July 21 2021 – Brooklyn Cooper
Learn how YOU can show your support to help Palestinian children!
“I’m just somebody who very much believes in the cause of freedom, I believe in equality, I believe in social justice,” President of the PCRF, Steve Sosebee says.
30 years ago, Steve Sosebee travelled to the Middle East through a human rights delegation and was moved by the courage and humanity of the Palestinian people, but he also witnessed the injustice and suffering that was inflicted upon them. So, after finishing his degree in International Relations, Steve travelled back to Palestine and worked as a journalist to try and educate Americans on the reality of the situation. During the course of this work, Steve met two children who were severely injured from an Israeli bomb and felt responsible to help them. “It wasn’t enough to just write a story about them,” Steve says.
Even though Steve was only 23 years old at the time, he brought the children back to Ohio, where he’s originally from, to provide them with the medical care and attention they needed to be able to walk again. “Bringing these kids into the community really organized people and motivated to do something good for Palestine,” Steve says. “It gave me a purpose and meaning in my life from a spiritual point of view.”
After bringing these children back to their families in Palestine, Steve met his first wife Huda Al Masri, a social worker with the YMCA in Jerusalem. Together, they built the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund based on a vision to provide children in the Middle East with quality medical care, regardless of nationality, religious or political affiliation.
Over time, the PCRF organization touched people from all over the globe. From establishing two pediatric cancer departments to providing humanitarian aid to children who have lost their limbs in bombings, the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund is constantly striving to accomplish their goal of enabling a future for children living in poverty. Check out all of their recent accomplishments here!
In December 2008, Huda was diagnosed with cancer, and unfortunately passed away 7 months later. “She symbolized the true spirit of the Palestinian people,” Steve says. “My main goal was to honour her legacy as a humanitarian and to raise my two daughters with love and compassion and also an identity as Palestinians.”
Steve raised his daughters in Palestine and continued his work for the PCRF, and established the first public pediatric cancer department in Beit Jala Hospital in Huda’s name.
In 2016, Steve remarried to Dr. Zeena Salman, a pediatric oncologist, and now, both Steve and Dr. Zeena Salman are dedicated to the lives of Arab children. Their mission stands to provide medical and humanitarian relief collectively and individually to Arab children throughout the Levant.
Steve encourages people to spread the word and educate yourself and others on the issues at hand in order to have a bigger impact. To show your support, you can follow the PCRF @thepcrf and Steve Sosebee @stevesosebee.
“What you’ve done has been so fantastic,” Shaina says.
“My personal motivation is to work for oppressed people who deserve love and compassion and solidarity and support,” Steve says. “We have hope on our side.”