Yara M Asi

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The Trauma Experienced in Gaza Is Beyond PTSD

“We will die. All of us. Hopefully soon enough to stop the suffering that we are living through every single second”. Those words were sent in a text last week by a physician working for Doctors Without Borders in the southern Gaza Strip. And it is far from an uncommon feeling shared by those struggling to survive and care for one another in Gaza these days.

What would we call this feeling from the perspective of Western medicine? Suicidal ideation? Depression? Post-traumatic stress disorder? Whatever it is, we are taught that such thoughts are abnormal and require medical intervention.

When the bombing finally stops, the rebuilding of Gaza’s homes, schools, hospitals and essential infrastructure will begin — a process Gazans are extremely familiar with at this point.…  Seguir leyendo »

The closed main entrance to the city of Nablus in the West Bank, Oct. 25, 2022. Samar Hazboun for The New York Times

This year, during the lead-up to the Israeli elections, I returned to my hometown, Nablus, in the occupied West Bank, to work on a research project and spend time with my family there. I had received a grant to study the impact on Palestinians’ health of Israel’s restrictions on Palestinians’ movement — such as checkpoints, travel permits (including those required for medical care), the separation wall spanning the West Bank and road closures.

My previous work and the existing research done on Palestinian health and well-being gave me a good sense of what I would find: multiple burdens in access to health care and predictably high rates of depression, stress, anxiety and insecurity.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘While Covid-19 did not create health disparities between Israelis and Palestinians, it certainly highlighted them – and offered a window into how decades of occupation and discrimination have expanded the gaps between the populations.’ Photograph: Mohammed Saber/EPA

The US media has widely lauded Israel’s vaccine success - as a country in a “post-pandemic future” of concerts and indoor dining; as a country that could teach the United States a few lessons in pandemic management; as a country that, despite being in the midst of a contentious election, leaned on its robust universal public health system to vaccinate as many people as possible. However, many of these vaccine success stories mention the issue of Palestinian vaccines in passing, as an unresolved “controversy,” “debate,” or just another instance of Palestinians and Israelis being unable to agree on anything.

The difference couldn’t be more stark – two populations living under one regime, heading in opposite directions in the struggle with Covid-19.…  Seguir leyendo »