Looking back: with human rights defender, Nagham

Nagham is a human rights defender and journalist from Gaza Strip, who dedicates her life to ensuring the security and safety of journalists in the Gaza Strip. Read her testimonial on her stay with Shelter City Groningen.

Nagham – “I was one of the lucky people who got the chance to be one of the Shelter City participants. My stay in The Netherlands was so useful for me – it gave me a break from the stressful and difficult life that I live in Gaza city, where we have lived under siege since 2007 from Israeli authorities. There has been three wars against Gaza, and as a result we have limited electricity and a shortage in many vital services.

Because of this, a break is essential so that you can pull yourself together and come back to your real life with a positive energy and a new horizon for life.

Unfortunately, it was so difficult for me to leave Gaza to go to The Netherlands. I tried all the attempts, but I finally succeeded to spend one month of the programme instead of 3 months.


All my attempts to leave were worth the struggle – the period that I spent in The Netherlands was so great and helpful for me. I attended a number of lectures which were important to my career as a journalist. I attended many events that opened new windows of corporation for my work. I got the chance to expand my network and meet many people with whom I am still in contact with, people that are so helpful and useful for me.

Programmes like Shelter City are so useful for people like us who live under pressure and stress. It gives new life and a new chance for everyone. I will never forget this experience.

My family and friends noticed the differences between Nagham before The Netherlands and Nagham after, which gives fresh breath back into my lungs.”

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