Help Mohammed bring his Palestinian family to safety


My name is Mohammed Sulaiman, convenor of Palestine at Magill Circle (133). I am a Palestinian from Gaza, living in Australia. I am an uncle of 6 children, the eldest is 10 years and the youngest is 3 months, all of whom are currently entrapped in Gaza, under bombs, and with no access to food, water, electricity, medicine, sanitary requirements or the most basic necessities of everyday living.

My immediate family in Gaza consists of my father, my mother, my brother, his wife and their 2 children, my sister, her husband and their 4 children, and my second sister. This is a total of 13 family members. My family-in-law consists of father-in-law, my mother-in-law, and my brother-in-law. Both of our families lost their homes in the north of Gaza, which has been comprehensively bombarded by Israel.

I am a permanent resident of Australia. I arrived in Australia from Gaza, 9 years ago to conduct doctoral studies, and I continued to live and work in Australia post-graduation. It never seemed safe to return to Gaza with my wife and 2 children, who were born in Australia.

I have followed the war from outside, overcome by helplessness. I have not unable to take any action to save the lives of my family members from this seemingly unstoppable bloodbath which they have been forced to live through hoping that no missile will find its way to them.

As a son, a brother and an uncle of 6 young nephews and nieces, in Gaza, it is my duty to do everything in my capacity to contribute in whatever way I can to save the lives of my family members and their innocent children from the war machine which has claimed the lives of no less than 35,000 Palestinians, of whom at least 16,000 are children, killed in heavy, lethal bombardment of Gaza over the last 6 months.

For the first three months, this was an average of 300 people killed per day and four children killed per hour.

On 20 October, several of these missiles found their way to my uncle’s family house in Jabalia, north of Gaza. My uncle’s family who were in their house on that fatal night consisted of 18 members including my uncle, my uncle’s wife, their seven children, and multiple grandchildren. Israeli airstrikes hit their home in Jabalia, during their sleep, and my uncle, my uncle’s wife, 2 of their sons, 2 of their daughters, and 5 of their grandchildren were killed during their sleep. My own family, originally from the north, left the north and sought shelter in the south. They currently stay in a roof bedroom of a tenement which does not provide shelter from rainfall due to its leaks and with extremely limited access to water, food, and everyday needs.

We have completed visa applications for our family members despite many of them not having a passport or a travel document, and now all 16 of our family members have been granted their visas to come to Australia. This visa does not permit visitors to work in Australia. In addition, none of my family members have any form of financial access or support since there are hardly any financial services in Gaza at this time. It is unclear if they will have access to their finances anytime soon.

Following months of intensive fundraising and coordination efforts, several members of our families have left Gaza over the past few weeks.

My family-in-law have arrived in Australia.
My brother, a US-certified medical doctor, and his family have left Gaza, but will be staying in Egypt for a while longer to get their passports sorted before they join us in Australia.
My middle sister has left Gaza and is staying in Turkey.

My own parents and my eldest sister and her family are still in Rafah but have been registered with the Egyptian travel agency Hala to coordinate their exit from Gaza.

Flight tickets will cost around $1700 per person. Providing accommodation for 16 family members in Australia means that I must call on people to contribute whatever they can to help me to save the lives of my family members in Gaza. A breakdown of the total amount required to be raised is provided below as well.

• Visa application fees: $192
• Passport fees: $300
• Document translation: $200
• Flight from Cairo to Adelaide (one way): $1700

Total estimated costs leading up to arrival in Adelaide is $2392 per person, and $38,272 for all 16 family members.

Additionally, as they are not permitted to work under the “Tourist Visa” stream, we estimate the costs of each family’s stay in Australia will include:

• minimum living costs $24,000 per family ($1000 per week and a total of $96,000 for four families including rent over six months).
• personal effects $1500 (a total of $6000 for four families).
• international health insurance $1400 (a total of $5600).

Mohammed, Palestine at Magill Circle