In a beach camp in Gaza, under deteriorating living conditions, lives 46-year-old Eyad, his wife, and six kids.
Eyad’s children are third-generation internally displaced refugees of the 1948 diaspora, born twice-removed from the original village they call home. Now, they live in the third-largest of the Gaza Strip’s eight refugee camps.
Eyad once worked as a plasterer, laboring day in and day out to provide for his family. Eleven years ago, however, the blockade on Gaza was imposed and Eyad lost his job. The family never recovered, Eyad hasn’t yet found a job, and they’ve been struggling to survive ever since. For a region with a 52% unemployment rate, the outlook is grim.
“It is ridiculous that our greatest dream becomes to have bread and food in our home,” Eyad told us.
Just beyond a narrow, paved street in front of Eyad’s make-shift home is a symbolic view of the beach. A view like this is of little comfort for Eyad and his family, though, as sewage is poured daily into the water.
“It is not only the smell of sewage … our home has turned into a horrifying place,” Eyad said. “In winter, the ceiling leaks and steals sleep from my family’s eyes, and in the summer, it turns to hell as the home roof is asbestos, which absorbs heat.”
Eyad’s 120-square-meter home is typical for many Palestinian refugees in Gaza’s camps. Further, the economic conditions impact the most commonplace of activities, depriving Eyad and his family from their ability to build community ties.
“Sometimes, we cancel visiting or participating in social and family events because we can’t afford transportation” Eyad said.
Zakat Foundation identified Eyad and his family as in need of food assistance.
According to UNRWA, Eyad’s family classifies as “abject poor,” meaning they subsist on an income below $1.74 per person a day. Zakat Foundation food packages help alleviate some of the pressures of daily life.
“While I am not working, I can’t imagine my life without this food assistance and other services offered to us,” the father adds. “I am searching for work every day, without any result.”
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