Para-Cyclists Defying Odds to Deliver Aid to Displaced Gazans: A Tale of Hope

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In Rafah, southern Gaza, about 1.5 million displaced Palestinians face potential expulsion. To help those in need, Alaa Al Dali, captain and co-founder of the Gaza Sunbirds para-cycling team, negotiates for lower prices from vegetable vendors in the Reqqa souk. Gaza Sunbirds formed in 2020 to provide cycling development to Palestinian para-athletes for international competitions, but recent conflicts have forced them to focus on providing aid in response to the growing crisis.

In Gaza, 75% of the population is now internally displaced, and the situation is dire in terms of food and drinkable water. Gaza Sunbirds has distributed aid, including food and other essentials, to over 170,000 people in southern and central Gaza. They are motivated by the idea of bringing joy and hope to people living amidst despair. Despite facing challenges, they are determined to continue delivering aid as a message of resilience and possibility.

The team has the support of the international athletic community and has raised almost $245,000 to go towards aid relief. However, they still face restrictions in providing humanitarian work, including the difficulty of receiving money transfers and limited aid from international organizations. Despite these challenges, the Gaza Sunbirds have become a symbol of human resilience.

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