Palestinians have relied on mutual solidarity and support to overcome a long history of injustices and grief.
By Rana Nashashibi | Truthout | May 10, 2020
With the spread of COVID-19, collective solidarity is on display across the occupied Palestinian territory.
As a Palestinian woman from Jerusalem and a mental health professional, I am both treating and experiencing the extensive impact and far-reaching ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Across the world, communities are dealing with the unbearable pain of death and serious illness, compounded by not being able to comfort or even mourn the victims. On a global scale, people are facing what for many are unprecedented restrictions on freedoms, insecurity and anxiety about the future.
In these testing times, I feel compelled to share our special, decades-long Palestinian caregivers’ experience with dispossession, displacement, denial of basic rights, uncertainty and visceral grief while still maintaining a sense of joy, beauty and finding collective responses that give us realistic hope.
While COVID-19 is forcing millions around the world to make impossible, unfair choices between maintaining their own safety and providing essential needs for their loved ones, this has also been a time of extraordinary courage, resilience and solidarity. Severely overstretched health care workers caring for increasing numbers of COVID-19 patients use ingenuity to overcome shortages of medical supplies, risking their own lives.
What has helped me and my colleagues most in facing multiple crises was mutual solidarity and support.