Campaign for Gaza launched in Coventry


January 9, 2009


A RESTAURATEUR who lost 15 relatives in the latest Gaza war is calling for Coventry’s help.

Palestinian mum-of-two Manal Timraz – along with the support of Jewish neighbour Barbara Payman – has launched the One Million Candles Campaign.

They are appealing for aid packages to send to families caught up in the conflict.

Ms Timraz, 39, who owns Habibi in Far Gosford Street, learned about the death of four cousins and their 11 children at Jabalya Refugee Camp on December 28.

She said: “I was watching Arabic TV and heard the family name.

“I was in shock and I called some family in Norway and they confirmed not just one person but 15 were dead.

“I grieved alone, behind closed doors for a while then realised that I have to go back to work, I had a responsibility to my staff.

“I’ve received so many flowers and calls of support from people across the Midlands and it eased the grief.”

Ms Timraz said this prompted her to help.

She said Coventry was the ideal city from which to launch an appeal.

“It’s a non-political campaign,” she said.

“Coventry is the city of peace and reconciliation with so many nationalities living in peace.

“Perhaps we are the perfect model to learn from.”

Ms Payman, of Kenilworth, said: “"Manal and I have a shared vision for peace and security for Palestinians and Israelis.

"As Manal's Jewish friend and neighbour I want to support her as much as I can, and show solidarity.

"In this local campaign, people can perhaps feel they can do something positive to help the suffering families of Gaza in this appalliing humanitarian crisis."

The BBC is reporting that nearly 700 Palestinians and 11 Israelis are estimated to have been killed since the offensive began.

To support the One Million Candles Campaign take blankets, candles, medical supplies, and warm clothes to Habibi restaurant between 5pm and 11pm every day.

Alternatively, contact Ms Timraz on 07971 952 323 or email manal@habibirestaurant.co.uk
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