Al Madad Foundation

Zara Hannoun —  February 2, 2014 — Leave a comment

Joint Logos

Cycling4Gaza is collaborating with the Al Madad Foundation, based in London, to help expand our reach to make a difference around the globe.

The Al Madad foundation was founded in 2001 in an effort to support educational based projects for disadvantaged children across the Middle East.

Check out their website for more details:

http://www.almadadfoundation.org/

The Al Madad Foundation are currently hosting a cycling event on the 17th of May – a 67 mile journey from London to Oxford (with a lunch break of course). For more details on the cycle event and how to sign up check out:

http://almadadfoundation.org/cycle4schooling.html

Share this post with your friends and family based in the UK!

Lets all come together to help make a positive impact wherever we can!

Check out our first newsletter of 2014!

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This issues includes:

- A video from Steve Sosebee, the President and CEO of the PCRF

- A word from Tamara Ben Halim, Cycling4Gaza’s co-founder

- A story from Rami Zughayer, our first Palestinian cyclist from the West Bank, about the Germany cycle

- Updates on the REACH Gaza project from Zara Hannoun, lead organiser for Cycling4Gaza

Cycling4Gaza is currently looking for 10 passionate active individuals (anywhere in the world) to plan one event each in 2014 in support of Cycling4Gaza’s REACH Gaza project to raise funds or awareness or even better both.

Let us each help to make a difference, email me directly on zhannoun@gmail.com

Cant wait to hear from you!

Dear friends,

Happy new year. I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know where Cycling4Gaza is at during this exciting time, what we have achieved in the past year, and where we are headed in 2014.In 2013, Cycling4Gaza:

  • Identified a pioneering Gaza healthcare project run by the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF) and built a meaningful partnership with the PCRF
  • Raised over $215,000 for the PCRF’s REACH Gaza project
  • Organised and successfully completed its fifth cycling challenge through Germany with 39 people taking part, expanding its total number of people recruited and mobilised through cycling to 119
  • Reached thousands of people around the world through media coverage in various publications such as MBCThis Week in PalestineBarakabits, and Dubai Eye

Our  400km challenge from Hamburg to Berlin in September 2013 culminated at the gates to the Berlin Wall, with smiling faces and aching muscles. You can read more about the challenge from one of our cyclists, Rami Zughayar (scroll down).The openness of Berlin, a city with a complex history, the lack of walls, barriers, obstacles, served as a bittersweet reminder of what can be achieved, and of what yet needs to be achieved in Palestine, where a graffiti-covered wall painfully similar to that of the former wall that stood in the heart of Berlin, still stands today.A couple of the cyclists this year asked me “why Cycling4Gaza? Why not Cycling4Palestine?” Why Cycling4Gaza? Because, as far as we can see, Gaza needs it the most. Palestinians who live in the Gaza Strip have been made increasingly isolated from the world, and indeed from the rest of Palestine, so that families are constantly torn apart, and the Palestinian community has become entirely fragmented, with no sense of a whole.  And while the tide slowly turns and the international community begins to come round to the struggle of the Palestinians, while we are starting to hear the other side of the story that was neglected for so long, the story of Gaza remains left behind. The faces of Palestinians in Gaza, of human beings, are rarely ever seen, their voices rarely heard. So this is why we are cycling for Gaza. It is our job to build on Cycling4Gaza as a space that brings this story to life, that gives a different face to the misunderstood place that is the Gaza Strip. It is our job to continue doing something positive in Gaza’s name, to continue working on education and healthcare, to continue cycling and supporting Gaza’s most vulnerable and marginalised, to continue giving people all over the world an opportunity to be involved and make a positive contribution.Over the next couple of years we hope that our work will expand to include creating stronger ties with the Palestinian community in Gaza, directly involving them in our efforts and trying to find ways for more Palestinians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to cycle with us. It will expand to include outreach work that informs and educates people on the situation of the siege on Gaza, and it will continue to support sustainable social projects in the region through the mobilisation of volunteers and cyclists around the world.We are a small team of volunteers with big hopes. Alone we cannot achieve our ambitious goals. Your support has taken us this far, and we hope it will take us further and help to kickstart a promising 2014. Right now, through a few simple clicks, you can help us to expand our reach and grow our efforts:1. You can forward this newsletter on to ten friends who know nothing about Cycling4Gaza, better yet who know nothing about Gaza.

Encourage them to:
- Sign up to our mailing list (website)
- Join our Facebook page
- Follow us on Twitter

(And make sure you do the same!)

2. You can share our latest press release with your media contacts. The more we can talk publicly about Gaza the more people will hear us and the closer we are to our goal of informing and educating as many people as we can about the situation in the Gaza Strip.

