Abdillah Onim receives award for his dedication to Palestinian people in Gaza

Abdillah Onim receives award for his dedication to Palestinian people in Gaza

Gaza, The Gulf Observer: Abdillah Onim, an Indonesian humanitarian activist, on Saturday, received a lifetime achievement award from the Muhammadiyah University of Prof. Dr.Hamka (Uhamka) for his dedication and contribution to the People of Palestine in the besieged Gaza Strip.

This outstanding award was given to Onim 12 days after his arrival in Indonesia after being successfully evacuated from Gaza along with his Palestinian wife and his three kids.

Thanks to the endless efforts of the Indonesian Foreign Ministry and Indonesian Embassy in Egypt, Onim and his family members could left Gaza, and crossed Egypt’s Rafah border crossing on November 3.

At an event held to commemorate the Uhamka’s 66th anniversary and Muhammadiyah’s 111th anniversary in Jakarta on Saturday, Onim, who is noted as one of the graduates of Uhamka’s Faculty of Islamic Studies, shared his experience as a humanitarian worker, and his witness to the Israeli brutality since the first day of war that broke out on October 7.

At the event, he also shared his perspectives on Palestinians in Gaza that has become his second home after Indonesia since he worked as a volunteer of the Medical Emergency Rescue Committee (MER-C) in 2009.

“I am present in Palestine on behalf of Indonesia and humanity,” he said when receiving the Uhamka’s lifetime achievement award at the event.

Regarding the evacuation of himself, his kids and wife out of Gaza, Onim said that he and his family members still felt unbelievable that they could leave Gaza and get back to Indonesia due to the enclave’s difficult condition under Israel’s ongoing bombardment since the war began on October 7.

“I saw how our brothers and sisters in Gaza got suffered from the Israeli aggression from the first day until the 28th day of the war. Israel’s brutality has made children, women, and the elderly in Gaza suffer so badly,” he said.

Those suffering from the Israeli occupation forces’ ongoing bombardment and ground invasion in Gaza are not just Muslims but also Christians, Onim said, adding that the Palestinian cause is indeed related to the issue of humanity.

“We are humans. They (Palestinians) are also humans. We all belong to humankind,” said Onim who once worked as a correspondent of an Indonesian TV channel, and is currently an influential You Tuber.

His perspectives on the values of humanity and his strong belief in the mandate of Indonesia’s 1945 Constitution that all colonialism must be abolished in the world, he decided to stay along with Palestinians in Gaza for many years until the war forced him and his family members to get evacuated from the overcrowded enclave.

Being a humanitarian activist in Gaza, he should be dedicated and serious in carrying out the humanitarian mission, said the father of three children who was born in Gelela, North Halmahera District, North Maluku Province, on June 12, 1979.

For the people at large in Indonesia, he suggested that they continue to donate, and get involved in educating the public about the true history of Palestine.

“Charity funds for Palestine are not enough. We also need to make our people interested in the true history of Palestine,” he said while expressing hope that Uhamka would continue to contribute to the People and Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia.

Meanwhile Uhamka President Professor Gunawan Suryoputro said the lifetime achievement award was given to Abdillah Onim as a token of appreciation for his works for humanity.

“Uhamka is so proud of and highly appreciated what Bang Onim has been doing,” he said while hoping that as the Uhamka graduate, Onim could inspire and motivate the university’s students and graduates to contribute to Indonesia and the world.

Fresh armed conflict erupted between Palestine and Israel following a surprise attack by Hamas on Israel early in the morning of October 7.

Prior to the assault by Palestinian liberation fighters, Israel had continued its closure of Gaza crossings.

Palestine’s news agency WAFA reported on September 25 that the Israeli closure of Gaza crossings had worsened the living conditions of Palestinians in Gaza.

According to WAFA, the Palestinians had already suffered from the severe impacts of “more than 17 years of tight Israeli land, sea, and air blockades.”

Al Jazeera quoted Hamas, which governs Gaza, as stating that its assault on Israel was “a response to the desecration of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and increased settler violence.”

In response to the unprecedented surprise attack, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared war on Hamas and, according to Al Jazeera, pledged that Israeli forces would “turn all Hamas hideouts into rubble.”

Since the war began, the ongoing Israeli military campaign in the Gaza Strip, which is home to more than two million people, has resulted in the deaths of more than eleven thousand Palestinian civilians, and triggered a humanitarian crisis.

In response to the war, President Joko Widodo has shown Indonesia’s clear position, that is standing with Palestine and the Palestinians.

When attending the Joint Arab Islamic Extraordinary Summit in Saudi Arabia on November 11, Jokowi, as the president is widely known, urged the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to remain united and stand at the forefront of seeking solution to the Gaza crisis.

President Jokowi also echoed Indonesia’s clear stance on the Palestinian issue when meeting with US President Joe Biden on November 13 before joining the 30th Asia Pacific Cooperation (APEC) Summit in San Francisco.

At his meeting with President Biden, President Jokowi urged the White House to show its global leadership; stand at the forefront of defending justice and humanity for Palestinians; and seek solution to peace and independence for Palestine based on two-state solution.

Jokowi reiterated his message of justice and humanity for the People of Palestine when speaking at the 30th APEC Summit on November 17. He called on the APEC leaders to end the war, voice ceasefire, and ensure an uninterrupted aid delivery in Gaza.