GUESTS ATTEND the Ramadan break-fast charitable event in Abu Gosh, west of the capital, on Friday.
(photo credit: UDI SHAHAM)
Hundreds of people gathered in the schoolyard at the Abu Gosh Comprehensive High School on Friday for a festive Ramadan break-fast dinner and to raise money to help Palestinian patients get treatment in Israeli hospitals.
The celebrants came from the town west of Jerusalem and from neighboring villages to the event that was organized by the Salametcom nonprofit organization.
After the meal, the guests were entertained with traditional music and Dabke dancing. The event was attended by Abu Gosh’s mayor, Issa Jaber, and by hospitalized children from Hadassah Medical Center who are being helped by Salametcom.
The group provides assistance to patients from the West Bank and Gaza Strip from the moment they cross the checkpoint.
“Many times, family members of the patients face troubles with crossing the checkpoint and accompanying them. We drive them from there directly to the hospital and assist them with getting the correct treatment,” says Yaacob Ibrahim, the event organizer and one of the senior volunteers of the organization. “ “We assist with whatever possible – from subsidizing medicine to fun activity days for hospitalized children. We have a storage facility with wheelchairs and strollers, and we are holding this fund-raiser in order to fund that kind of equipment,” says Ibrahim. “We started off translating medical forms from Hebrew to Arabic, and in time we expanded our services.”
The organization does its best to maintain good relations with the hospitals, Ibrahim says. “Usually we are in touch with the social workers of the hospital departments. By dealing with the patients we make their work easier,” he says.
Another senior volunteer, Rima Abu Kitsh, also from Abu Gosh, says that she is glad to help children’s dream come true.
“Many children who are coming from the West Bank say that they want to see the sea. It warms the heart every single time to see their excitement when they get to the sea,” she says. “Other than that, it is important to stress that we are not a politically or nationally affiliated organization. Although we assist the Arabic-speaking population, when we hand out presents in the hospital we do not ask who is an Arab and who is Jewish – everyone gets. More than once when we had Dabke dancers coming to entertain the patients we were joined by Jews,” she says with satisfaction.