Supporting Local News

Galway artists launch appeal to help graduate’s family trapped in Rafah

A group of Galway artists has launched an urgent appeal to raise funds for a Palestinian colleague whose family remains trapped in Rafah.

The online fundraiser will be used to help evacuate from Gaza the family of Galway-based artist Mohamed Alkurdi.

Mr Alkurdi graduated with a master’s degree from Atlantic Technological University, Galway last September.

Thanks to his residency permit, he was able to return to Galway after enduring three months of a war nightmare in his homeland.

The rest of his family remain trapped in Rafah and fear the Israeli invasion of the southern area of Gaza was imminent.

Several colleagues and friends of Mohamed Alkurdi have established a GoFundMe page to help raise money to evacuate his family to safety in Egypt.

Among them is Galway artist, Róisín Coyle of Long Walk, who has urged people to support the appeal.

“We’re trying to get enough money to get his family to safety in Egypt and it costs a lot per person. I know so many of us feel so helpless watching what’s happening in Gaza, so this is a way people can help,” she said.

Mr Alkurdi’s family includes his 60-year-old father, and seven siblings ranging in age from eleven to thirty-three.

It also includes his extended family, including nieces and nephews, the youngest of which was four months and was born during the war.

The entire family evacuated Khan Younis in Northern Gaza as soon as they were ordered to leave last year, and their home was destroyed.

Now they are living in Rafah, sheltering in an abandoned garage with no heating, no electricity, no running water, no kitchen, or bathroom.

In an online update, Mr Alkurdi thanked people who have donated to the campaign so far.

“My family is currently encountering extreme difficulties in their temporary shelter. Despite being asked to vacate the premises several times in the past ten days, there is no alternative accommodation,” he said.

“The lack of sanitation and clean water has led to an outbreak of illnesses among my family members. Unfortunately, my sister has fallen seriously ill, due to the unhealthy living conditions.

“My eldest brother has been struggling to find diapers for his two daughters, particularly for the youngest, four-month-old Lin. Access to adequate food is scarce and has become prohibitively expensive.

“Cooking is outdoors and due to overcrowded living conditions poses significant risks. Communication has been sporadic due to internet blackouts, it gets very worrying when there is no word from them for a few hours,” he said last week.
See the GoFundMe page for more information,

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