When one thinks of prison islands many names spring to mind – Devil’s Island, Robben Island, Alcatraz Island, to name a few. Gaza may not be an island or a prison but it feels like both to many residents – especially since an Israeli blockade has isolated them from the rest of the world.
Fouzan Saleh, an unemployed businessman, suffers from depression. He's had to close his small textile factory and one by one sell off the sewing machines to support his family. He lives in a small apartment with his wife, three children and his 60 year old mother who came to Gaza as a refugee in 1948.
The family has been threatened with eviction and depend on aid for food and basic necessities. To "escape" the pressure of not being able to support his family, Saleh sleeps in the garden or walks to the beach. The eldest daughter, age 14, dreams of becoming a psychiatrist to help people like her parents.
In October 2008, Radio Netherlands producer Eric Beauchemin travelled to Gaza for a mental health conference and spent time with the Saleh family. He left just before the borders were closed to foreign journalists – two months before Israel began another bombing assault on Gaza.
A Prison within a Prison was produced by Radio Netherlands' Eric Beauchemin.
Palestinian Counseling Center
The Palestinian Counseling Center (PCC) was established by a group of psychologists, educators and community activists to provide professional and quality mental health care to the Palestinian society in the West Bank.
The Gaza Strip : a Territory Suffering Collective Depression
On 16 November, Pierre Micheletti, president of “Médecins du Monde”, released a report on the situation in Gaza, pointing out the extreme deterioration of living conditions in the Gaza Strip.