The dedication of Rachel Corrie is still an inspiration to hundreds of volunteers in Palestine. Rebuilding what the oppressor destroys without fear, without hesitation.

Below is an update of what has been happening, followed by links showing what you can do as well to help make Rachel’s dream a reality.

Rachel Corrie Rebuilding Campaign, Gaza 2nd Home: Updates from the Field

Updates from the Field (or Progress Reports) on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.com by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

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Index of Updates from the Field

Rachel Corrie Rebuilding Campaign narrow lead – please forward

By Donna Baranski-Walker – Executive Director, July 25, 2007 05:20 PM

Dear Friends of the Rebuilding Alliance,

GlobalGiving.com informed us that our project, the Rachel Corrie Rebuilding Campaign, Gaza 2nd Home is narrowly leading their international competition – and they have extended the competition to July 27th.

Please help rebuild the next home in the Rachel Corrie Rebuilding Campaign in Gaza, the home of physiotherapist Ali Al Bahry and his family. Donate now at GlobalGiving and help us win an additional $5000, $3000, or $2000 for this project through an eBay match.

1. Why build this home in Gaza now?
Our partner from Gaza, Mr. Husam El Nounou, Public Relations Director for Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, came to the U.S. in June to raise funds for this home. Husam remains stranded in Egypt, unable to return to his home and family in Gaza. Credible reports indicate some 5,000-6,000 Palestinians are stuck in Rafah and Al-Areesh and another 30,000 spread throughout Egypt as the blockade of Gaza enters its second month. Husam’s colleague, Dr. Mona El Farrah, lost her mother, unable to go home to be at her side.

Being home, going home, rebuilding home – our work is about all of that. Our projects are symbols of hope that help rebuild shattered communities and offer people around the world immediate ways to make peace, starting with the tangible support of a family’s right to a home. Frankly, we ask your help to rebuild a home for the Al Bahry family, and we also ask you to pick up your phone to ask Congress to speak out against this grueling blockade. Donate now.

2. Rebuilding during the blockade of Gaza?
Yes, we can – because we just did! The Rebuilding Alliance completed the first home in the Rachel Corrie Rebuilding Campaign in Gaza on May 24th 2007. We built it for the Nasrallah family, the family Rachel Corrie sought to protect when she stood before the Israeli Army D-9 Caterpillar bulldozer that threatened their home. When friends and family saw the home “that American families helped build,” they volunteered their time and talent to help finish it off right.

3. But how can the Rebuilding Alliance build this house during a blockade, when all imports of building materials have stopped – and even the U.N. has called-off construction projects?
Everyone is pitching in. Dr. Eyad El Sarraj is taking the list of materials to every contractor he knows to ask if they can spare ten cubic meters of concrete, or a re-bar or two. Khaled Nasrallah, an expert in logistics and part of the family Rachel Corrie sought to protect, writes, “The first step for the project starts with the drawings for the home. An engineering consultancy company in Gaza may want to provide this service as a donation from their company. The next step is to get the approval from the engineering association which also may be for free or with a big discount. This phase is the beginning and can show the world that the community still seeks to work in a healthy environment and uphold its responsibilities.”

Then the family goes to the municipality to confirm title of the land and apply for water and electricity. Please note that this may not be easy: The Palestinian Center for Human Rights, in urgent call to save the judicial system, also reports that the system of permits, taxes, and fees has been suspended. By applying for a permit and doing this publicly with reports back to you, our donors, we’ll find out where things stand.

The next step is building – and that starts with clearing land and digging. Our team will be asking the Gaza community to help, a brave step for all who step forward.

4. Can you still transfer funds to the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme for this project?
Yes, because the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme is a non-governmental organization, fully in compliance with the U.S. Patriot Act. Funds transfers to Palestinian NGOs for humanitarian projects are allowed.

5. Will rebuilding this house in Gaza somehow help the current government(s)?
Ours is a non-governmental project all the way. Construction is supervised by the Rebuilding Alliance’s engineer, the Al Bahry family, and our NGO partner in Gaza, the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme.

6. How does the Global Giving contest work?
GlobalGiving.com is offering all projects in their filmfest competition the exclusive opportunity to receive $5,000, $3,000 or $2,000! Thanks to the generosity of one of GlobalGiving’s most valued partners, eBay, three of the pioneering projects will receive these additional funds.

7. How can I help?
Please Donate Now via the GlobalGiving.com website and forward this message to your mailing list. It is a brave move for a family to rebuild during a blockade. Your support means everything.

In rebuilding peace,

Donna Baranski-Walker
Executive Director of the Rebuilding Alliance

P.S. Urge your senators and congressperson to speak out against this blockade and help Husam El Nounou, Dr. Mona Al Farra and thousands more return home. Please join our planning telecons on Fridays to strategize. The link to the script is listed below.

P.P.S. Rebuilding Alliance board member, Jenni Fischer, has created a blog primarily dedicated to her Run for Peace, a 31.3 mile trail run she is undertaking for her 30th birthday as a fundraiser for The Rebuilding Alliance. Its called, “The Good Long Road.” Check it out at http://jennifischer.blogspot.com/.


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