Finally, if you would still like to donate, you can do so here: www.pcrf.net/cycling4gaza

I hope you enjoy the rest of this newsletter. I would like to thank you all once more for your incredible support, the cyclists for their superhuman efforts and achievements, the PCRF for their invaluable work in the Gaza Strip and Palestine at large and for the partnership they have fostered with us, our corporate sponsors for their generous support, and finally the Cycling4Gaza 2013 committee who worked tirelessly to make this another successful year. They are: Zara Hannoun, Mohammed Tahboub, Tala Fahoum, Natasha Hannoun and Tabrez Ahmad.

Stay tuned for updates as we get the ball rolling in 2014!

Warmest regards,
Tamara

 

“I was super glad to know that Cycling4Gaza exists. It gave me happiness and hope, happiness for knowing that there are people out there supporting the cause, and hope for realizing that I can join the C4G team and be part of the support for my people.”

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Congrats everybody, the C4G 2013 cycling challenge was an unforgettable event! Our progress matched the plan perfectly; every one of the brave cyclists travelled the distance of 350 – 410 km by bike, and we collected a total fundraising amount that has almost reached the target amount of $230,000!It is my first time on a Cycling4Gaza challenge and it really feels so good to be part of an international team of about 40 enthusiastic caring friendly heroic cyclists who have flown from their countries to gather in Germany, participate in the cycling challenge, and take action in the support of Palestinian children. This blend of sport-and-cause charged us during the cycle with energy and good moods and made us go beyond our limits!I found out about C4G in 2012 via a Facebook post, a couple of days before the 2012 cycling challenge which took place in Turkey. I admired the idea and was not lucky enough to join them then, it was too late already. By that time the situation was quite difficult in my country Palestine, there was an Israeli military attack on Gaza and I was feeling sad, tense and useless. Because a war on my people was taking place only 100 km away from me and I could do nothing about it! Not forgetting that Palestinians living in/out of the West-Bank or Jerusalem have no access to Gaza, and cannot support the people in need over there. So I was super glad to know that Cycling4Gaza exists. It gave me happiness and hope even if I couldn’t register that year, happiness for knowing that there are people out there supporting the cause, and hope for realizing the opportunity that I can join the C4G team and be part of the support to my people.Finally after waiting a year I registered for C4G 2013, and joined the team. I want to thank Mohammed Tahboub, Zara Hannoun, Tamara Ben-Halim and all who volunteered by working hard, in their own time, for planning and managing this event. The C4G 2013 was a real success, even though it was relatively big regarding the number of participants and cycle distance!  On the morning of the 19th of September, after preparing ourselves, stretching, filling up supplies and getting ready, we started our cycling challenge as one big group. The scenery on both sides of the road was naturally beautiful, we cycled in pairs most of the time and the cyclists were friendly and cheerful. We were a little bit unfortunate to have a few strong rain drops in the first and second days but the blend of sport-and-cause charged all of us with positive energy that kept us going relentlessly. I felt that this group of cyclists was a family of mine, the common blend we all had strengthened the bonds between us so fast and I made magical quick friendships that could really last forever.

This challenge was a one of a kind experience for me, I was so pleased to see people from all around the world participating in the C4G event, collecting funds, raising awareness and cycling for the cause of Palestine. This is something I never take for granted, and I will always remember all the cyclists, the special musketeers that give me hope. I am not an athlete, I am a sport lover with a random practice of cycling, I thought that I would not be able to do the 410 km because I was never trained to such distance, but with the company of the C4G musketeers it gets easier and easier, the smiles, spirits and wonderful participants are charged with enthusiasm and love, and this is the real engine that made us move and accomplish our target.

Thank you all, see you in C4G 2014!

With love,
Rami Zughayar

 

A snapshot of Cycling4Gaza‘s Work over the last 5 years.

None of this would be possible without our wonderful partners; the PCRF, Welfare Association and MAP UK, our amazing supporters and our fearless cyclists!

Thank you all for your contribution and playing a significant part in improving the healthcare and education available for children in Gaza.

Your are all truly inspiring!

C4G Infographic

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The video above (click to open) highlights the past two volunteer medical missions in Gaza that have provided cardiac and orthopedic care to children. The first medical team from Italy treated 8 children with congenital heart diseases and the second medical team from Chili focused on treating children with orthopedic related defects. Both teams have successfully completed their surgical missions.

Your support has helped launch the REACH Gaza project and will allow the project to move forward over the coming months through additional volunteer medical missions entering into Gaza and providing vital medical attention to children that require care.

