Leading Advocacy Campaign
Layali is a Palestinian young woman ( 25 years old) who was able to leave Gaza for the first time. She is one of 32 participants who was chosen by ActionAid Palestine(AAP) to participate in the second international Youth Gathering (IYG) in solidarity with Palestine in Tanzania. Layali is a community activist doing a lot of voluntary work serving her community. She is unemployed similar to other youth in Gaza who suffer from unemployment and restriction on freedoms of expression and movement.
Layali could barely contain her excitement as it is her first experience of being outside Gaza.
"When I was accepted to this participation, I felt so happy and I could not believe that I can finally travel for the first time in my life ," said Layali who couldn't stop smiling during activities of gathering.
Layali has passed through a long and tiring journey to reach her destination in Tanzania. As other Gazans, Layali has to travel through Rafah crossing on Egyptian borders . she is not allowed to cross Erez Crossing which is the central point of entry and exit for Gaza’ s residents and controlled by Israel and located in the north of the Strip allowing Gazan to cross for only for very specific reasons (medical treatment, trade-related meetings, religious pilgrimages ) and even then, rejection is common. Traveling for vacation is simply not allowed. Moreover, Gazans are not usually allowed to travel through Jordan. That means they must go through Rafah, Cairo, Egypt, and fly to their ultimate destination from there. For the average Gazan, traveling through Egypt is not easier . Crossings on Egyptian borders are sometimes closed for days or even weeks. Layali has passed through more than 30 Egyptian checkpoints before reaching Cairo airport.
‘’I cannot express my feelings when I got to the plane for the first time”, said Layali.
After she got Tanzania: “ I was really happy to see the world and beautiful places and different cultures outside Gaza that I have never seen before”.
Layali presented her case and conditions of youth in Gaza to other youth participants raising their awareness about suffering of Palestinian youth in Gaza caused by Israeli blockade.
I am really excited and very thankful to AAP for giving me this great chance. “ I think I am as a little child here, and I let myself enjoy the atmosphere, enjoy the friendship, enjoy everything! I am very happy to see and meet with Palestinian colleagues from West Bank, Jerusalem , Lebanon and youth from African and European countries ”, said Layali.
ActionAid is ActionAid is a global federation working for a world free from poverty and injustice. It is a leading international charity working in over 45 countries. We work with the poorest women and children in the world, changing their lives for good. Our local staff provide immediate, hands-on support to women and children living on the margins of survival. Together we demand action at local, national and international level. We don’t walk away until we’ve achieved lasting change.
For more information, please contact:
Riham Jafari Coordinator of Advocacy&Communication in ActionAid Palestine
Mobile Number: +972 (0) 595242890