Alasdiqaa Association for People of Special Needs, in partnership with PalThink for Strategic Studies and FXB France, organized a sports day for girls with disabilities, during which a basketball match took place, in the Rafah Services Club, in the presence of dignitaries and athletes and with a broad participation of citizens, within the project “The Palestinian Consortium for Non-violence: towards a regional movement on Non-violence” which seeks to integrate and empower marginalized groups in society and spread the philosophy and culture of nonviolence as a lifestyle.
The coordinator of initiative, Sami Barhoum, said: “Today we open the basketball game for women with disabilities as part of an initiative we implement in partnership with Pal-Think for Strategic Studies to improve the policy of nonviolence, so sport has a great psychological and social impact, and it is an important entrance to integrate and rehabilitate people with disabilities in society.”
Mr. Omar Shaban, Founder and Director of Pal-Think, stated “Pal Think is a Palestinian institution that works with 57 institutions in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and gives local institutions small financial grants to implement projects and initiatives related to community development because we firmly believe in working with community institutions.” He added: “I am happy and proud of this event, which is not found in some Arab countries. It is true that Rafah is marginalized, but it offers beautiful initiatives.”
He continued, “We cannot achieve any progress in societal development or solve the problem of unemployment, poverty and social issues that are eating away at Palestinian society, especially in the Gaza Strip in light of the existence of the Palestinian division. The situation of the West Bank may differ from the status of the Gaza Strip, but no less than it is, there is a wall “There is a settlement and there is an ongoing process of Judaization. Therefore, we demand the Fatah and Hamas movements to end the division, to form a government of national unity and to release the detainees.”
A basketball match took place between Al-Faresat and Al-Jazira team – all players with disabilities – with encouragement from the public. The match ended for Al-Farsat team with ten goals against eight for the Al-Jazira, and the winners were honored and handed over a sports cup.
The player in the Al-Faresat Team, Wissam Al-Dalu (23), said: “I have been playing basketball for five years. I feel excited when I play it because this game integrates us in society, and we hope that there will be similar initiatives every day.”
As for the player in the Al-Jazira team, Iman Fleet (47 years), she said: “I adore basketball, and I dream about it and I hope to represent Palestine internationally in basketball competitions”. “Disability is not in body, but in mind” She added.