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The Middle East Children’s Alliance Celebrates 25 Years of Work with Event with Noam Chomsky : Amps Up Campaign for Humanitarian Relief for Refugees
BERKELEY - May 1 - May 1st, 2013 marks the 25th Anniversary of the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA), an organization founded by Barbara Lubin and Howard Levine in 1988 after Barbara returned from her first trip to Palestine/Israel at the beginning of the first Intifada. She had witnessed the grave injustice, poverty and violence of the Israeli occupation paid for with US tax dollars.
MECA immediately began sending shipments of medical aid to the West Bank and Gaza and built a dental clinic in a Palestinian refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. In 1991, MECA’s relief work quickly expanded to Iraq during the Gulf War and continued providing aid during the thirteen years of economic sanctions, the 2003 War and for many years after. MECA has also worked in Lebanon, where they recently sent $225,000 in milk, baby cereal, blankets and other necessities to refugees from the war in Syria taking shelter in Lebanon.
“We founded MECA 25 years ago today. I wish our work was done and the children of Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon were living in freedom with a bright future ahead of them, In fact, we are expanding our efforts to respond to the dramatic need I just witnessed in refugee camps in Lebanon. The humanitarian catastrophes have only grown during my time working in the Middle East, and this is not by accident,” stated founder Barbara Lubin. “US foreign policy consistently uses brute economic and military force against civilians and the consequences of these actions will be felt for generations.”
MECA is marking its 25 years of support for children and families in Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon with a gala event Wednesday, May 8th , in Oakland CA, featuring founding advisors Noam Chomsky and Holly Near. Noam Chomsky is a world-renowned political theorist, philosopher, historian, author, activist, & MIT Linguistics Professor Emeritus. Noam has authored over 100 books and visited Gaza in 2012.
In MECA’s 25 years they have conducted and continue numerous projects, including:
- Providing $19 million dollars in emergency humanitarian aid
- Building dozens of water treatment units at UN schools and kindergartens in Gaza
- Providing university scholarships for hundreds of students
- Supporting dozens of local partners who are working to improve the lives of children through health care, education and trauma intervention.
- Hosting hundreds of educational events, concerts, public speaking and media appearances to educate people in the US about the true costs of war and occupation