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Families Rally for Peace on Mother’s Day in Worcester

By Sam Bishop | May 14, 2024
Last Updated: May 14, 2024

WORCESTER – Over 200  Jewish, Muslim, and other local residents celebrated Mother’s Day at Winslow & Pleasant Street Peace Park on Sunday, May 12, to highlight the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

The event included music and community members engaged in family-oriented activities like and kite crafting. The gathering also reflected on Mother’s Day, which has ties to peace movements and post-Civil War reconciliation.

Among the many speakers, Micah Strauss, a leader of Worcester Havurah, shared a poignant moment involving his child’s reaction to an image from Gaza, questioning how to aid in rebuilding lives and land.

District 5 City Councilor Etel Haxhiaj also spoke, saying, “We stand united with the mothers of children like six-year-old Hind (Rajab) and Wadea al-Fayoume. We mourn with those who have lost their children to conflict.”

The event concluded with a march to Elm Park and a candlelight vigil honoring Middle Eastern families impacted by the conflict.

“It was crucial to acknowledge the grieving Gaza mothers today,” organizer Nelly Medina commented, emphasizing the event’s focus on love, community, and solidarity.

According to the Washington Post, on Jan. 29, Hind Rajab, a Palestinian girl, was in a car surrounded by the bodies of family members for hours, waiting for paramedics to arrive on Jan. 29.  Rajab, and the two paramedics dispatched to her location, were all later found dead.

Al-Fayoume, a six-year-old boy, was stabbed 26 times in his home in Illinois on Oct. 14, 2023. According to the Associated Presspolice say the 71-year-old man accused of fatally stabbing him singled out the family of the boy based on their faith and in response to conflict between Israel and Hamas.

On October 7, 2023, the militant group Hamas conducted an attack over the Gaza border in Israel that killed around 1,200 and led to over 240 hostages taken. Since Oct. 7, the Israeli military response in Gaza has claimed over 35,000 Palestinian lives. According to a recent United Nations report. Of those, 10,000 remain unidentified. Of the nearly 25,000 that have been identified, the report identifies 7,797 children, 4,959 women, 1,924 elderly, and 10,006 men among the dead.

The event was organized by Congressional District-2 Interfaith Action Network, Free Worcester, and Agape Community of Hardwick.

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