Witness Magazine

Witness is MAP's supporter newsletter. Published every six months, its purpose is to thank donors for their support, to keep them informed on key issues in the region and to update them on our work.

Autumn 2022: MAP's medical missions: Building skills and changing lives

In this edition of Witness, you can learn about the significant impact of a new MAP-funded breast cancer unit in the West Bank and how our assistance to limb reconstruction services in Gaza is securing positive futures for patients. You can also hear from a young Palestinian refugee about the importance of MAP’s support for mental health and psychosocial services in Lebanon, and how we are continuing to advocate and campaign for the rights to health and dignity of every Palestinian.

Read the autumn 2022 edition of Witness.


Spring 2022: On the frontline: Supporting Palestinian healthcare workers

In this edition of Witness, you can read about the impact of MAP’s work in Gaza, one year on from the most severe attack on its population since 2014. You can learn about how we are helping provide a safe space and psychosocial support to women experiencing discrimination and oppression in occupied East Jerusalem, and how, with MAP’s support, people with disabilities in Gaza are building sustainable futures for them and their families. You can also read about our ongoing emergency assistance for Palestinian refugees struggling to access basic needs during Lebanon’s economic crisis.

Read the spring 2022 edition of Witness.


Autumn 2021: Our emergency response to crises across Palestine and Lebanon

In this edition of Witness, you can read about how MAP was able to ramp up our emergency response on the ground in Gaza. We describe how we are providing psychosocial support and a safe space for self-expression for young people growing up in the violent and discriminatory context of East Jerusalem. You can also learn about our vital assistance to Palestinian
refugees amid Lebanon’s deepening economic crisis.

“Despite the host of tragedies, there are reasons for hope. More people than ever are beginning to talk about Palestine. Celebrities and world leaders are increasingly speaking out in favour of justice. MAP will continue to shine a spotlight on how Palestinians’ rights to health and dignity are violated and, with your support, build on this momentum to make real change happen.”

Read the autumn 2021 edition of Witness.

Spring 2021: How your support made a difference in 2020

In this edition of Witness, you can read about how you have helped make a real impact on the lives of Palestinians. You can hear from Palestinian doctors and nurses about how you have supported their battle against the pandemic by helping us provide the personal protective equipment, disinfectants, and vital medicines and equipment to treat those who have fallen ill from COVID-19.

You can also read how you are helping to tackle the secondary effects of the pandemic on mental health and ensuring the continuation of essential women and children’s health. We also highlight the vital work of people with disabilities in Gaza, advocating their rights and those of their broader communities with your support.


Autumn 2020: Global pandemic adds to Palestinian health woes

In this edition of Witness, you can read about MAP's unprecedented COVID-19 emergency response, and learn how we have adapted our programmes to keep services running and people safe. 

"The global coronavirus pandemic has underlined how reliant we are on strong, functional healthcare systems and public institutions. Palestinians have long faced many barriers to accessing healthcare and attaining a life of health and dignity. The coronavirus pandemic has reinforced these challenges. 

"For the first time, MAP is having to respond to a major crisis affecting all our areas of operation simultaneously."


Spring 2020: Supporting Palestinian health in the face of new injustices

In this edition of Witness , you can read about our vital work, including how we are providing Gaza’s hospitals with urgently needed medicines and supplies, supporting community midwives to care for Palestinian mothers and babies in Lebanon and helping to bring a brighter future for the children of East Jerusalem. You can also read how we are highlighting the root causes of the needs that our programmes seek to address, and advocating for political action to tackle them.

"This year serves as a stark reminder of how important MAP’s work continues to be. Since 2012, the UN has warned that Gaza would be unliveable by 2020. Under illegal blockade and closure, it has a collapsing economy, a de-developed health sector and scarce drinkable water. Palestinians in Gaza are cut off from the rest of the world, while many patients are denied exit permits for treatment and health workers are prevented from traveling outside for training. At MAP, we believe Gaza is indeed unliveable. For every family without nutritious food, every patient denied access to adequate treatment, every young person denied the opportunity to work and shape their own destiny, there is a gaping lack of health and dignity." 

Summer 2019: Supporting Palestinian health workers in the face of crisis 

“Even before the protests began, we were deeply concerned about the potential collapse of Gaza’s health sector. Now, hospitals are hanging on through international support, amid the severe strain of so many injuries”, writes CEO Aimee Shalan. In this edition of Witness, read how MAP is helping to avert catastrophe in Gaza and develop new programmes of support, including a neurosurgery project.

You can also read how US aid cuts are undermining the rights Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and our continued work to stand proudly with these communities. In the West Bank, life under perpetual occupation is compounding common healthcare challenges. Learn about one of MAP’s key projects, which is developing a system of family medicine to improve efficiency and patient outcomes.

Winter 2018: Saving life and limb in Gaza

In this edition of Witness, you can learn how MAP has been responding to the humanitarian emergency in Gaza and, in particular, how we are helping the health sector to treat complex and horrific limb injuries. 

Since 30 March 2018, Palestinians in Gaza have been participating in widespread civil society-organised demonstrations, known as the “Great March of Return”. Israeli forces have responded with shocking violence, killing scores of Palestinians, including over 40 children, and injuring more than 24,000. Thousands of patients have sustained gunshot injuries, mainly to the limbs, and an estimated 1,500 have devastating, disabling wounds and need specialist limb reconstruction treatment and long-term rehabilitation. 

