Twenty-two young writers from the Gaza Strip have been accepted into the second “class” of “We Are Not Numbers,” a project of the Euro-Mediterranean Monitor for Human Rights that pairs them with published authors from around the world to better share their stories.
The project was initiated a year ago, with 35 young Palestinian writers from both the Gaza Strip and Lebanon, and mentors from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. More than 100 stories have been published thus far, both on WeAreNotNumbers.org and by a variety of websites and news services.
" Humanizing and publicizing both the suffering and the talents of Palestinians is central to mobilizing public opinion and achieving justice," Ramy Abdu, PhD, Euro-Med Monitor chair, told the new group. "We Are Not Numbers is as much a part of our mission to advance human rights as are reports on violations in the midst of massacres.”
Mohammed Omer, a Gaza-based journalist and author of the recently published “Shell-Shocked,” also participated in the orientation. He shared what he learned by studying media at New York’s Colombia University, as well as by writing for a variety of international outlets. "Learning to prove what you say—to show, not just tell—through small details is what makes a great storyteller who can touch hearts as well as minds," Omer said. "
We Are Not Numbers was founded by Pam Bailey, a Washington, DC-based freelance journalist and nonprofit communicator who also serves as international secretary for Euro-Med. She has recruited mentors ranging from Susan Abulhawa, author of Mornings in Jenin, to Miko Peled, author of The General’s Son.
Managing the project in Gaza is Mohammed Al-Hammami, who has recently returned to the Strip after earning his degree in public policy and government from the United States.