In his foreword to the report, Simon Deakin, a law professor at Cambridge and director of the Centre for Business Research, wrote that the situation in Gaza is one of “continuous suffering and emergency.” He added: “Health care is at one and the same time a priority but also a luxury for most families.”
In an interview with Al-Fanar Media, Deakin noted that “researching Gaza is difficult for reasons which are well understood.”
“Mona’s research is one of the few systematic studies of the conditions of everyday life there,” he said. “It gives voice to the people of Gaza, and that above all is important.”
Humanising the Situation in a Play
Jebril has also written a play about her research and experiences in Gaza. Her play, “The Loop”, was performed at a theatre festival in Cambridge in July.
The play was inspired by a true story from Gaza, and includes some insights from her research. “It is not a documentary. It is a creative piece that includes instances of dark humour, and even some fiction,” she said.
Having lived in Gaza for 22 years, Jebril says she could hear and relate to mothers’ sense of helplessness.
“When you talk to people who live under constant emergency conditions about the long-term impact on them, the majority have little faith in what you are doing academically,” she said.
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Jebril therefore thought a research-based play was the perfect medium to capture feelings and humanise the political, something rarely done in news about Gaza.
“People are frustrated about the possibility of change. I felt a responsibility to convey their voices,” she said.
“Their stories were different, but also had common threads as they talked about traumatising health-care experiences under occupation and the challenging conditions resulting from the Palestinian schism.”
Jebril said she was was able to include an analysis of this data in the report, “but I couldn’t include the tears, the shattered voices, the strength and the anger that I heard in my conversations.”