IM this article to a friend!

December 17, 2003

Plea over deaf Palestinian boy

From: BBC News, UK - Dec 17, 2003

A veteran peace campaigner is fighting to get help for a deaf Palestinian boy who is not allowed to play with children outside his home because he cannot hear approaching gunfire.

Ray Davies, from Caerphilly, is appealing for proper medical help for Ahmad Ziad Abu Fayed, who has severe hearing difficulties.

Five-year-old Ahmad lives with his parents in the Balata refugee camp is forced to stay inside his home while other children are outside playing because it is too dangerous for him to join them.

His parents fear that he will not be able to hear the gunfire of soldiers who attack the Middle East camp.

"The first time I met Ahmad was when he was just three years old," said Mr Davies following his return from a recent trip to the Middle East.

"I was staying with his family because their home had been attacked by gunfire.

"He was very traumatised but he flew into my arms and he didn't budge from my side.

"Then last year I went back to stay with them and his father told me that they were waiting results for tests on his hearing.

"So when I went back this time, I thought I would see him with a hearing aid, but he didn't have one."

Ahmad's parents were told that he needed specialist medical examinations which are not available to them.

"His parents have been told there is a machine which could help him but it costs about £2,000.

"It is very sad because he is a normal little boy, a mischievous little boy - he put liquid soap into my shoe once.

"But he can't go out to play with his friends because the camp is often under attack with gunfire, and when that happens, all the children just scatter.


"Ahmad wouldn't be able to hear any gunfire and so he wouldn't know when to run for cover.

"He is like a prisoner in his own home and his parents are beside themselves with worry about him.

"Because he has to stay inside all the time, the other children don't know him and he is like a stranger to them."

Mr Davies is now writing to doctors in hospitals in south Wales in the hope that someone will be willing to help the little boy.

"It would be so nice for him if they could get a hearing aid fitted for him to enjoy something of a normal life," he said.