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Help me get my family in Gaza to safety

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At midnight on November 1st, 2023, my wife woke me up with tears in her eyes “I’m sorry baby, but your mum is gone,” she said. In my frantic state I dialled my brother Kamal’s number. Kamal has been taking care of our sick mother for the past 6 years. Last year, Kamal used all his savings and bought a small apartment north of the Jabalia camp in Gaza. Work is scarce in Gaza so Kamal does whatever work he can to ensure his family have a roof over their head and they’re taken care of. Kamal has five children, his eldest daughter is an English teacher and has 1 toddler, his other daughter is a Maths teacher, she just got married with hopes and dreams for the future, his son Jameel is only 17 and loves gaming and helping his father with daily chores.
Kamal is a remarkable person, giving so much to his family and his community, he is someone that we can all count on, he is generous, hardworking, loving and forgiving. When I saw Kamal last in 2019, he looked like he carried the weight of the whole world on his shoulders, yet he shared with me about his dreams and aspirations, he said “I want to own a chicken farm, so I can feed the family and those people in need”.
But Kamal didn’t answer my call. Neither did my other brothers who live in Jabalia camp. I call all my other siblings one by one, but no one picks up. In my desperate search for answers, I turn on the news and see that Jabalia camp is being bombed. I see block 6 has been demolished. In my dazed and confused state, I can’t remember if that is where my family lives. I don’t know what to feel, I am numb. My wife and I stay up for the remainder of the night, calling my family every few hours, but we can’t get through.
Fast forward 48 hours, and I am on the phone to Kamal who tells me that right after mum passed away, they had to evacuate their home and walk to Khan Younis in South of Gaza. “We’re all alive, but are tired, cold and hungry,” Kamal tells me. “How long was the walk?” I ask, “Seven hours. We weren’t allowed to stop; we had to push through and were not allowed to help the injured. There were many dead bodies and injured people on the road,” he says.
“Where are you now?” I ask. “We’re staying inside a school with many other families. We were allowed to carry one backpack each, so we don’t have food, warm clothing, blankets, pillows, or anything soft to put under us and use as a mattress.” he continues. “People are queuing up for the toilets and there are no shower facilities anywhere.” I can’t believe what I’m hearing. How could this happen? How could my brother and his family be in this position? I am lost for words and have a million concerns. “Where is everyone else?” I ask. “Maryam and Nadia are here in Khan Younis, the rest I haven’t heard from” he tells me.
As the weeks pass, I found out that the rest of my family are displaced in Gaza.
I am in a state of mental anguish, I am sad, worried and feel hopeless that I can’t do anything to help them. I am left feeling hopeless, distressed, and wretched.

Help me to help them.
Many people in Gaza have nowhere to go. But my family has me, here safe in Australia and I am willing to take on the work of making arrangements to get them here.

On 23rd of November 2023, Australia announced that they are giving temporary visas to Palestinians who have family members in Australia. The applications will cost $192.66 per person.
I have over sixty family members who are now displaced and in danger, and the Australian government, while offering a lifeline through this program, does not provide financial assistance, placing an overwhelming fiscal responsibility on individuals like me.
Calculating the first year of expenses has highlighted the substantial financial commitment required, but I am confident that with your support, I can share this burden and pave the way for a more hopeful future for my family. My family members are:

• Brother Kamal, his wife Segal, their five children, two sons-in-law and one grandchild.
• My brother Mahmoud and his wife and their six children.
• My brother Jamal, his wife and two children, one daughter in law and three grandchildren.
• My brother Jalal, his wife, and children.
• My sister Nadia and her husband and ten children.
• My sister Maryam and her Husband and eleven children,
• My sister Jamalat and her husband and twelve children,
• My niece Asmaa, her husband and three children.

Contributing to Australia’s Prosperity:
Our family members are highly educated individuals who would make meaningful contributions to the Australian economy. They bring a wealth of experience as electricians, nurses, teachers, and academics.
By supporting our cause, you are not only helping our family who are in immediate danger but also investing in the future prosperity of Australia.

How Your Donation Will Make a Difference:

The funds raised will be allocated towards various essential expenses, including but not limited to:

Application fees: for 10 family members
Accommodation in Cairo: During the biometrics process and visa waiting period (2-3 months).
Flights to Australia: Ensuring a safe journey for our family members.
House Rentals: Providing a stable and secure living environment.
Living Expenses: Covering monthly essentials such as groceries, utilities, transportation, and necessities such as clothing, shoes, and electronics to help them rebuild their lives.
Healthcare and Therapy: Vital for the well-being of our family members.
Transportation in Australia: Bus tickets and public transport costs.

Thank you for being a beacon of compassion and support.

My last pictures with my family during my visit in June 2019

• With my niece Baraa

• With my brother Kamal

• My nephew Jameel

• My nieces Baraa, Alaa and my sister-in-law Segal

• With my niece Rawan



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Yousef Sharaf
St Leonards NSW

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