Archives For Palestine

Cycling4Gaza and the PCRF joined forces this year for the launch of the Gaza mental healthcare project.

Here are a few snippits of information regarding the project:

  1. Check out the video below to get some insight on the project. Ghozlan, one of the children from the screening tells her story and her subsequent experience in the mental wellness summer camps in Gaza this summer.


  2. Dr Bahar Hashemi, a pediatric psychiatrist based in the U.S., visited Gaza in order to develop the Gaza Mental Health Project in collaboration with the PCRF, CMBM and C4G. A Few Words from Bahar: “These two miracles, Yamen and Janna were pulled out of the rubble after their three level family home collapsed last year killing 19 of their family members, including their entire immediate family. They are now living with their uncle’s family in central Gaza. Their uncles wife was so happy to talk about yamans experience at the mental wellness summer camps, saying it was like “magic.” bringing joy to him and lifting his mood. In addition to some of the most beautiful kindest souls, I have been blown away by some of the most incredible mothers I have come across here in Gaza. When one of Yamans cousins teased him about not coming out of his mothers womb, he went to his uncles wife and asked if this was true. She said to him, yes that’s true but you both came out of my heart, and that is all that matters.”


  3. The valiant effort to heal ‘unimaginable’ levels of trauma among Gaza’s children – Annie Robbins, Mondoweiss – “As the devastation in Gaza continues unabated, teams of medical professionals work to combat the psychological impact on children raised in that densely populated and blockaded human laboratory. Many of those children have already lived through 3 major military offenses. I saw a photo today of some of those beautiful kids — visiting the graves of their fathers and brothers killed in Gaza during the summer slaughter of 2014 — and wondered how those kids were holding up.” Thank you Annie for continuing to draw awareness on the current situation in Gaza and the importance of providing support where we can.

  4. The PCRF Team in Gaza continue to work with the children to help alleviate the symptoms of PTSD. The team are a lively, energetic group who are passionate about their work to heal children in the face of such big challenges. As you can imagine, the team members have endured and witnessed unimaginable amounts of trauma and suffering, which has a direct impact on them in varying ways. The need for self-care and support from one another cannot be understated. Here are a few testimonials about their experience in the groups:

    “The skills provided me with serenity I’ve never felt before; meditation filled me with spirituality in my prayers, I felt like it was the first time I actually prayed!” – M.A.

    “It was a great chance for us as PCRF staff to know each other, the iceberg between us is destroyed and we can communicate and work with a new positive spirit.” – M.F

    “I’m pleased to be a part of such new, unique, and sophisticated training. I was able to discover my feelings. I’m ready to face problem and solve them. I needed this training; it helped me avoid negative thoughts and recharged me with cheerful thinking.” – A.G.


Check out our first newsletter of 2014!


This issues includes:

– A video from Steve Sosebee, the President and CEO of the PCRF

– A word from Tamara Ben Halim, Cycling4Gaza’s co-founder

– A story from Rami Zughayer, our first Palestinian cyclist from the West Bank, about the Germany cycle

– Updates on the REACH Gaza project from Zara Hannoun, lead organiser for Cycling4Gaza

Dear friends,

Happy new year. I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know where Cycling4Gaza is at during this exciting time, what we have achieved in the past year, and where we are headed in 2014.In 2013, Cycling4Gaza:

  • Identified a pioneering Gaza healthcare project run by the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF) and built a meaningful partnership with the PCRF
  • Raised over $215,000 for the PCRF’s REACH Gaza project
  • Organised and successfully completed its fifth cycling challenge through Germany with 39 people taking part, expanding its total number of people recruited and mobilised through cycling to 119
  • Reached thousands of people around the world through media coverage in various publications such as MBCThis Week in PalestineBarakabits, and Dubai Eye

Our  400km challenge from Hamburg to Berlin in September 2013 culminated at the gates to the Berlin Wall, with smiling faces and aching muscles. You can read more about the challenge from one of our cyclists, Rami Zughayar (scroll down).The openness of Berlin, a city with a complex history, the lack of walls, barriers, obstacles, served as a bittersweet reminder of what can be achieved, and of what yet needs to be achieved in Palestine, where a graffiti-covered wall painfully similar to that of the former wall that stood in the heart of Berlin, still stands today.A couple of the cyclists this year asked me “why Cycling4Gaza? Why not Cycling4Palestine?” Why Cycling4Gaza? Because, as far as we can see, Gaza needs it the most. Palestinians who live in the Gaza Strip have been made increasingly isolated from the world, and indeed from the rest of Palestine, so that families are constantly torn apart, and the Palestinian community has become entirely fragmented, with no sense of a whole.  And while the tide slowly turns and the international community begins to come round to the struggle of the Palestinians, while we are starting to hear the other side of the story that was neglected for so long, the story of Gaza remains left behind. The faces of Palestinians in Gaza, of human beings, are rarely ever seen, their voices rarely heard. So this is why we are cycling for Gaza. It is our job to build on Cycling4Gaza as a space that brings this story to life, that gives a different face to the misunderstood place that is the Gaza Strip. It is our job to continue doing something positive in Gaza’s name, to continue working on education and healthcare, to continue cycling and supporting Gaza’s most vulnerable and marginalised, to continue giving people all over the world an opportunity to be involved and make a positive contribution.Over the next couple of years we hope that our work will expand to include creating stronger ties with the Palestinian community in Gaza, directly involving them in our efforts and trying to find ways for more Palestinians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to cycle with us. It will expand to include outreach work that informs and educates people on the situation of the siege on Gaza, and it will continue to support sustainable social projects in the region through the mobilisation of volunteers and cyclists around the world.We are a small team of volunteers with big hopes. Alone we cannot achieve our ambitious goals. Your support has taken us this far, and we hope it will take us further and help to kickstart a promising 2014. Right now, through a few simple clicks, you can help us to expand our reach and grow our efforts:1. You can forward this newsletter on to ten friends who know nothing about Cycling4Gaza, better yet who know nothing about Gaza.

Encourage them to:
– Sign up to our mailing list (website)
– Join our Facebook page
– Follow us on Twitter

(And make sure you do the same!)

2. You can share our latest press release with your media contacts. The more we can talk publicly about Gaza the more people will hear us and the closer we are to our goal of informing and educating as many people as we can about the situation in the Gaza Strip.

Finally, if you would still like to donate, you can do so here:

I hope you enjoy the rest of this newsletter. I would like to thank you all once more for your incredible support, the cyclists for their superhuman efforts and achievements, the PCRF for their invaluable work in the Gaza Strip and Palestine at large and for the partnership they have fostered with us, our corporate sponsors for their generous support, and finally the Cycling4Gaza 2013 committee who worked tirelessly to make this another successful year. They are: Zara Hannoun, Mohammed Tahboub, Tala Fahoum, Natasha Hannoun and Tabrez Ahmad.

Stay tuned for updates as we get the ball rolling in 2014!

Warmest regards,


2013 Newsletter

Zara Hannoun —  June 20, 2013

Hey Everyone!

Check out our 2013 Newsletter

You can sign up for our 2013 cycling challenge by downloading the registration pack found as a PDF link at the bottom of the newsletter.

Get Moving!

Cycling for a Future

Cycling for a Future

My Journey

tamara —  November 28, 2012

This week, we hear from another one of our dear cyclists, Simon Lam (aka legs of steel). He tells us about what led him to sign up for the Turkey cycle challenge: starting with his trip to Palestine earlier this year.

‘If you head to the West Bank, you will see the massive Wall which is supposed to improve security…’

My journey did not start from Istanbul, it started with this conversation back in 2011. Continue Reading…