Apr 15, 2019

CNN Hero Nomination: Diana George Babish--Animal and Environment Association Bethlehem--Palestine

Nominating Diana George Babish as a CNN Hero

Others may nominate her, as well.

Here is a link to the page to nominate an individual for a CNN Hero:


The name of her shelter is:

Animal and Environment Association Bethlehem--Palestine

She is making a great difference because she is focusing on the human side of things where we can all have empathy and I think that brings people together.  

There is a whole group of people trying to help her on her facebook page and they are from all over the world and from all faiths and religions.  

That is the cool thing--there are many folks from Israel and Palestine working together to help the dogs.  This looks at people as individuals rather than just politics and war.    She is working so hard to make a difference in an almost impossible situation.

Asking Diana to share a few words in order to make flyers to hand out at a pet adoption event in San Diego:

Thank your for this initiative thinking, it will be a great help, we really need a way we can send dogs to the US, we tried transporting agencies, but it cost 2000 $ each, so if it will be through organizations from the US that come to Palestine and find homes for them. 

If you please you can add in the flyers, we are the only non-killing shelter in Palestine for cats and dogs, we have a lot of difficult challenges with the culture towards dogs, the municipalities have been dealing with the increasing  population of dogs by shooting and poisoning, until I established our organization to spay, neuter and re-home dogs with shots and microchips. 

Our shelter is in danger of being closed caused by the local municipality in Beit Sahour where our shelter is located. 

they gave us the small 100 meetr square and they sent us with the ministry of a health a letter to evacuate. We put a lot of pressure on them by local and international people who defended our cause. We were able to rescue hundreds of dogs with the minimum of resources and funds, yet we saved a lot and looking to find homes to save more from the streets. 

People here, not all ,but mostly abuse, torture,hit by cars, kill, poison ,and shoot with no mercy and no animal rights to protect animals and to punish the abusers. 

Thank you.

Thank you for your consideration.

I would like to tell you about a very hard working lady in the Middle East.  In fact, she is in Palestine just a few minutes from Bethlehem.  He name is Diana George Babish and this is where she has her animal shelter.  She works tirelessly to save all of the dogs, cats and yes, even turtles she finds that are in need of her help.  

On the day I was there to visit her she was very worried about a dog her friends had called for her to pick up.  This dog had been hit by a car and left suffering by the side of the road with broken legs.  Not only was the dog in severe pain but she was also in a state of panic.  Diana went there in the night after working all day and brought the dog to a pet hospital in Jerusalem.  When the dog is able she will look for a home for this animal after she socially rehabilitates her so that she will be friendly and adoptable.

Here is how I found out about Diana......

Last year I went with a group called Bike Palestine and we had a very lovely time biking through the olive groves and almond orchards of the Palestinian countryside.  While we were there I kept noticing stray dogs.  They seemed like they were on their own.  I asked one of out tour guides and they politely told me the folks there are living under occupation and just the chores of daily living are a struggle--they do not have time to worry about dogs.  Keep in mind not only is the tour about the area and the Holy Land but it is also a chance to get to know the people and the issues they encounter living there with the current political restraints.

After I came home to very rich San Diego as far as animal welfare is concerned I found out about Diana George Babish and her animal shelter on the West Bank and the struggle the animals also face.

I contacted her and asked if I may chat with her, take pictures and write about it on my blog as George Snow from Bike Palestine sent an e-mail asking for more riders for the group going in May.

Diana invited me to come to her place for the afternoon.  I could see she was basically a one woman show.  She is spending her time trying to get the word out about her animal shelter, find homes for the dogs, find funds to run the place and feed the animals and take care of injured animals she picks up in need of assistance.

Diana told me that the dogs there face special issue because of the politics and the human struggle but also because of the physical isolation.  She would like to focus on promotion of her shelter and education of the people who live there.  Many folks there view dogs as simply pests even though the sentiment is somewhat changing some individuals still poison dogs and leave them to die.  Often they will be hit by a car and left to perish by the side of a road or they are just hungry and thirsty without food or water.  

She has the dogs ready to go for adoption if she can just find them homes.  It is less expensive if someone will actually go to Tel Aviv and pick up a dog rather than ship them as cargo.  She can easily supply the proper papers and the kennel to take the animal home.  I know this may sound outrageous as it is quite far from San Diego but from the UK there are discount flights--last year one fellow went from Manchester for about 250 pounds and the flight is only a few hours.

It seems like money might be the answer for this very hard working former banker who now runs this very needed facility but i am suggesting that exposure would be extremely helpful for her, as well due to her physical and political isolation.

She has been featured on BBC radio and one can find information about her animal shelter in a few newspapers but one can see if you are there that she is up against a giant barrier in placings these dogs.

All of her dogs were so friendly when I visited and she takes wonderful care of them.  I know she spends a lot of her own money to take them to the vet.

I admire her work and I was driven after my visit to try and do anything I could to help her and that is why I am telling you my story.

Also, I thought you might like the story because no one ever really sees a true picture of Palestine.

We stayed at lovely hotels and resorts and the food was delicious.  The people are so friendly and hospitable and respectful.  

I also wanted to say that right next door to Diana’s Shelter is the Palestine Wildlife Society.  This man, Amad Qumseih, is working very hard to try and educate the children and citizens of Palestine about the benefits of animals and people working together to help the environment.  Working with the animals instead of against them will benefit both in the long run.  He was so excited to chat with me and tell me about his small humane society type facility.  

Again, he is doing very important work but in reality some of the workers were not getting paid so while both of these places are a great idea they are terribly isolated by politics, war and religion and at the end of the day the animals have  nowhere to go.

The Palestine Wildlife Society also helps the donkeys and horses and the farm animals and helps the farmers to take care of them.

Seriously, this man was friends with a Palestinian Gazelle he rescued as a baby and now he is friends with the gazelle.  It was so cute and funny because the gazelle was trying to get by him.

Everyday we hear about the war in the Middle East but when do we ever focus on the animals or the dogs.

For instance, here in San Diego there are many groups that go over to Mexico and get dogs that are in somewhat of the same situation but we are talking about 30 minutes in the car and we are so rich here.  

I am hoping we can shine a little light on this lady in Bethlehem and she can help her dogs, too--she is in just such an impossible situation.

Thank you for reading and your consideration.

I am including some pictures and some links talking about her place.

My beautiful friends in Jenin:

Diana George Babish and her Animal Shelter in Bethlehem:

Palestine Wildlife Society:


No comments:

Post a Comment