Support Portlanders' families fleeing Gaza

We are three Portland-based Palestinians - Mohammed, Mahmoud, and Zandi —urgently gathering community support for our families who are enduring dire conditions in Gaza. Currently, our family members face displacement, destroyed homes, and the fatal reality of living under constant bombardment and unimaginable violence, with no safe haven for over 3 months. The escalating dangers and amounting medical needs left our families with no choice but to leave for Egypt. However, in Egypt they face restricted movement, no ability to return home, no work permits, and no access to official financial aid. The decision to leave their homes and extended families was extremely difficult, as their hearts remain in Gaza.

Through our collective efforts, we successfully evacuated Mohammed’s immediate family members to Egypt. We hope that Mahmoud and Zandi’s families will soon follow. The astronomical resources required for their relocation, housing, medical care, and survival needs have prompted us to reach out to our extended community for support.

Your support is crucial in providing essential resources for our families during this challenging transition. Donations will directly contribute to relocation expenses, housing, medical care, and survival needs for Mohammed, Mahmoud, and Zandi’s families. Many of them require immediate medical attention and psychological support due to the toll of living under the blockade and constant bombing.

Who are we supporting?

All funds raised will support 42 of Mohammed, Mahmoud and Zandi’s family members. We are community stewards, each a force of positive change in Portland, Oregon. Zandi is a dedicated community organizer and has been an integral part of supporting Palestinian and Arab art and culture programming in the city. Mohammed's insightful contributions in educational talks, rallies, and communal spaces enrich the community fabric. Mahmoud embodies dedication in his mission to provide affordable housing to vulnerable communities through his work. Together, their impact resonates, in creating a better world for those they serve.

A few days ago, Mohammed’s immediate family were able to make the dangerous journey into Egypt. At the beginning of December, Mohammed’s family became internally displaced in Gaza after multiple days of bombing in their neighborhood followed by leaflets from the Israeli Occupation Forces ordering them to leave or face death. They fled to a makeshift shelter made out of curtains and curtain rods near the Gaza/Egyptian border with no access to basic needs such as beds, bathrooms, and hygiene products. This is the second displacement Mohammed’s family has experienced, the first occurred during The Nakba (The Catastrophe), when they were forced out of their homes in Yaffa and Ramla in 1948. At this moment, it is unclear if Mohammed’s family home still exists since it is still too dangerous to return. Mohammed’s family includes 11 people- his father, his wife, five siblings, their partners and their children (Mohammed's nieces and nephews, including Nama who is only 6 months old). Mohammed’s family members have multiple medical conditions and their medications run out at the end of December. We need immediate support for their access to shelter, food, immediate medical care and daily expenses in an unfamiliar country.

Mahmoud’s immediate family of 21 people include his father, older brother and wife with two children, a younger brother, and three sisters with their respective families. During the second week of the assault in Gaza, Mahmoud’s family was displaced from their homes which were destroyed by Israeli airstrikes. The life and memories that his family built and created were destroyed in an instant. His family has lost everything. They were left with no shelter, and just the clothes on their back. Mahmoud’s dad and four of his nephews and nieces were sheltering in the city of Khan Yonis when they were impacted by the insidious inhalation of white phosphorus, causing severe symptoms and unbearable breathing difficulties. Currently, they are in critical condition and in need of urgent medical care upon entering Egypt.

Zandi’s 10 relatives: her aunt, two cousins, their wives, and children were forced to flee due to fatal Israeli air strikes on the Jabalia Refugee Camp in Northern Gaza. There, they lost their father, four siblings and their children, amounting to 19 family members martyred. They have no homes or belongings to return to. In 1967, Zandi’s father along with his mother and four siblings were forced to flee Gaza due to the Six Day War. Like many Palestinians in exile, the current violence in Gaza has resurfaced the reality and violence of 75 years of occupation. Zandi is a first generation Palestinian American and grew up in Portland, OR. Due to the ongoing Israeli occupation and 15 year siege on Gaza, Zandi never had the opportunity to visit and see her homeland, nor the chance to meet her dear relatives. Her remaining relatives are in Rafah attempting to shelter in unlivable conditions.

Why direct family support? How are funds being used?

Due to the lack of formal support systems for displaced Palestinians, these funds will be used to support all survival needs of our 42 family members. The conservative estimate needed for each person is over $10,000. These include basic needs, housing, legal fees, visa applications, relocation support, travel costs, and medical support. The funds will have daily and long term impacts on our families’ lives. This comprehensive assistance ensures not just survival, but the opportunity for individuals to rebuild their lives with dignity and security.

Your contribution is not merely a gesture- it is an unwavering beacon of hope amidst our darkest hour. Your support offers the promise of stability, healing, and a chance to rebuild a life amongst so much devastating loss for our three families. Join us in our journey to reclaim not just what we have lost materially, but also to reignite the flickering flame of resilience within our spirits.

Team di raccolta fondi (3)

Sarah F
Portland, OR
Jenna Goldin
Zandi S
Team member

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