Iyas Salim, a lecturer at Kyoto-based Doshisha University, is analysing IHH in his PhD thesis.
Salim, who is of Palestinian origin, visited IHH and talked to IHH staff and administrators about his PhD thesis which is titled as: “A Relief Model among Muslim Civil Society Institutions.”
Salim who served in Gaza for Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) said he was deeply impressed by the IHH’s role in the organization of Freedom Flotilla and sending Mavi Marmara ship to Gaza, adding that he has been closely following the activities of IHH for a long while.
Analysing IHH’s relief efforts across the world and in Palestine-Gaza in particular in his PhD thesis, Salim visited IHH head office and made a presentation there about his doctorate thesis.
Mavi Marmara voyage impressed Salim
Salim, who is also a civil society expert, explained how IHH is like in the eyes of the Palestinians.
“With Mavi Marmara and Freedom Flotilla to Gaza, you, as a civil society organization, did what the states failed to do. Now, a new perception has begun to emerge in the world about civil society organizations. These organizations have left the states behind with their efforts. You are the most obvious evidence to this. IHH’s relief efforts in Gaza were so influential that Palestinians named many places such as bakeries, supermarkets, workplaces and etc. after Freedom Flotilla. You can find dozens of stores in Gaza with this name. Your sponsoring the care of 10,000 Palestinian children with your orphan care project is also very important. One of the children in this project who wrote a letter to his sponsor family began his letter with the words, ‘my dear father,’ which is a clear sign of how effective the job you are doing is. This project has been very important and meaningful for all Palestinians.”
Salim recalled that new terms such as “human security” and “sustainability” began to be discussed in the terminology of the civil society organizations following the year 2000, as he explained why IHH is special for him.
“When I examined the human security issue, I saw that IHH has already been acting in compliance with this principle since its establishment. IHH’s efforts for ‘humanitarian aid’ and ‘human rights’ since its establishment are in full compliance with ‘human security’ concept. You are of crucial importance for the world. It is not possible to do what you do in the world without state support and only through donations. You are carrying out relief efforts in the world only through voluntary donations. For instance civil society institutions in Japan are all supported by the state. Nobody makes any donations to these institutions from their pockets. Donations are not collected from people. The state gives the money and it coordinates where and how the donations will be delivered. You carry out all your relief efforts completely thanks to support from donators without state involvement. This is a very extraordinary thing for many countries in the world. This is just what makes you different. You are the same with regards to sustainability. You are carrying out relief efforts in a stable way, in a human-oriented way, and directly show how your efforts are sustainable.”