We Too Want To Play

[Source: Video by Ain Media, some of the toy libraries- stage one, campaign by Aseel Tayah's - Gaza 2020]

Since I became a mother, I have suffered from PND that has affected my life personally, since then I have been enjoying the amazing facilities Australia provides to us parents. during my depression, I have visited the toy library and benefited from lovely talks and beautiful company, so much here to enjoy, where back home, there is hardly anywhere to play, and there is no safe place to even live.

I am doing this because we, outside Palestine, live such a privileged life, and we do not even need to think about all the hardship that mothers live over there.

Do they manage to walk their children out without losing one? do they sing them lullabies? or the pomps sounds are always stronger? can they afford to get them a toy to develop, manage, fix or even destroy? or they struggle daily to even feed their family?

This year has been a great success, I created work that I am so proud of, so I decided to dedicate my next few months for my homeland to make this project real.


Building Palestine's First Toy Libraries for Children

After over 70 years of occupation and war, Palestinian children have been stripped away from their simplest right, their right to play.

"We Too Want to Play" is our ambitious campaign to give every Palestinian child a safe space to play regardless of their social or economic circumstances. 

We're doing this by creating toy libraries across Gaza, Jerusalem and the West 


Why Palestine Needs Toy Libraries

Research has shown that play promotes the development of the whole child socially, cognitively, physically, and emotionally. In fact, play is such a critical component to healthy child development that the National Association for the Education of Young Children named play as a central component in developmentally appropriate educational practices and the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights recognized play as a fundamental right of every child.

With such an integral component of children's development becoming inaccessible to children of war and occupation, the effects on Palestinian children compound into their adulthood.

Gaza alone has 60,000 newborns every year with nowhere to play. Toy libraries provide local families with a range of quality fun and educational toys, games, puzzles and activities to play with or borrow for free.


[Source: We Deserve to Live toy distribution campaign by Aseel Tayah at Aida Refugee Camp - Bethlehem, 2015]

How we are going to achieve this 

We have partnered with the following organisations to collect used toys from all over Palestine:

  • Together for change- Sakhnin

  • Tishreen social engagement - Taybeh

  • Omnia Mothers association - Lod Ramlah

  • Women against Violence​ organization - Nazareth

  • Zaher Elloz group - Tera

We have partnered with the following organisations who are offering free space at their premises to host a library each:

  • Herak Youth Centre

  • Bozour Culture and Art Centre

  • Humanitarian Care Association - Shajaaeya

  • Gaza City Library

  • Tijwal Centre for Art and Culture

  • Al-Nasr Children Hospital

The list is growing as our team reaches out to more organisations every day.

We will start with a library in Gaza and go from there. The more money we raise, the more organisations will host a toy library.

We need USD 2500  to set up each toy library. The funds raised will go towards fully decking out the library space, with paint, furniture, shelving, airconditioning and solar power where needed. Some of the targeted areas get 4 hours of power each day, so we aim to be able to support them to facilitate play and run programs whether it's hot or cold outside. 

We will ensure that each library contains a mix of fun, educational and special needs toys. About 20% of toys will be purchased and 80% will be sourced from a group of Palestinian mothers who share our mission and are ready to collect and donate toys from their communities.

Any excess funds will go towards running activities and programs at each of the toy libraries.


[Source: We Deserve to Live toy distribution campaign by Aseel Tayah at Aida Refugee Camp - Bethlehem, 2015]

How can you help?

We want to show Palestinian children that we're there to support them so we've created special features to reflect the donors that contributed to founding each toy library. In this spirit, we've created donation options giving you opportunities to:

  • Get acknowledged by name on our website and social media $20 USD

  • Get a pin on your country on a map of the world contributors that we will hang up in the library your funds contributed to.$50 USD

  • Got a message to the children. $80USD

  •  Send a lasting message of hope that we will paint on an inspiration wall at the library your funds contributed to. $200USD

  • Get your name printed on a commemorative plaque as a contributing member to the respective library. $500USD

  • Name a library! Yes, you can pick the name the toy library will forever be named (so long as it's a name free of profanity or offensive language/innuendo).$1600 usd

The Campaign

At my parent's house, in the centre of Palestine, we all gathered from all around the country, thousands of toys, hundreds of boxes, tens of people to make our dream come true. 
Women from all around the country sent their toys to collaborating organisations to work all together and deliver this beautiful acheivment. 

The Libraries in Gaza

After a long wait, because of a bombing attack on Gaza and a list of paperwork we needed to do, the delivery of the toys Gaza happened on the last week of Nov, below are photos of the preparation and final touches on the libraries and I will update it every time we have a new library ready.

Shajayh Camp

Our first Library in the Shajaya camp is almost ready to start running early Jan 2020

Haref Library
(Herak youth centre)

Preparation of the library on Gaza's Beach

Photos of ready libraries will be added soon :)