||Issue No. 316||21 July 2006|
Interview: The Month Of Living Dangerously
Unions: Staying Mum
Economics: Precious Metals
Industrial: The Cold 100
History: The Vinegar Hill Mob
Legal: Free Agents
Politics: Under The Influence
International: How Swede It Was
Review: Keating's Men Slam Dance on Howard
The Locker Room
Sick of Ants
Praise from Belly
Organiser On Front Line
Sari Kassis, a long time Australian activist, is appealing for help as hundreds of thousands of Lebanese families flee their homes.
"Internally displaced refugees are pouring into Beirut," says Kassis. "They are being housed in schools and mosques. All of them have been attacked by the Israelis at some point in time; all of them traumatised."
Kassis is working with NGO Al-Huda to provide water, food and medical supplies as well as baby's milk and nappies for young families.
Kassis, who recently returned to Lebanon to marry, reports the 750 people are expected to swell in number as air and missile attacks intensify in the coming days.
Former workmates at the Finance Sector Union report hearing the sound of exploding shells during telephone conversations with Kassis.
"We've been trying to keep in contact each day," says Chris Gambian from the FSU. "It's chilling sitting comfortably at home in Sydney while one of your good friends is contemplating the next missile strike.
The FSU has moved to raise $20,000 to support Kassis' efforts, with money donated through the FSU to be sent to Lebanon via APHEDA - Union Aid Abroad.
Offers of assistance and messages of support can be sent to Chris Gambian at [email protected] or by phone on 0438 898 198
Meanwhile APHEDA - Union Aid Abroad is appealing for funds to face the humanitarian catastrophe in Lebanon and in the Gaza strip.
"We are facing a humanitarian crisis on an unprecedented scale. We ask all good people in the world to help us," says Olfat Mahmoud, the Director of Union Aid Abroad - APHEDA's partner organisation, Women's Humanitarian Organisation (WHO). "The women, children and elderly are terrified and trapped after days of sustained brutal bombing of the entire area around our camp. There is no electricity, no fuel for the generators, no medical supplies and we are in urgent need of food and drugs for the children and the elderly."
"I have lived through all the wars in Lebanon since 1960 and this is the most horrific scene I have ever witnessed."
Donations can be made by calling 1800 888 674, sending to Union Aid Abroad, Level 3, 377-383 Sussex St, Sydney NSW 2000, or going to www.apheda.org.au and making a donation online
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