This issue includes words from Wafa Kanan, MAP’s Project Officer in Gaza, who describes her pride in the delivering of our emergency response.

Summer 2018: Seventy years of displacement

On 15 May 2018, Palestinian refugees across the Middle East, and the wider world, will mark 70 years of the displacement and dispossession that resulted from the tragedy known as the ‘Nakba’ (the 'Catastrophe'). This issue helps commemorate that loss, and includes words from our colleagues, Dr Ali Dakwar in Lebanon and Amal Zaqout in Gaza – both from refugee families. The health and dignity of Palestinian refugees obstructed from returning to their homes must not be forgotten and MAP will continue to support the realisation of their right to return in line with international law.

You can also read about our work combatting malnutrition in Gaza; providing healthcare to threatened Bedouin communities in the West Bank and supporting people with disabilities in Lebanon.

Winter 2017: Gaza in darkness 

Gaza in darkness“Gaza is in the grip of its worst humanitarian emergency outside of periods of direct military offensive” writes CEO Aimee Shalan. Electricity blackouts have reduced vital hospital services and zero-stock supplies of essential medication have fallen to below 50%. In this issue of Witness, read about the humanitarian emergency gripping Gaza this winter and what MAP is doing to help, including how we protect the lives of at-risk new-born babies.

You’ll hear from the Manager of Emergency and Medical Training Programmes in Gaza, Mahmoud Shalabi, for a first-hand account of the problems Palestinians continue to face there. Also in this edition, you can read about our breast cancer programme in the West Bank and our psychosocial care programme in Lebanon, a vital way to address the repeated traumas Palestinians face. As always you will be updated on our what our supporters have been up to and find out how to get involved with MAP, helping us to help Palestinians in need this winter.

Summer 2017: Time for action

This issue, the first from our new CEO Aimee Shalan, comes at a critical time, as Palestinians mark the 50th anniversary of the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and the 10th anniversary of the blockade and closure of Gaza. Inside, we report on what this means for Palestinians, and ways you can get involved to support their rights to health and dignity. 

You can also read about our work bringing burns treatment closer to patients in Hebron who would otherwise have to travel many hours to receive critical care; the training MAP provides to medics in Gaza who are often denied opportunities to travel outside to improve their skills; and how our team of community midwives are caring for the youngest members of Lebanon's Palestinian refugee communities. We also have a feature about a recent trip to the West Bank with MAP taken by UK comedians Jeremy Hardy and Imran Yusuf, and our Give it up for Palestine comedy fundraiser in February this year.

Winter 2017: 50 years of occupation

2017 marks a number of troubling anniversaries for the Palestinian people, including 10 years of blockade in Gaza, 50 years since the start of the occupation, and 100 years since the signing of the Balfour Declaration. In this issue, read about how MAP is supporting healthcare for Bedouin communities living at the sharp end of the occupation, and updates from our Limb Reconstruction project in Gaza. We also report from our programmes in Lebanon, where MAP is giving hope to children with disabilities living in the Palestinian refugee camps.

You can also read about how you can get involved in our campaigning and fundraising activities for the anniversary year, including upcoming events and the 2017 Cycle for Palestine bike ride from London to Glasgow!

Summer 2016: Displaced by war in Syria

In this edition, we look at how five years of civil war in Syria have affected the country's Palestinian refugee population, and the hardships many have faced when fleeing to Lebanon's already overcrowded Palestinian refugee camps. We focus on the support MAP and our partners have provided to these double-displaced refugees through our Mental Health and Psychosocial Support project and the Tertiary Care programme.

Elsewhere, we report back on MP and breast cancer surgeon Dr Philippa Whitford's first return to Gaza with MAP in 25 years, and our progress developing family medicine practice in the West Bank. We also highlight how restrictions on Palestinian ambulance access into East Jerusalem is endangering Palestinian lives in the West Bank.

Winter 2016: Palestine on the edge

As we head into winter, Palestine is at boiling point and the situation for Palestinians across the Middle East continues to worsen. The recent outbreak of violence across the West Bank and East Jerusalem has left dozens of Palestinians and several Israelis dead. In Gaza, tens of thousands of people remain homeless after last year’s war, many living amidst the ruins of their former homes. In Lebanon’s camps, refugees from Syria huddle in garages and icy shipping containers.

Against the backdrop of such challenges, in this issue of Witness we reflect on some of the ways in which we continue to respond to crises and health challenges for Palestinians. We also showcase MAP's celebrity supporters who stand #WithGaza, and highlight the inspirational stories of our Asfari-MAP scholarship winners. Don't forget to check out our amazing infographic illustrating MAP's achievements in a year of responding to the 2014 attacks on Gaza - all made possible thanks to supporters like you!

Summer 2015: Gaza 6 Months On

Witness Summer 2015 CoverThe devastating effects of Israel’s military operation last summer continue to take their toll on the people of Gaza. Little has changed 6 months on despite the promises of generous funding and easier access. Tens of thousands of people remain homeless and displaced by the conflict. 

At MAP, we have continued to work tirelessly to ensure that the people of Gaza receive the medicines and treatment they need. Despite the many difficulties, we’re continuing to make a real difference. In this issue we highlight the work of our medical teams travelling to Gaza to provide vital surgery to those worst affected by the conflict. We also look at the life-saving tertiary care MAP is providing to Palestinians fleeing the civil war in Syria which has now reached its fourth year.