News  >  Blog

Salah’s Story: Assisting the Most Vulnerable in Gaza

Published 11/19/2014 by Global Communities

Salah’s story is one of perseverance and dedication. Salah began his career as a fruit tree farmer 34 years ago when he started working on a farm in Israel. For 25 years, he diligently worked to become an expert at growing orange, lemon and guava trees. However, he lost his job in 2005 when the Israeli Government stopped granting work permits for Palestinian laborers from Gaza.

Not one to give up, Salah started his own orchard on a quarter of an acre plot that he owned in Gaza. The farm hardly provided him with enough income to feed his wife and nine children. But soon, he developed a reputation for his tree varieties and his commitment to providing quality service, and his business grew.

Unfortunately, during the 2012 conflict between Israel and Palestine, his nursery was completely destroyed. Like many others, he had to start from scratch. With assistance, he managed to rebuild his nursery and get back to work.

“We had no choice but to keep going so I can feed my family,” he said, not knowing what would come next.

In July 2014, as Salah and his family gathered around the table to break the Ramadan fast, they received a call instructing them to leave their home. Ten minutes later, Salah’s home was reduced to a pile of rubble.

“We left the home with only what we had on. We left everything behind, our clothes and valuables,” Salah said. “Everything happened so fast. It was like a nightmare.”

Five months later, the nightmare is not over. Unable to rent an apartment due to rising rents and a lack of availability, Salah and his family have constructed a temporary shelter next to their destroyed home and their damaged orchard. Without proper insulation, plumbing or electricity, the family is left vulnerable to the harsh winter conditions that are coming.

“We don’t know when we will be able to rebuild our home and get back to our normal life,” he said.

Thankfully, amidst both conflicts, the one constant for Salah and his family has been food and shelter assistance from Global Communities.

“The assistance has helped put bread on the table for my children. I don’t know how we would have survived without it,” he said.