Eman Shannan, Aid & Hope gala in Gaza in October 2022. Credit: Ein Media

Eman Shannan
Eman Shannan

Gaza women's cancer charity at risk: Eman's Diary

Eman Shannan founded Aid and Hope in 2009. It supports women with cancer in Gaza.

Oxfam's Women's Rights Fund helps fund it.

Eman has been updating us with voice notes from Gaza.

One year ago

"My name is Eman Shannan. I'm founder and general manager for Aid and Hope for Cancer Patient Care. I’m a cancer survivor.

"When you have cancer, you feel that you've lost everything.

“Imagine yourself in a place like Gaza... and you can’t get out to get your medication. This is the main aim of Aid and Hope – to find solutions for all women who have cancer in Gaza.”

Saturday 7 October

News reports: there has been a terrifying escalation of violence in Gaza and Israel, taking a terrible toll on Israeli and Palestinian civilians, leaving people in Gaza in desperate need of food, water, fuel, electricity and medical supplies.

Voice note 1: Wednesday 11 October

"As a woman cancer survivor I feel that our normal life used to be an emergency life in other countries. We are under attack for the third year. We don’t have electricity, we don’t have water and after five minutes the [internet] will disconnect, so we will not have any access to the world. I feel that it’s nonsense, it’s not fair, it’s not humanitarian to be under this attack."

Voice note 2: Wednesday 11 October

"Today Gaza Strip is facing the worst possible humanitarian disaster and the worst scenario ever. We serve more than 1,700 women with cancer and survivors. Our work is being held [up] and we are not able to provide our cancer patients with medication needed for them.

"The ongoing war blocks us from going to our jobs in which we help 400 cancer patients weekly by supporting them with cancer medical treatment. Our patients now are in danger.

"We need international support to survive”.

Voice note 3: Sunday 15 October

"I lost my family house. My house. All my family were evacuated in different places. We lost our houses, I’m talking about hundreds of memories. I’m remembering my mother when she was doing my favourite pie. When she [planted] the jasmine and she told me, 'Eman, one day you will remember me with this jasmine.' The smell of the house, they destroyed everything. They destroyed the memories. The love, the hope, the feelings.

"I saw the people in the streets, if we want to buy water the whole family is going outside to buy water or food because people fear from losing each other, to die together or to live together."

Voice note 4: Sunday 15 October

"We have 12,000 cancer patients in Gaza. 70% of them used to go outside of Gaza to get their medication. Those cancer patients, what will happen to them? If the cancer didn’t kill them, the war will kill them. Will kill them while they are wondering why this world is watching us without doing anything to stop the war in Gaza.

“Those patients thought they were fighters, thought they were survivors after finishing treatment with cancer. But now after closing all the borders, what will happen? Access to health is an essential right. Getting access to medication is the biggest essential right."


The Gaza Israel conflict is a catastrophic humanitarian crisis. Gaza’s two million people are under siege, with little to no food, water, fuel or electricity. Oxfam is campaigning for an immediate and lasting ceasefire, and preparing to help the people of Gaza as soon as it’s safe.

You can support people in Gaza and Israel by signing the petition calling for a lasting ceasefire and donating today.