To continue supporting this wonderful cause please:

- Share: Help us raise awareness by sharing our posts on Facebook, Twitter, Email..etc
- Donate
- Volunteer: Contribute directly on the ground or through various activities. Email us on info@cycling4gaza.com to sign up
- Follow: @Cycling4Gaza on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
- Hashtag: #Cycling4Gaza#thePCRF#REACHGaza#C4G2013 on any information you feel is relevant

Directly from Gaza

Zara Hannoun —  October 20, 2013 — Leave a comment

A word from Steve Sosebee, President and CEO of the PCRF, on the impact of Cycling4Gaza and our supporters on the current medical missions in Gaza as part of the REACH Gaza project.

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We appreciate all your efforts and grateful for your continued support.

 

Thanks to ALL your efforts; the REACH Gaza project has officially been launched! Cycling4Gaza has helped pioneer the REACH Gaza project with the PCRF; supporting the provision of health care to children living in Gaza.

The first surgical team arrived in Gaza on the 6th of October 2013 from Italy to initiate a 10 day mission to treat children with congenital heart diseases.

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This mission highlights the first step towards achieving a more sustainable healthcare system in Gaza. Let us continue to support the wonderful actions of the volunteer medial teams and the PCRF for creating an efficient model for providing vital medical care for children that need it.

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The medical team is comprised of nine-members team of doctors and nurses from Italy, supported by a great local anesthesiologist from Palestine, is led by Dr. Stefano Luisi, the team includes Palestinian anesthesiologist Dr. Hassan Ismail, intensivist/anesthesiologist Dr. Paolo del Sarto, intesivists Dr. Piergiorgio Setti, Dr. Simonetta Maghelli and Dr. Alessandra Napoleone, perfusionist Marco Tiddia, nurse Giuseppina Dolfi and surgeon Dr. Corrado Tramontin. Once the team set up in the European Gaza Hospital, pre-surgery screening procedures were conducted on 8 children.

The team has successfully operated on three children, to date, on the 7th and 8th of October 2013; Mohammed Ahmed – 11 days old from Rafah, who suffered from the coarctation of aorta and two children suffering from ventricular septal defects (VSD) including 10 month old Ahmed Abu Daqqa from Khan Younis. The children are all recovering well.

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The project was only made possible thanks to the wonderful efforts of the volunteer doctors, nurses and surgical team members on the ground in Gaza, the PCRF for creating the platform to do this and Cycling4Gaza supporters and cyclists for their unwavering contribution to our cause.

How you can help:

  • Share: Help us raise awareness by sharing our posts on Facebook, Twitter, Email..etc
  • Donate
  • Volunteer: Contribute directly on the ground or through various activities. Email us on info@cycling4gaza.com to sign up
  • Follow: @Cycling4Gaza on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
  • Hashtag: #Cycling4Gaza, #thePCRF, #REACHGaza, #C4G2013 on any information you feel is relevant
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Team Arrival in Berlin Airport – Let the Journey Begin

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Day 1 – Cycling off from Hamburg onto Wismar

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Day 1 – Pit Stop for a Photo Op

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Day 2 – Wismar to Muritz, the Cyclists are feeling the pain of endurance cycling – plus that sign should say Day 2 (that’s what you get for 6 am wake ups)

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Day 2 – Cycling in the Rain, ain’t nothing like it

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Day 3 – Group formation looking good, posing for the camera

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Day 3 – Last 30 km to go, pit stop to pick up friends and family to cycle with us into Berlin

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Day 3 – Arrival at the Brandenburg Tor, woo woo!

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Day 3 – Photo Op with the VIPs

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Day 3 – Team C4G and Prostyle, could not have done it without you

We would like to thank ICON, a young energetic consulting company, for supporting a project which will alleviate the suffering of thousands of children in Gaza. ICON’s Silver sponsorship of the 2013 Cycling Challenge will be used for the REACH Gaza project in partnership with the PCRF; providing children in Gaza with the required medical aid they require.

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A brief note on ICON and its Founder:

ICON is a management consulting firm and a leading advisor on business performance and strategy. Identifying potential and helping our clients deliver high performance is ICON’s specialty.  ICON is no ordinary Management Consultancy. Our team is made up of business leaders, experts, and top-tier practitioners who have personally designed and implemented, tried and tested the solutions we offer.

The comprehensive services of ICON are designed to ‘jump start’ businesses and corporations into delivering high performance.  From Consulting, to Training, to Coaching, each service line builds our clients’ capabilities and increases their bench strength and competitive edge.

ICON’s profound understanding of industry, business and professional needs is built on a foundation of 250 years combined experience in our different fields of practice. Strong roots in the Gulf and wider Middle East – allied to a global ‘think tank’ of industry expertise – puts the best regional and international brains at our client’s disposal.

