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Help baby Ayla find safety and medical care outside Gaza

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Hi, my name is Catherine Baker. I live in the Washington, DC area and I’m organizing this campaign for a young writer I have gotten to know and care a great deal about through my volunteer work as a mentor of young Gazan writers. Here is his message to you:

Hello friends, I am Mustafa Batnain and I’m pleading for your help for my family to escape the tent in Rafah where we are living and leave Gaza. My child Ayla is only three months old, not even officially named or registered yet in the civil registry. She has suffered since birth with breathing difficulty and other diseases. My wife is breastfeeding, but she too has respiratory illness and is desperate need of medical care, now virtually nonexistent in Gaza.

My parents are both ill. One of my sisters is in her last month of pregnancy and faces giving birth in a tent. Her husband sustained a head injury and has been hospitalized for three months. My 11-year-old brother, the youngest of my siblings, is especially traumatized by the bombing; he wakes up screaming from nightmares, if he’s able to sleep at all.

My family is what is left of this world for me. I’ve lost close friends, my house, and my job as a teacher in a school for people with disabilities. I know that our story is like those of many Gaza Palestinians, but I hope that you will give as generously as you can to help pay the travel fees required for my family to evacuate Gaza to Egypt.

I am involved with a special project called We are Not Numbers (WANN): an online platform that celebrates and sheds light on Palestinian stories by linking mentors around the world with a new generation of Palestinian writers from Gaza, the West Bank and the diaspora. You can read my bio and link to my pieces here. In one of my stories, Provisions, pots, and firewood: Feeding our neighbors in Gaza, I describe the work I’ve done organizing a food distribution program.

Please help me get my family members to safety and needed medical care , so we can continue our lives and I can continue to give back to my community.

PS from Catherine: All funds raised through this campaign will be transferred either to Mustafa directly or, as needed, to a relative in Egypt who can help make the necessary exit arrangements from that side of the crossing.


  • luigi alberto davide de franco
    • $100 
    • 18 hrs
  • Anjeza Pllana
    • $5 
    • 21 hrs
  • Anonymous
    • $10 
    • 2 d
  • Assya Cayez
    • $5 
    • 13 d
  • kathryn Abdul-baki
    • $50 
    • 13 d


Catherine Baker
Bethesda, MD

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