Ahli Arab Hospital, Gaza City
Travel restrictions and a crippling blockade are a daily reality for Palestinian refugees in Gaza. For thousands of families, Ahli Arab Hospital and its free community clinic offer the only healthcare option. Everyone is welcome. Everyone is treated with dignity and respect.
Overcoming obstacles on many fronts is a daily routine for the leaders of Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City, but 2018 offered up some particularly daunting challenges: Clashes at the border and deep unrest in Gaza in the spring, the effects of U.S. cuts in aid to the UN agency that serves Palestinian refugees, the total failure of the hospital’s aged water system in November and then, in early December, the critically important outpatient clinic building crumbled to dust forcing cramped conditions and a strain on other services. Despite those challenges, Ahli Hospital served 40,300 patients in 2018.
The political, economic, and social climate in Gaza is one of the most complicated in the world. The challenges that 2.1 million Gazan’s face are daunting. Ahli Hospital is a safe haven of peace and compassion in the midst of chaos. Its leaders and medical staff work with dedication to help their patients cope with appalling living conditions, including widespread water contamination, food insecurity, psycho-social trauma from political turmoil and conflict, limited medicine and medical supplies, the lack of fuel for heating and cooking, among others.
Ahli Hospital staff members remain committed to providing compassionate care to all who walk through their doors. “People come through these doors because of the values this institution incarnates,” said AFEDJ Chair Bishop Barry Beisner after a visit to Ahli in October 2018.