doomed to stay at home. Even when they managed to find a job, their salary would be half that of others. Their lives were filled with suffering. Many were in despair. They couldn’t go to university. Now we have a high school, which means our children can get further education.”

Those who are too old for school but still want a diploma, opt for out-of-school classes, the principal tells me.

“Before the blockade, young people who were deaf could go abroad and finish their education there. Girls could stay with relatives in Arab countries – Islamic families are forbidden to send their daughters to boarding school. But the blockade deprived them of this opportunity. Now many are trying to make up for lost time.”

Abu Jehad, the headmistress (RT photo/Nadezhda Kevorkova)
Abu Jehad, the headmistress (RT photo/Nadezhda Kevorkova)

The school is named after the famous Arab poet Mustafa Sadik el-Rafii. At 30, Rafii lost his hearing and then, after contracting fever, his voice. His story has inspired thousands of hard-of-hearing men and women.

Gada Zorab from Rafah:

“We had a very difficult time. We saw death with our own eyes, with children and the elderly dying. Many were very ill. Many died for the liberation of Palestine. The invaders destroyed a lot of families’ homes. Many families lost their children. We’re a very weak state; therefore Israel looks down on us as people of a lower class, who they can treat however they want. I want to address our friend, Russia. We really respect the people of Russia, and wish them all the best. We really hope that you’ll support us.”

These pictures, made by schoolgirls, depict the times before occupation and blockade (RT photo/Nadezhda Kevorkova)
These pictures, made by schoolgirls, depict the times before occupation and blockade (RT photo/Nadezhda Kevorkova)

Gada dreams of going to university in the United Arab Emirates and becoming a teacher for children who are deaf. Zakhel wants to train as an English teacher in the US, then come back home to work. Mariam Jaddah would like to study in Turkey. Almaza Jebbah is planning to attend university in Russia, while Heba wants to go to Germany. The school’s principal thinks they all have a chance: they have great scores and a lot of determination.

“We have a lot of girls from Rafah. They spend an hour and a half getting to school by bus every day. But that’s not too bad compared to when the Israeli settlements still existed in Gaza. Then, they had to stand for days at the checkpoints. They were shot at, to kill. And now it’s just an hour and a half’s ride’, the principal explains to me. ‘It’s probably difficult for a foreigner to understand why our school is one of the most important projects in the Strip. This is a real breaking of the blockade. The Al-Aqsa University in Gaza graduated 14 teachers for deaf people in 2000. But during the blockade, this class was cancelled. And now it’s reopened again. Our students are doing a good job; they’re really willing to learn, and they’re making good academic progress. There’s a special program for teaching English. They all plan to get further education, to get married, and have children.”

­Nadezhda Kevorkova, RT

Source and more at RT.

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Martyred By Israeli Occupation Attacks

انّا للہ و انّا الیه راجعون

May Allah Subhana wa Ta’ ala grant the Shuhada Jannatul Firdaus, and ease it for their families, loved ones and anyone around them. Allahumma Ameen ya Rabbil Alameen. ‘ Inna Lillahi wa ‘ Inna ‘ Ilayhi Raji’un, Allahu Akbar


* The list of shuhada does not display, the numerous victims of the zionist occupation which are undocumented by media. Nor it displays the victims of the “silent onslaught” due to restrictions of movement, ability to go to hospitals for treatment or life saving surgery, due to lack of medication because of the blockades and so on. For example: The Slow Motion Genocide by the Siege on Gaza only, killed 600 patients since Gaza got under Israeli Siege.

For an overview of All Israeli Massacres Palestinians go here

Neither does this list, display the avoidable mortality. A clear and statistical factual evidence, about the number of deaths due to indecent ruling by occupation forces. For even an occupier has obligations under International Laws, Geneva Convention and the Hague regulations, which it is neglecting. These circumstances, together with deliberate policies of the occupier to neglect and even deny every basic human right, severes avoidable mortality which is totally silenced by media or reporting organisations. While in the Holocaust, 1 on 6 Jewish people directly died of deliberate neglect, so if we believe the facts over 1 million due to avoidable mortality, neither should these same circumstances be ignores which are ongoing in Palestine. For this report displays a avoidable morality of at least 0,5 million Palestinians.

How many more dead corpses of Palestinians does the international community need to see in order to act? How many more cruelties and violations of Human Rights, Regulations and International Law will be needed to intervene so this ongoing warcrime is being stopped once and for all.

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