We’ve all experienced the embarrassment of tripping face-first at one point or another in public. Maybe scraped our hands and knees in the process, dirtied our new pair of crisp, white work pants. When we do fall, a kind stranger may give us his hand to help us get back up on our feet; but, the truth is, we rarely allow another person to to take our hand as we get up – because of our pride and dignity. We think ‘I have already gone through the experience of falling in public – I don’t need to emphasize my helplessness by showing that I could use a helping hand’.
The Trade Not Aid Palestine convoy is also known as the Samouni InterTrade Palestine social enterprise trade mission. This international organization recognizes how helpless the people of Ghazza must feel, depending on imported aid in order to live. Such a dependance must have caused their dignity to suffer, and their patriotism to decline severely. Parents feel like they are unable to protect their children from Israeli soldiers; even worse, they cannot provide even the most essential needs – school materials and proper clothing. One can only imagine what this inability can do to a parent when they see their child suffering and realize that they can do absolutely nothing about it but wait for someone to send aid. Children become both witnesses and victims of this viciously cruel reality. As they grow older, they begin to lose respect for their parents, which in turns causes the parents’ own self-respect to gradually diminish, and depression to take over their lives. In Ghazza, doctors and engineers are picking up garbage on the street, because as Palestinians, it is extremely difficult for them to find proper jobs. The damage done when a society is compelled to live long-term on donations as opposed to being able to provide for themselves is disastrous. Normally, aid is designated to people who are suffering from post-natural-disaster conditions. But in Ghazza’s case, it is political corruption that has led to their reliance on charity and destroyed their sense of pride and independence.
TNA’s goal is to help Ghazza prosper economically and socially; they don’t want to just import goods to emphasize the dependent situation its citizens are in. They also transport people who can help them in different ways, and would encourage them to see that they are capable of standing on their own two feet without someone holding their hand or pushing them down. The International Trade Convoy is meant to leave London on July 2nd, 2011, scheduled to arrive in Ghazza on July 21, 2011. However, due to lack of funds, it seems the convoy will be delayed. The cargo will include supplies such as textiles and building materials, industrial machinery and equipment geared towards the economic development and rebuilding of Ghazza. In exchange, Palestinians give the convoy “Made in Palestine” products, giving them a sense of independence and productivity.
Please donate whatever you can to the convoy to help our brothers and sisters gain the feeling that we take for granted every day – self-determination. Give them the chance to choose their own fate. Every human being deserves that opportunity. At the same time, let us donate to help improve our image as Kuwaitis – there are Kuwaiti men who are also going on this trip. We have the ability to encourage them, and make a difference even if we are not present.
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