31 July 2009, Gaza
UNRWA is confident that the children of Gaza have shattered the Guinness Book of World Record title for the number of kites flying simultaneously in the same place. According to UNRWA Gaza Director John Ging. “This is a wonderful example of what the children of Gaza can achieve if they are allowed to fulfill their fullest potential. The previous record was for 710 kites and you only had to be here or to see the television pictures to be fairly confident that the previous record has gone”, said Ging.
The event took place at the beach near Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza as part of UNRWA’s Summer Games Programme. For the past three years, UNRWA has organized activities and events across the summer months. These include sports, games, theatrical events, arts and crafts and remedial education. This year UNRWA Summer Games are being attended by about 240,000 children.
Most rewarding for UNRWA was the fact that the children themselves clearly loved it. Mohammed age 9 said, “I am so happy today, I never felt so happy. My kite was highest in the sky”. Sana age 11 was also thrilled: “I love Summer Games, I am full of happiness”. And Ali aged 12 was proud to be number one: “we are world champions, thank you UNRWA”.
Ging could not immediately give the exact figure for the number of kites flown. “The Guinness Book of World Records has very precise procedures of what you have to do to verify a record breaking event if one of its officials cannot attend as a witness, which sadly they could not. I don’t want to compromise all that and announce the precise figure now”, said Ging. However, a smiling Ging was adamant, “there are more world records in our sights and we are determined that the children of Gaza will be world champions in more than just kite flying”.