Rania's Family in Palestine

$495 of $4,200 goal

Raised by 7 people in 1 month
My dear friend Rania — a major character in my book Fast Times in Palestine — has for years offered desperately-needed services in the West Bank town of Tulkarem, Palestine, including counseling for victims of trauma and abuse, activities for children in refugee camps, programs for the disabled, and training for other counselors and community leaders. The number of lives she has touched is truly staggering.

Sadly, there has never been funding for this work. So each year I raise funds to pay her a small salary of $300 a month, which not only helps her family survive but also helps her community live healthier and more colorful lives. Her efforts have been the definition of sumoud (steadfastness), and it's been an honor to be a small part in helping her.

I've written before about her life story and some of the hardships she has faced, including her husband being arrested on bogus charges  by the Israeli military and banned from working in Israel, which leaves him with few and uncertain employment prospects. In the past year he was injured in a work accident, hospitalized, and prevented from working for months. There is no hope of "worker's compensation" in this case, and Rania was forced to withdraw from her volunteer work to take care of her family. Luckily I was able to raise money via Facebook to help them through the worst of it.

Rania has, of course, continued to seek funding for her volunteer work or find gainful employment herself, but with no "wasta" (connections) to speak of, it has constantly been a matter of "one step forward, two steps back." Some high-ranking men have even made proposals that would qualify her for the #MeToo movement, but she is not willing to go down that road. I sincerely hope it never reaches the level where she feels compelled to.

Her kids are still doing fantastic, their academic achievement astonishing. All of your help has ensured that they have good school supplies and nutrition and happy holidays even in the midst of the slow grind -- and sometimes worse -- of childhoods lived under military occupation. I can't thank every donor enough for that.

By now I have been raising funds for her family for over a decade, amid acute hardships and ongoing disappointments as well as hope, laughter, and small triumphs. With the kids getting older and her husband healthy again, and with the birth of my own son and the increasing responsibilities that brings for me, Rania and I have agreed that this will be the last year I raise funds for her family. If someone else wants to take the baton, please be in touch. The occupation makes life so difficult for ordinary people with its high prices and low wages, I honestly don't know how more families aren't driven into utter desperation. (As Rania said, many are, and it's tragic to see.)

If no one else is willing to take this on, I want to give them some time to adjust and make plans for when this particular source of funding ends.

So, for one last time, I am raising funds for Rania's beautiful family, and I would be so grateful if you would consider pitching in five or ten bucks if you can spare it. The goal is $4200 to cover one last year ($300 per month plus whatever exigent (or start-up) expenses might come up).

PLEASE NOTE: This fundraising platform is fee-free, but they’ll ask if you want to add a ‘tip.’ This is completely voluntary. You can edit it to any amount (including zero), and it will not affect the amount of money that goes to Rania.

Contact me to ask about where to send a check. I pay for all Western Union fees, so 100% of what you gives goes directly to Rania's family.

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$495 of $4,200 goal

Raised by 7 people in 1 month
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