On arrival to Gaza, one of our main objectives was the setting up of a sailing school. We strongly believe the sea will, insh’allah, one day be the route of freedom for the people of Palestine, freedom to sail their own waters, freedom to travel to the rest of the world without asking permission from another country and freedom to return.
With the help of The Palestinian sailing federation http://gazasailing.blogspot.com, and its chairperson , the inspiring and always enthusiastic Mahfouz Kabariti, we now have begun to teach a group of Palestinians the aspects of sailing and sea safety. Mahfouz’s enthusiasm has rubbed of on this small group, and despite intermittent electricity, no equipment and our main boat being a “model ship” they turn up every night they are asked.
We have begun with learning the different parts of the boat, the correct names of the boat, the rules of the sea and basic sea safety. Some of the class are on their way to Algeria this week to take part in International training for participation in the world championship in spain in 2014, so lately we have tried to concentrate on Dinghy racing.
Here in Gaza we have the use of a catamaran , in need of some repair, but our only form of sailing boat for now. twice, so far , we have managed to take her to sea for some practical training, not impossible but not ideal without proper gear, but we had fun, hopefully learned few things and definitely hope to make it a more regular thing.
At present we have 10 dinghy’s (5 lasers and 5 optimist ) which have been donated to us by the Qatar sailing federation. .We are currently working hard to secure a route for these boat’s to get in as they are presently in storage in Cyprus. We are also working on trying to raise funds for additional equipment such as life vest’s, helmets and a rescue boat to accompany the dinghy’s.
Derek, Jenny and Jeff ( photographer) wish the boys heading to Algeria all the best, we look forward to continuing to work with you and building up the sailing school in Gaza.
If you would like to help in any small way with this project or any of our projects here in Gaza , we have a donate button withinstructions, at the top of each post in this blog
Catamaran Pictures by Jeff Bright, FACEBOOK PAGE: jeffrey bright photojournalist
As you can see from the pictures, she’s in bad need of repair and new sails.