Seeking Shelter from the Storm

In five days, the Gaza Strip got 75% of its normal winter rainfall in a fierce storm that wiped out most if not all cash crops and displaced over 10,000 people. As floods mixed with sewage rose, the Welfare Association began distributing aid: food for 305 families, 915 children’s winter clothing packages, 610 blankets, and 4,000 liters of fuel for a shelter’s generator.

Fadi Elhindi, WA area manager in Gaza, said the teams helped to evacuate a family of seven after the roof blew off their 60m2 house. “I had to leave everything behind and carry my children to a safe place,” said the father, Atef Abou Khousa. The WA is now calling for donations to repair losses and help students return to school, and estimates that recovery will require USD $700,000.

As families try to pick up the pieces and carry on among 12-hour daily power cuts, basic needs remain acute. To help them get through the coldest winter in 50 years, $30 can provide winter clothes for one child, and $60 one student’s school supplies.

For more info – Welfare Association’s donation drive

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Jennifer MacKenzie

Poet, writer and teacher Jennifer MacKenzie grew up on Bloomcrest Dr. in Bloomfield Hills, MI, which inspired her to wonder about places with patterns other than floral. Following her education at Wesleyan University's College of Letters and the University of Iowa's Writers Workshop, she followed a zig-zag course that included a pilgrimage across the top of Spain and a long sojourn in Syria in pursuit of the language of Muhammad al-Maghout and Moudthaffar al-Nawwab. While in Damascus she completed the books of poems "Distant City" and "My Not-My Soldier" (forthcoming from Fence Books) and edited the magazine Syria Today. Her poems and essays can be found in numerous journals including the Kenyon Review online, Guernica, Quarterly West, and Lungfull. She currently lives in New York.

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