Principle and founder of ICON, Salma Sakhnini graduated with an MBA from Yale University and holds the Master License for 360 Solutions for the GCC and is a Certified Executive Coach. In addition to ICON, Salma also founded and managed an industrial manufacturing business. She previously held a number of senior leadership positions including, working as Vice President with Citibank and as Chief Operating Officer with Rasmala Investments.

Salma is renowned for being the ‘Strategist for Success’ and is an active member of the community.  She consults for the public sector in the Gulf Region – actively working with and coaching reform and strategy teams – and has lectured at the American University of Dubai. She is a speaker at various regional and international conferences and held executive workshops on numerous topics including Leadership, Delivering Performance, Quality, and Six Sigma.  She has served as a “Judge” on the Dubai Quality Award and is a member of several Advisory Boards in the region.

39 individuals successfully cycled over 400 km from Hamburg to Berlin in 3 days in support of the REACH Gaza project. The stories are plenty with many to be shared soon. We have currently raised over 88% of our fundraising target; reaching $204,305.3. This was only possible thanks to the efforts of our cyclists, sponsors and supporters, we appreciate everything you have done for C4G, the PCRF and the REACH Gaza project.

Joining with Friends and Family before cycling into Berlin

Joining with Friends and Family before cycling into Berlin

The REACH Gaza project is under way; hundreds of children have been identified around Gaza and are now in the process of being linked to the required form of treatment. The database software is also being developed providing accurate and up to date patient data for doctors, donors and health care facilities. This system will create a simple and effective method for identifying children that require medical care in Gaza and providing the treatment required. It will also enable individuals to monitor the improvements in individual patients and in the overall provision of health care in Gaza. The REACH Gaza projects aims to ensure that every child has access to one of his or hers basic rights; which in turn will help them lead happy and healthy lives. It is your support that is making this happen.

WOO WOO! We arrived!

WOO WOO! We arrived!

Stayed tuned over the coming weeks for updates on the REACH Gaza project in addition to various and hopefully hilarious cyclist testimonials.

Continue to support us:

  • Share: Help us raise awareness by sharing our posts on Facebook, Twitter, Email..etc
  • Donate
  • Volunteer: Contribute directly on the ground or through various activities. Email us on info@cycling4gaza.com to sign up
  • Follow: @Cycling4Gaza on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
  • Hashtag: #Cycling4Gaza, #thePCRF, #REACHGaza, #C4G2013 on any information you feel is relevant

Day 2 done! We’re now resting in Muritz after a very long day of rain and pedalling 135km. Thank you to everyone for your fantastic messages of support. Keep them coming! Keep sharing our news and spreading the word in your networks. We have raised over $160,000 (£100,000) so far for the PCRF and working hard to hit our target of $230,000. Still taking donations here: www.pcrf.net/cycling4gaza

Tomorrow we will cycle a final 100km to reach Berlin. Until then, enjoy the photos!

Morning aches and pains, getting ready to get back on the bike..

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Awareness-raising flyers we are handing out along the way for any curious Germans..

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And they’re off!

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Happy faces in the rain..

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C4G 2013 takes off from Hamburg

tamara —  September 19, 2013 — Leave a comment

45 of us are on our bikes from Hamburg to Berlin in support of the PCRF. 74 km covered so far. Rain and sun and cloud and blue sky all rolled into one. Now leaving Lubeck and heading towards Wismar where we will spend the night.

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Keep following our progress here and on Facebook and Twitter. And help us spread the word in your social media channels!

Cycling4Gaza will be screening Oscar nominated documentary “5 Broken Cameras” on September 7th at 7 PM at The Fridge in Dubai.

“5 Broken Cameras” is a Palestinian-Israeli-French production and is directed by Palestinian Emad Burnat and Israeli Guy Davidi.

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The film is a chronological collection of the series of events that surrounded the weekly protest at the village of Bil’in against the expansion of Israeli settlements and the Israeli separation barrier. The narration is done by Burnat and thefilm focuses on the personal stories key people in the village lived within their roles to protect the ownership and access to their farming lands.

The film’s title refers to the number of cameras owned by Burnat and were broken by Israeli forces during the five years over which the film was shot. Each camera tells a different story according to the co-director.

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XID_UuxiGxM

Nominee: 2012 Academy Award Best Documentary Feature
Winner: 2012 World Cinema Directing Award: Documentary
Winner: 2011 idfa Special Jury Award and Audience Award

The film will be preceded with a short presentation about Cycling4Gaza and the PCRF’s REACHGaza

Location:

The Fridge
Map: http://tinyurl.com/oa7rhb8
Please use this map (as opposed to directions from Facebook) as it is more accurate.

Food:

Moti Roti will be catering their famous Roti Wraps and skinny
Lassis (smoothies) at the venue.

Admission is free. Donations are welcome.
This is a public event. Feel free to bring friends and family.