Reference : V-P-IL-E-03249
Date : 04/2019
Caption : Gaza city, Sheikh Radwan district. This 18-year-old young man became a double amputee at 17. After the injury, he had to give up his dream of becoming a journalist.
Photographer : SYNENKO, Alyona
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC
Description : ICRC web site, article of 08.07.2019: The ICRC supports a physical rehabilitation centre in Gaza where amputees receive physical rehabilitation, mobility devices and psychological support. Furthermore, the ICRC’s microeconomic grants help people with disabilities find a source of income.

Due to a series of border demonstrations in Gaza that started in March 2018 and lasted for over a year, 136 people lost limbs. Among a population of 2 million, there are around 1,600 amputees in Gaza. Half of its workforce is unemployed, and the competition on the job market is fierce. People with disabilities find themselves at a disadvantage, as roads and buildings are not wheelchair accessible and many available jobs require physical strength. The situation is particularly dramatic for the young. At 68 per cent, the unemployment rate for Gaza university graduates is among the highest in the world. In the face of these grim statistics, young amputees in Gaza fight against trauma and isolation, earn diplomas and expand their skills to build a better future against all odds.

Abdallah became a double amputee at 17, the age when most if his peers are full of hopes and dreams about the future. After the injury, Abdallah had to give up his dream of becoming a journalist. "To succeed as a journalist, you have to move around a lot and be very fast," he said explaining his decision. Moving on a wheelchair around Gaza, where many roads are unpaved, and elevators stand still most of the time for lack of electricity, is a daily challenge. Abdallah insisted on his class being moved to the ground level of the building to be able to continue attending school. The most difficult thing for Abdallah was to be dependent on others: "Sometimes, I forget about the amputation and make a spontaneous move," he said. Psychological and social isolation is another challenge he must overcome, as he often feels that other people blame him for what happened. Abdallah dreams of receiving prosthetic limbs and enrolling in a university, although he is convinced that his chances of getting a job afterwards are very low.
Resolution : 5272x3515
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : colour