Our main presentation today is Nancy Murray's reportback on her 13th visit to Gaza in April. She went in order to be involved in the 6th international conference entitled “Mental Health and Human Rights” last April, sponsored by the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP).
A remarkable feature was its venue, Gaza City, which Israel has long decreed off-limits for international visitors. This is a tall order in the Gaza Strip’s crushing conditions. But Dr. Yasser Abu Jamei – who lost 28 members of his extended family in a single missile strike during Israel’s 2014 military onslaught – is determined to build on the legacy of the late Dr. Eyad el Sarraj, who founded the GCMHP in 1990 to instill hope and heal the spirit of a people who were exposed to violence and the loss of freedom and human rights on a daily basis. “Planting hope is our main duty.” So declared Abu Jamei, now head of GCMHP, during his April 19th keynote address to the 800 people who attended. For nearly a decade,