A PHILOS PROJECT INITIATIVE

GAZA EXODUS

Christians have been living in the Holy Land since the time of Jesus. But today, especially in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian Christians are suffering and disappearing due to dire humanitarian circumstances and radical Islamist ideology popularized after the Hamas takeover in 2007. With less than 1,000 Christians left in Gaza, many are seeking a new home in the West Bank. Due to geopolitical constraints, only a few have made it out while leaving the rest of their families behind. The Philos Project is here to help.

 

For Christmas of 2019, with the help of our Palestinian Christian Advocacy Fellow Khalil Sayegh, The Philos Project raised $20,000 USD to reunite and support the relocation, moving and temporary living expenses of four different Gazan Christian families who were separated by these unfortunate realities on the ground. With your help, we were able to bring these families together and change their lives forever. 

 

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Final Update from the Ground

Last Christmas, Philos Project launched Gaza Exodus in response to the deep needs of newly-settled Christians in the West Bank. After fleeing persecution and marginalization in Gaza, the four Gaza Exodus families started over in a new land without financial security or community support. They lacked the funds to secure adequate housing, essential furniture, and education for themselves and their families. After hearing their stories, the Philos family banded together to raise $20,000 to meet the basic needs of four families who will be referenced only with their initials for security reasons.

JM moved to the West Bank seeking safety and better employment for himself, his wife, and his two children. He left his family in the Gaza Strip to forge a new life for them in the West Bank, arriving with high hopes and no resources. The Philos family equipped JM’s house with furniture essentials, so that his home is ready for his family when they are able to join him. He arrived in the West Bank with high hopes and no resources. The Philos family provided the JM family with basic furniture.

WA, 21 years old, moved to the West Bank with her mother and her younger brother. Philos Project provided Widad with a scholarship to study Administrative and Financial Sciences at Al-Ahliya University, easing the financial burden her tuition put on the family. Since receiving the scholarship, WA has been able to devote more time to her studies, which has positively impacted her grades. After she graduates in 2 years, she hopes to become a successful business woman in the West Bank and secure a positive future for her family.

MF, age 29, also received a scholarship from Philos Project to pursue her masters degree in strategic planning at Arab American University in Ramallah. She only has 3 credit hours to complete before finishing her degree. After school, MF plans to remain in the West Bank and work in architecture and urban planning.

SN, 27, moved to the West Bank from Gaza and struggled with the logistical challenges of starting a new life. He is waiting tables at a restaurant in Bethlehem while he searches for a more permanent job. Philos Project provided him with basic furniture for his apartment while he waits for his parents to join him in the West Bank.

Thanks to your generous donations, Philos Project has been able to provide security and hope to people fleeing religious persecution in the Gaza Strip. For more information, please email our advocacy fellow in charge of the project, Jawdat ([email protected]).

MEET THE FAMILIES

Due to the sensitivity of the issue at hand and safety concerns, the names of the families will remain undisclosed.

Here are their stories.

A.S. Family

A Christian family of six was split after three of the A.S. children found a new life in the West Bank. The son of the A.S. family now lives in Bethlehem, working long hours and longing for the day when he and his family can be reunited again.  

 

M.A family:  

The M.A. family, a Christian family of four, was separated when the two sons moved to the West Bank. One of the sons, now married and expecting a child, states that he could never have imagined raising his kids in Gaza. However, the parents of the M.A. family are still in Gaza and are not allowed to see their children in the West Bank. They hope for the family’s reunion.   

W.S Family: 

The W.S. family of four was separated when the son and daughter sought freedom in the West Bank. Their parents are still stuck in Gaza and long to move to the West Bank to be reunited. 

 

A.Z. Family: 

After facing harassment, the family of four began realizing the danger of remaining in Gaza. The father, who wasn't granted permission to leave, encouraged his wife and children, Eli, 19 years old, and Elyana, 20 years old, to leave as he feared that they would be harmed. Elyana had to leave her studies at Al Azhar university in Gaza, and the mother had to leave her job. Once in the West Bank, a Christian family offered them a place to stay, and now they are working long hours to start a new life. With our help, Eylana can go back to school and continue her studies, and Eli can get training as a car mechanic.  

 

Getting Involved

How can I help?

BECOME A PHILOS ACTION PARTNER

The best way to help is to become a Philos Action Partner by giving to the Philos Action Fund. All donations through this fund are tax-deductible and every dollar goes directly to Gaza Exodus.

 

THE PHILOS ACTION FUND

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behind the project:

KHALIL SAYEGH