Tribute to Dr. Eyad el Sarraj

Dr. el-Sarraj

Dr. el-Sarraj

A tribute in honor of the late Dr. Eyad el Sarraj was held in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on October 28, 2014. The tribute was co-sponsored by 23 organizations and attended by hundreds of people.

See the ‘Instilling Hope in Gaza’ program for a remembrance of Dr. el Sarraj.

The event in Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA, featured powerful images of the impact of Israel’s recent military onslaught, musicians, speakers, and a video address by Yasser Abu Jamei, the executive director of the Gaza Community Mental Health Program, who lost 28 family members in a single strike this summer.

Kinan Idnawi (oud) and Tareq Rantisi (percussion) accompany a slide presentation of images of Israel's summer attack on Gaza.

Kinan Idnawi (oud) and Tareq Rantisi (percussion) accompany a slide presentation of images of Israel’s summer attack on Gaza.

The link made by Eyad el Sarraj between mental health and human rights was a major theme of the event. In the months following Israel’s summer offensive the ongoing siege has deepened the crisis confronting the people of Gaza, as Sara Roy – a Senior Research Scholar at Harvard’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies who knew Dr. el Sarraj over three decades – describes in “Rebuilding Gaza needs freedom and normality – not just aid.”

Read Sara Roy’s tribute to her friend of 30 years, Eyad el Sarraj.

 

Archbishop Desmond Tutu sent the following message to the gathering:

Dear Friends, The horror and devastation of war is evident in the photographs captured on social

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

media and the news but the psychological trauma inflicted on all victims remain invisible to the world. Many victims suffer life-changing injuries or witnessed family members killed and homes, schools and mosques destroyed. PTSD increases with each cycle of violence. The legacy of Dr. Eyad el-Sarraj will continue in the Gaza Strip as long as organizations like the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme exist to help such victims, their staff caring for the psychologically wounded while often enduring similar trauma as those they treat. God is evident in Gaza, evident by the hearts and hands of those who spread God’s Grace and Mercy. God Bless You.

View the video message to the attendees at the tribute from Dr. Yasser Abujamei, Executive Director of the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme.

Video Address by Dr. Jamei