The Dear Gaza block party grew out of a specific historical moment. The first party was held in 2015, one year after the fifty-one day Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Gaza Strip that left over 2,000 Palestinans dead, most of them civilians. In a time fraught with political turbulence and cultural unease, we found it important to share experiences of cultural understanding and celebration to strengthen our direct community. We also wanted to contribute directly. Our partnership with Anera (Americans Near East Refugee Aid) arose from this and through their In-Kind Medical Donations program, we have supported an ongoing supply of medical aid to the Gaza Strip.
We have continued to provide programming ever since, and this is the second half of Dear Gaza’s mission. In an age of sympathy fatigue and over-stimulation via social media and internet culture, we believe it is important to retain focus on the ongoing conflicts and global areas of need that arrest our attention. Dear Gaza’s concern is and has always been the Palestinian people and the Gaza Strip, where access to medicine is restricted for people in need. We believe that everyone should have access to medicine without exception. We also believe that narratives do not reshape themselves over night or after one block party or hummus-making competition. These things require a sustained effort over time, and a reminder that in Gaza, conditions are still dire.
Dear Gaza is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.