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- Published: 07 October 2015 07 October 2015
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Barbara Lubin to speak on Palestinian children’s rights
at Tree of Life Conference: EYES ON GAZA
Saturday, October 17 at First Congregational United Church of Christ
1126 SW Park Avenue, Portland OR 97205
EYES ON GAZA is a three-day series of presentations, films and workshops to educate and empower participants to work for a just peace in Israel/Palestine. Tickets and schedule of events are at http://gazaconference.brownpapertickets.com
Barbara Lubin was born into a conservative Zionist family, but in 1988, after witnessing firsthand the grave injustice, poverty and violence engendered by the Israeli occupation of Palestine, she founded the Middle East Children’s Alliance to provide humanitarian aid, support projects for children, and educate Americans about the effects of U.S. foreign policy on children in the region.
Since then, MECA has delivered millions of dollars in humanitarian aid to children’s clinics, hospitals, schools, and women’s organizations in the Occupied Territories. MECA’s scholarship programs have enabled hundreds of talented young people to attend universities in Palestine and the U.S.
MECA has a special relationship with youth in Dheisheh Refugee Camp, supporting a women's embroidery collective, computer center and educational workshops on health and nutrition. MECA brought children’s dance troupes from the camp on three U.S. tours to tell, through choreography, the stories of Palestinian refugees. Funds from the tours enabled the community to build multi-story structures housing a restaurant, computer center, multipurpose hall, kindergarten, children's library, and mental health clinic—all of which had to be rebuilt after destruction by the Israeli army in 2002.
More recently, MECA initiated the Maia Project to address one of the most harmful features of the Israeli occupation and blockade of Gaza: the lack of clean water. Partnering with the Afaq Jadeeda Association, MECA funded clean drinking water systems in two kindergartens and five large elementary and middle schools.
During last summer’s brutal Israeli attacks on Gaza, MECA delivered four tons of medicine and medical supplies, valued at $1.6 million, to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society for distribution to local hospitals and clinics. MECA followed that up with seven tons of powdered milk, fortified children’s cereal, an ambulance, wheelchairs, and surgical instruments—as well as a full truckload of art and school supplies, along with funds for food, blankets, and plastic sheets to cover broken windows.
While MECA addresses the terrible harm done to children in the Middle East, Lubin knows that only a just and lasting political solution will protect their lives and their rights. MECA works to change public opinion and to end U.S. financial support for Israel’s occupation of Palestine.
EYES ON GAZA is a three-day series of presentations, films and workshops to educate and empower participants to work for a just peace in Israel/Palestine. Tickets and schedule of events are at http://gazaconference.brownpapertickets.com.
EYES ON GAZA is sponsored by the Tree of Life Educational Fund. Additional sponsors are Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights, Central Pacific Conference of the United Church of Christ Palestine Israel Network, Fellowship of Reconciliation of Oregon, First Congregational United Church of Christ–Portland, Friends of Sabeel–North America, Jewish Voice for Peace–Portland Chapter, Kairos USA, Kairos-Milwauki United Church of Christ, Lutherans for Justice in the Holy Land, Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice, and Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights.