You might recall we visited K and her family once already, via the lovely Atfaluna School for the Deaf. J from 14 Friends of Palestine, who sponsor K, asked me to go back again for her birthday; I’d been meaning to go anyway as I had the rest of the money J had sent over to deliver to them. J suggested I buy some food and toys for the family with a little of the money. In the end, I decided that my blog readers might like to share in celebrating with K too, so I put in some of the money you’ve sent; this meant that K’s mum S received all the original cash from 14 Friends and the food and toys were an extra bonus.I chatted briefly with S, my original contact at the school. J had wanted me to ask how K and her sister came to be deaf, and if any medical intervention is appropriate. S explained that both girls were deaf from birth, and that there is a high incidence of deafness in Palestine due to close intermarriage. S says that they find hearing aids help the children to be aware of danger, but like many deaf communities in the UK, people here do not consider cochleal implants the right choice for most deaf children. (Of course most kids here could not travel out of Gaza for cochleal surgery anyway, and then the followup care back home is not available.)
Then I met K’s social worker M at Atfaluna, and we took a very smiley K out of class to head off to the shops for some groceries for the family. Then we continued onto Shayjaiee, where K led us down the alley to her home.
I’d already been to the best toyshop we’d found in Gaza city so far, to buy lots of things that we thought Khitam and her brothers and sisters might enjoy. Everyone would get a notebook for drawing and writing, and everyone would get a page of stickers. Khitam had a bright yellow rabbit just for her as a birthday present, and the rest were toys to share.
Like last time, it took a while to coax the children onto public view, but bright shiny things and chocolate got all but the older girls in the end. I hope you enjoy the following photos, they are a lovely family.