Al Ahli Hospital

Voices of Hope Anniversary Story from 1982
Middle East

There are blast marks on the wall, bullet holes in the roof and plastic instead of glass in a number of windows. This is the current state of the Al Ahli Hospital in the heart of Gaza City. Members of the Action by Churches Together alliance, including PWRDF, were shocked to hear that the hospital, run by the Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem, came under fire during Israel’s 22-day incursion into Gaza in 2009. Faithful supporters of PWRDF may recall the time in 1980 when Al Ahli Hospital faced potential closure due to mounting financial difficulties. The Bishop of Jerusalem committed to take over the operation of the hospital. His commitment was rooted in his deep concern for the health needs of the Arab community, who were experiencing the limits of a quota system on hospital admissions and who, since the Israeli occupation, were banned from initiating any additional health care services. The bishop issued a global appeal in 1981, and PWRDF, with matching government funds, contributed $120,000. Today hospital director Suhaila Tarazi remains committed to serving
her community, despite desperate conditions. “Our philosophy is to provide health care without discrimination of religion, gender, political affiliation and social class,” she says. “All patients are equal. That’s the church’s mission, to help the needy without differences.” PWRDF has echoed this commitment to inclusion from its earliest moments of discerning criteria for grants. We are honoured to accompany these community members as they maintain their principles and resolve in the face of unrelenting violence.

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