House Rebuilding 2008

On March 31, 2005, the Israeli military demolished the home of Walid Ahour. But more than losing his home, he lost his child.

When the Israeli forces arrived to demolish their home, Walid’s wife, Abir, was alone. She was in the ninth month of her pregnancy. By herself, she was forced to try to salvage the inside belonging of the home: the furniture, precious photos, jewelry – everything that turns a house into a home. Or she could have let it all be destroyed with the rest of the house. Abir pleaded with the soldiers telling them, “I can’t carry anything; I am in my ninth month of pregnancy.”

The stress of the situation, the physical struggle of securing her belonging led Abir’s miscarriage. While at the hospital, for what should be her last checkup, the family was anxiously awaiting to celebrate a new life entering into the world. Abir found out that her baby had died, and she needed to have surgery to remove the child.

Left with nothing but a pile of rubble, Walid and his family lived in a tent next to their demolished house for three months. The Red Cross donated the tent to the devastated family. Eventually, Walid and his family moved into his brother’s home, where they lived until we rebuilt the home. They spent that time living in a single-family home (120m2), with one kitchen, one living room, one bathroom, and just two bedrooms – but it was forced to house two medium-size families.

Adding to the trauma of losing a child, the family felt humiliation and demoralization of the home demolition because of their living conditions.

The situation was truly hopeless because, at the time, the family still had the debts from their demolished home. The building cost $20,000 and took seven years to build. Also, to pay for the home, Walid and his family sold most of their valuables, including Abir’s gold jewelry. In the most literal sense, this family had nothing.

When we rebuilt that home in 2008 with the international community, it was an important step in restoring the family’s faith that a better future was open the horizon. But we could not have done it without the solidarity of the international community.

As we enter into 2020 and think of 6,000-plus homes demolitions, the over 100,000 Palestinians impacted by Israel’s policy of destroying homes, we ask that you invest our rebuilding efforts. You can donate through this link here.

 
Elias Deis
Executive Director
Holy Land Trust’s E.D., Elias Deis has worked for over a decade at Holy Land Trust. He was formally the Travel & Encounter Program Director and serves on the Beit Sahour City Council.

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Payments are processed securely through Stripe. Your donation in the United States is tax-deductible through our fiscal sponsors, Nonviolence International.

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