We Are Not Numbers in Gaza

Issam Adwan is project manager of We Are Not Numbers, a program in the Gaza Strip that seeks to help young writers in Gaza develop their writing skills in English and bring their diverse perspectives and experiences to an international audience. Too often, Adwan says, people outside the Gaza Strip see those who live there as either terrorists or victims; they don’t see their full humanity. Established in 2015, We Are Not Numbers seeks to show not only the hardships endured by people who live under a punishing 14-year Israeli blockade but their hopes, dreams and talents. The program pairs young writers in Gaza with Western writers and journalists who mentor them and nurture their talents. Adwan talks about the program’s importance, response to it, the virtual tours of Gaza it sponsors, the effects of the siege on people’s physical and mental health, the cruel choice Gazans face of either dying slowly or dying while fighting.

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