A few days ago, a dear friend of mine, Jen Marlowe, called me to ask if I could help with something. She had gotten to know a family, the Abu Kash family, in her recent visit to Gaza, and had found out that their 6 year-old son, Abdallah, is in serious need of medical care. He’s been diagnosed with bronciectasis, a rare lung & chest disease, and one that the hospitals in Gaza do not have the capacity to deal with.
With testing and proper treatment, Abdallah should be able to live a relatively normal life. Without it, the disease can be fatal.
So: He’s been given permission to get treatment inside of Israel, but his family doesn’t have the money to pay for his transport to and from Tel Aviv, let alone for the testing and treatment. His father used to be a farmer, but after sewage was redirected to Wadi Gaza and flooded the agricultural fields, his farm was destroyed. Abdallah’s father now works as a guard at a newly constructed sewage treatment plant.
That’s where you all — we all — come in.
Abdallah needs to come to a hospital in Tel Aviv on Sunday, May 17 to get further tests. If he doesn’t have money to pay for the tests by then, the tests may not happen, or he will only be able to do a few of the many tests needed.
I am far from an expert on how this stuff works, medically and politically.
I don’t know how the Palestinian Authority decides who is it going to sponsor, and who it won’t. I’ve also never met the family, but am going to go try to meet them and be with them on Sunday in Tel Aviv.
I do know that if we don’t raise this money, Abdallah may not be able to get the treatment he needs.
I do know that I feel a moral obligation to help in whatever way I can.
I do know that this is real opportunity to use whatever privilege any of us have– whether in terms of networks, physical health, connections or, most basically, money– to try to help another human being.
I will also that I feel that we, as Israeli Jews, and as people connected to Israel, have an increased moral obligation to the Palestinian people writ large, and to Palestinian people, and children, like Abdallah Abu Kash. Certainly now, at this juncture of history, perhaps forever.
So. The cost of the hospital bills, combined with transportation from Gaza to Tel Aviv, plus food for Abdallah’s mother (who will be accompanying her little boy) could cost as much as–or even more than– $5,000. And– there will be ongoing medical needs, and ongoing medical expenses, as well.
Please help out. That’s all.