Ten-year-old Abed El-Azeez loves school. “I love math,” the young Gazan says with pride. “It’s my favorite class.” Abed, a top student in his class, is confident and certain about what he wants to be when he grows up too: “I want to be an engineer.”
But it has not been easy for Abed to get to school. He has a walking disability and desperately needed crutches to help him walk back and forth from his school, the Society of Physically Handicapped People, a five kilometer trek each way.
Walking Aids Mobilize Gaza Students with Disabilities
Abed is one of six children in his family, but the only one with a disability. His father Ayman says the impairment was caused by a severe deficit in blood count when he was little and has resulted in a life-long handicap. “We are so proud of our child and what he can do despite his handicap. All of us give him love and support.”
But Ayman says the tough economic situation in Gaza and his lack of steady work made purchasing crutches beyond his reach. The blockade of Gaza and destruction of tunnels to Egypt cut down the supply of walking aids as well as essential medicines and equipment for people with disabilities. Crutches and other walking aids are hard to come by and what is available is expensive.
Ayman and Abed were overjoyed by AmeriCares’ donation of adult and child crutches and canes, which Anera’s medical aid team delivered to hospitals and clinics across Gaza. Anera has also delivered the much-needed walking aids to the West Bank.
Delighted with his new walking aids and ability to move around more easily, Abed has set himself a new goal. “I dream of walking around the city and learning about different places.”
Director of Gaza Society for Physically Handicapped is Role Model
Dr. Sameer Abu Jayaab, who runs the Society of Physically Handicapped People — who is himself handicapped — expressed his appreciation for the support his organization and school have received, from medicines to wheelchairs and crutches. “For more than ten years, the organization has worked to serve more than 11 thousand registered handicapped people. And, I can say with certainty that at least seven thousand of them regularly benefit from Anera’s support and contributions.”