From Gaza: 24 March 2020
For audio only, find the podcast on SoundCloud.
This podcast takes you to several cities/countries affected by Covid-19 to discuss social, economic, and political challenges facing their societies, with emphasis on the most vulnerable groups and on what this pandemic reveals about the human condition (wow, big phrase). Based on personal and incisive conversations with various interlocutors on location, we hope both to learn from others and to provide some solace as we address how we are collectively experiencing and dealing with similar challenges.
We will be speaking with our guests, one or several at a time, via Skype, and will try to have brief, informative, and non-draining calls within 20-30 minutes.
Look out for upcoming episodes in the coming week(s) from Dublin, Cairo, Iran, San Francisco, Vancouver, and more.
[Date: 26 March 2020]
- Total confirmed cases: 9
- Total deaths: 0
- Total cases per 1 million people: 4
- Total deaths per 1 million people: 0
- First cases recorded on March 21.
- As of March 23, only 200 testing kits are available.
- Only about 99 people tested so far.
- Only 3 ventilators per 100,000 in Gaza.
○ By contrast, in the US and Israel there are 52 and 40 ventilators per 100,000 people, respectively, which has been deemed vastly insufficient.
- Around 30 hospitals and major clinics, providing an average of only 1.3 beds per 1,000 people.
- While other countries have emphasized the need to wash hands frequently, Gazans are worried about having enough water to drink.
○ 90% of the water in Gaza has been deemed unfit for human consumption.
- Almost impossible to quarantine people in Gaza due to population density.
○ 113,990 refugees are living in Jabalia camp which covers an area of only 0.54 square miles, making it impossible for people to maintain physical distance from each other, let alone effectively carry out a quarantine.
○ In Beach Camp, 85,628 refugees reside in an area of 0.2 square miles.
■ Beach Camp has only one medical center and one food distribution center servicing the entire population.
- Schools have been converted quarantine quarters, with 8 people per classroom and about 200 sharing a bathroom.
Issam A. Adwan, the project manager for We Are Not Numbers, is a trained translator/interpreter, journalist and English teacher. In 2019, he was chosen by The Carter Center to be the first Palestinian independent observer for the Tunisian elections.
Salam Khashan is a family doctor in the Palestinian primary health care. She holds a bachelor’s degree in medicine and surgery from Ain Shams University, Egypt.
Bassam Haddad is Director of the Middle East and Islamic Studies Program and Associate Professor at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. He is the author of Business Networks in Syria: The Political Economy of Authoritarian Resilience (Stanford University Press, 2011) and co-editor of the forthcoming book, A Critical Political Economy of the Middle East (Forthcoming, Stanford University Press, 2021). Bassam serves as Founding Editor of the Arab Studies Journal and the Knowledge Production Project. He is co-producer/director of the award-winning documentary film, About Baghdad, and director of the series Arabs and Terrorism. Bassam is Co-Founder/Editor of Jadaliyya Ezine and Executive Director of the Arab Studies Institute. He serves on the Board of the Arab Council for the Social Sciences and is Executive Producer of Status Audio Magazine. Bassam is Co-Project Manager for the Salon Syria Project and Director of the Middle East Studies Pedagogy Initiative (MESPI). He received MESA’s Jere L. Bacharach Service Award in 2017 for his service to the profession. Currently, Bassam is working on his second Syria book tittled Understanding The Syrian Tragedy: Regime, Opposition, Outsiders (forthcoming, Stanford University Press).
Noura Erakat is an Assistant Professor at Rutgers University in the Department of Africana Studies and the Program in Criminal Justice where she teaches topics such as human rights law, humanitarian law, national security law, refugee law, social justice, and critical race theory. Her scholarly interests include humanitarian law, human rights law, refugee law, and national security law. She earned her BA and JD from Berkeley Law School and her LLM in National Security from the Georgetown University Law Center. She is a Co-Founder/Editor of Jadaliyya e-zine. Prior to beginning her appointment at GMU, Noura was a Freedman Teaching Fellow at Temple Law School and has taught International Human Rights Law and the Middle East at Georgetown University since 2009.