The lives of Mahmoud Karain and his nine year old daughter Rawa, from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Batn al-Hawa are now somewhat easier. For nearly her entire life, Mahmoud has had to carry his severely disabled daughter up and down a treacherous path in order to meet the transport which brings Rawa to school. The path is very steep thereby making it impossible to drive, thus Mahmoud has resorted to physically carrying her.
After many stops and starts, the path has finally been paved thanks to the intensive assistance of Bimkom and the organization Bizchut, which advocates for the rights of the disabled.
Through meetings with the Jerusalem municipality and a media campaign led by Mahmoud along with Bimkom, the Karain family home, and the homes of their neighbors, are now accessible by car. Mahmoud explained how prior to this improvement he was forced to trek up and down the unpaved road as often as four times a day—to bring his disabled daughter to school, to help his mother and to carry groceries and other supplies. Now Mahmoud can drive his car. Nonetheless, the situation in Batn el Hawa remains far from ideal.
Recently, there has been unreasonable police presence in the neighborhood. Mahmoud and his neighbors are often woken in the middle of the night by sirens and provocations for no apparent reason. Many parts of Silwan have similar accessibility issues, such as in Batn al-Hawa. Bimkom hopes to assist Batn al-Hawa and other neighborhoods in East Jerusalem with similar accessibility issues in order to improve their quality of life.
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