Palestine women’s football team graces Dublin ahead of Bohemians match

James

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On May 12th, the Palestinian women’s football team landed in Dublin, gearing up for their groundbreaking friendly game against Bohemians scheduled for Wednesday.

In March, Bohemian Football Club announced the historic match between its women’s team and Palestine, to be held at Dalymount Park on May 15th. This date holds significance as it marks the 76th anniversary of Al Nakba, also known as “The Catastrophe,” signifying the displacement of Palestinians during the 1948 conflict.

Proceeds from the event will finance the Palestinian team’s visit and contribute to humanitarian aid efforts, supporting organizations like Palestine Sport for Life, Medical Aid for Palestinians, and Aclaí Palestine. Bohemian’s ongoing solidarity with Palestine includes various initiatives such as film screenings, fan displays, and fundraising for Sport for Life through jersey sales.

The Palestinian football team, arriving at Dublin airport, received a warm welcome from supporters. Player Busan Abuaita expressed her pride in representing Palestinian women every time they play for the national team and hear their anthem.

“This game holds special significance for us as we’re visiting a nation that demonstrates immense solidarity with the Palestinian cause. Our purpose extends beyond just playing; it’s about supporting Gaza and all Palestinians.

“We deeply value the invitation. Despite challenges like work commitments, visa issues, and other obstacles, we’ve made every effort to be in Dublin for this event. The support we receive there while playing the game we love is invaluable. It’s our way of fighting—on the field, our presence sends a powerful message that we endure as a people,” Abuaita elaborated.

In alignment with these sentiments, the Palestinian ambassador to Ireland expressed, “There’s no finer tribute to the Nakba than having our national team visit a nation in Europe steadfast and unwavering in its solidarity with our righteous cause. Ireland, the Irish people, and Bohemian FC, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to you.”

Gaza crisis sparks international concern

Matt Devany, the President of Bohemian FC, expressed his hopes that the event would generate significant funds to aid those facing dire circumstances.

Since Israel initiated its military offensive in the Gaza Strip following a Hamas attack last October 7th, over 35,000 Palestinians have lost their lives. The conflict has forced many more to flee their homes to escape airstrikes, resulting in an estimated 90% displacement of the Strip’s population.

On May 12th, Israel launched fresh strikes on Gaza, with tanks and troops advancing into Rafa, a city where numerous Palestinians sought refuge after evacuation orders. The current estimate indicates that 1.5 million people reside in Gaza, with many forced to dwell in tent camps and makeshift shelters due to the ongoing bombardments.

Despite stern warnings from the United Nations, Israel has proceeded with actions that could lead to what experts are describing as an “epic” disaster if a full-scale invasion of the city occurs. In defiance of international opposition, Israel has issued evacuation orders to Palestinians residing in the area and has already begun entering specific sectors, resulting in the blockage of crucial aid passages to the region.

While tickets for the highly anticipated Dublin match between the Palestinian women’s football team and Bohemians are still available for purchase, there’s also an opportunity to contribute to the cause even if you can’t attend the event.

Non-attendance tickets are on offer, ensuring that all proceeds go directly to the designated charities supporting those affected by the ongoing crisis. Your support, whether through attending the match or purchasing non-attendance tickets, will make a meaningful difference in alleviating the plight of those impacted by these troubling events.

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