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 recent years have offered up some particularly daunting challenges: Clashes at the border and deep unrest, 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 and the collapse of the critically important outpatient clinic building in late 2018. With the threat of a COVID-19 outbreak, the hospital leaders have worked hard to prepare for treat patients in an isolation unit while continuing to provide regular health care. Despite those challenges, Ahli Arab Hospital continues to serve its impoverished neighbors every day.
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 Bishop Barry Beisner, an AFEDJ trustee, after a visit to Ahli.