Palestinian families and impoverished people throughout the Middle East suffer daily because political forces ignore their existence, or worse seek to increase their suffering through violence, discrimination and harassment. We cannot predict what the future holds, but we know these families who struggle to survive in the best of times could face even harsher conditions.
We must consider the suffering of innocent families throughout the Middle East and help put their lives ahead of the politics that are keeping them down.
ANERA is helping men and women in the Middle East persevere through difficult economic times. We are creating jobs that rebuild essential infrastructure, such as schools, health clinics, and water wells. We are delivering job training programs and helping entrepreneurs set up small local businesses.
Consider the tiny Palestinian village of Qabalan, located on one of the many steep, rolling hills in the eastern West Bank more than a dozen miles from any town.
On one of these hills, inside a humble kiosk, hidden in a back room, stands a woman named Miyesa, who is squeezing lemons.
She stands next to half a dozen women squeezing lemons and bottling the concentrate.
"It's good to be here because this cooperative is really helping women. My husband died last year and we are in a very bad financial situation. I have four kids in university, so a few weeks ago I started coming here."
Miyesa, 48, has never had a formal job before.
When women like Miyesa have the resources and tools to succeed, it means so much more than just a job. Her power is restored. The effects resonate long after the completion of one job or one project thanks to each woman's increased self-reliance and determination to improve her own life and the lives of her family.
In the face of growing unrest, compassion should not be controversial. Take action and sign the Humanitarian Pledge.
I believe that easing a mother's suffering, caused by war and poverty, should not be controversial—it is our shared responsibility.