when plastic makes all the difference


After finding the nylon warehouse, Nassim (a friend helping me out with translations and logistics), a worker, and I returned to Mohammad Kahawish’s house to lay plastic sheeting over his shabby roof. Kahawish really needs a house renovation, and the pressing problem of the many cracked walls and breaches between wall and ceiling needs to be addressed.

But the siege is still on and cement is still unavailable. These major reconstructions and repairs won’t happen for a long time, just as the thousands of houses needing to be re-built won’t be so until Egypt and Israel allow in building materials.

The temporary fix for the Kahawish family was to address their leakage problem and try to seal up their roof. The easiest and really only solution now was simply to lay plastic sheeting over the tin roof.

The job took just over an hour, Nassim’s family friend volunteering his time in a gesture of goodwill to the elderly family.


Mohammad Kahawish is completely charming, a grandfather type I would adopt if that were possible or if I had money to support their family with.

Fortunately, others have come through, as with a donor from the UK who has already sent a donation to Mohammad’s family.

I’m continuing to look into what aid possibilities exist here already for Mohammad’s family and those in similar situations. But, while I am here on the ground, and while the chaos of post-war on Gaza has lessened, it is still very confusing and difficult to know who is providing aid and to whom.

For the time, I am extremely grateful for the donations I’ve received, as are the people I’ve passed them along to.


*Mohammad’s wife and one of their daughters




*the nylon warehouse suffered bombing during Israel’s war on Gaza. Sohail Abu Haleema, who donated the plastic sheeting to Mohammad Kahawish, lost over half of his goods due to Israeli army shelling of his warehouse.


*bundle of nylon for covering the leaky roof












4 thoughts on “when plastic makes all the difference

  1. Mohammad looks like such a sweet man, and his wife like a lot of fun despite their terribly difficult circumstances. Here in Montréal, we have not forgotten the people of Gaza. Land Day soon (symbolic planting of an olive tree, though obviously the ground is still frozen here despite nice weather) and then fighting for the Galloway speech to go forward.

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