PORTLAND, Maine — Maine Friends of the Middle East Children’s Alliance, a statewide group of supporters of the Middle East Children’s Alliance , will hold a cultural benefit for children in Gaza who have been traumatized by the ongoing blockade and series of military attacks that took place in 2009 and 2012. The event will take place 6:30-9:30 p.m. Oct. 5, at The First Parish in Portland Maine, Unitarian Universalist, 425 Congress St.
“Through cooperation with UN agencies, I was able to get a rare visa and travel to Gaza twice in the last year to advance a number of our programs including building water treatment units at UN schools,” stated Danny Muller in a prepared statement, who has worked with MECA since 2000 and will be speaking at the event. “However, a program we did not anticipate, which translates into Let the Children Play & Heal, has developed to provide support for children and their families who have been severely traumatized by Israeli military attacks on Gaza. 48% of the 1.6 million people in Gaza are children, and very little attention is ever given to the emotional and psychological impact on children when they witness or are victims of such systemic violence.”
A Cultural Benefit for Children in Palestine Traumatized by War will be one of a series of events throughout the state that have worked to provide humanitarian aid to refugees in the Middlle East. There will be a light meal of traditional Arabic dishes. The concert will feature live music by Alhan and Okbari for listening and dancing. Jamilah (Jeanne Handy) will perform a traditional Raqs Sharqi set (classical Egyptian belly dance).
For more than 25 years, the Middle East Children’s Alliance has worked for the rights of children in the Middle East by sending humanitarian aid, supporting projects for children and educating North American and international communities about the effects of the US foreign policy on children in the region. They have worked primarily in Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq, and have also responded to the growing Syrian refugee crisis with a series of humanitarian aid shipments, with plans to send more in the near future.