Gaza kids the best in the world – hands down

21 July 2011

21 July 2011
Khan Younis, Gaza

UNRWA stages world record for the largest ever hand print painting

Guinness World Record handprint painting

Over 5,000 children attending UNRWA Summer Games in the Gaza Strip have created the largest-ever handprint painting. At a stadium in Khan Younis, southern Gaza, some 1,500 children gathered to unveil the canvas that covered 5,922.2 square metres, smashing the previous record by over a thousand square metres.

“I had no doubt that the children of Gaza would succeed, as they always do when given the chance”, said Christer Nordahl, UNRWA’s acting Director of Operations in Gaza.

“I am delighted to tell you that included in the world record today were many kids with special educational needs. They too deserve to be number one at the top of the world”.

Three records in three weeks 

Last week, the children of Gaza broke the world record for the largest number of people dribbling footballs. Prior to that, they set the record for the highest number flying parachutes from the ground. On 28 July, more than 12,000 children will attempt to smash the world record for kite flying.

Fourteen-year-old Fatma Maqusi said: “I can’t walk, but when I share the world record with the other kids, I feel like my drawings can walk - like I can walk.”
Her fellow record-breaker Ensheerah El Shwasi, 14, said: "I‘m happy because I always stay at home and because of the Summer Games I am now able to go out. I send my message to the United Nations, that we need camps every year.”

Reaching the world

Six-year-old Heba Abu Amra from Rafah, said: “We had fun today. We played so much today! We need to live. I drew my hand in the fabric and when I put my hand there, I felt like I reached the world.”

Speaking at the event, UNRWA Spokesman Chris Gunness highlighted the problems of the Israeli blockade.

“The mistreatment of children is an offence to the humanity of all, breaking many taboos. The blockade subjects three quarters of a million children to an illegal collective punishment, rendering their lives unbearable.

“It must end, and there must be full transparency and accountability for what the ICRC has called a ‘clear breach of international law’”.

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Donate to UNRWA

This world record was funded by the people of:

 United States
 European Union
 Finland
 Australia

Donate to UNRWA
 
More about UNRWA in Gaza

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For more information, interview requests, details of video images and stills, please contact:
 
Christopher Gunness
UNRWA Spokesperson
Mobile: +972 (0)54 240 2659
Office: +972 (0)2 589 0267
c.gunness@unrwa.org

Adnan Abu Hasna
UNRWA Media Advisor, Gaza
Gaza Mobile: +97(0)59 942 8061
Office: +97(0)8 288 7531
a.abu-hasna@unrwa.org

Milina Shahin
UNRWA Public Information Officer, Gaza 
Mobile: 0599 609 485
m.shahin2@unrwa.org  

Background Information

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.

Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at US$ 70.5 million.

For more information, please contact:

Gaza Emergency 1
US$ 30 GIVES COUNSELLING TO A TRAUMATISED CHILD