NSDL organized a workshop on the danger of spreading of drug phenomenon in the Palestinian society, within the project of building young leaders in Palestine, in collaboration with Catholic Relief Services CRC within an activity to enhance youth community participation, in the morning of 25-10-2007 at Al-Naser Charity Association Hall, east of Rafah. Many figures participated in the workshop, Mr. Ibrahim Muammar, chairman of NSDL, Dr. Suliman Qudeih, specialist in mental health, Sheikh. Mohamed Lafi, the previous director of Religion Ministry in Rafah, Mr. Ahmad Abu Assaker, Executive Director of NSDL, and the Chairman and members of Al-Naser charities, and dozens of Al-Naser area youth.

The meeting was opened by Mr. Younis Abu Lebda, the project coordinator, Who defined the project and its objectives and previous project activities and the role of the Catholic relief support in developing the capacity of young people in Rafah by supporting activities aimed at building young leaders. Mr. Ibrahim Muammar, chairman of NSDL, clarified the significance of holding such meetings at this particular time and in this remote and marginalized place in Rafah governorate, stressing on the importance of intensifying the meetings of this kind in the marginal areas, especially in such charities, which accelerates in order to survive, calling the civil society institutions to focus their activities in the areas of knowledge- hungry, democracy, awareness and culture. He considered that the spread of the drug phenomenon in the Palestinian society is a strange phenomenon for our society customs and traditions, and fighting against this phenomenon needs to be a collective effort of young people who are the vanguard community leaders that reject such phenomena. He also expressed his deep thanks and appreciation for the Catholic Relief Services role in serving the Palestinian society, calling on all international institutions, donor community, to intensify its programs to serve the Palestinian community, especially marginalized areas.

Dr. Suliman Qudeih clarified the danger of drug phenomenon spreading and defined types of drugs and their impact on human physiological, and reviewed the effects of physiological symptoms such as sore throat, break the blood cells, disruption in memory, and the death of some brain cells which are known as’ Aldgr’ causing a state of forgetfulness, inability to concentrate, hallucinations, in addition to the anxiety, nervous, panic and balance confusion after a deal.

Dr. Suliman Qudeih numbered the social impacts associated with the drug addicts, especially married life and the problems posed and its impacts on the addict’s family, and psychological pressures associated with the addict and his family. He added that there were political implications, especially the young and those who suffer from weakness and inertia of determination and disregard for community and home issues, and their isolation and neutralize their role. Dr. Qudeih provided many advices to young people to avoid falling under the clutches of drugs.

And then Sheikh, Mohamed Lafi spoke about the religious side and drugs harm ness in the Islamic religion and other religious books, and said some of the verses from the Holy Quran and Hadiths which showed drug interdiction, and mentioned in his entire, five elements based on their interpretation by scientists in drug interdiction are “self-restraint, reason, money, nobleness, and religion” and that any damage to one of these elements is forbidden in the monotheistic religions.

Mr. Lafi spoke about the social aspect in the context of his speech and gave some advices to young people, especially parents to follow-up their children to defend them, especially the younger. And then, he discussed with the guests and the audience the issue of drugs and how to face it by civil society and people and how can the normal person to overcome the phenomenon by the assistance of specialists.

The participated young people in the meeting expressed their thanks and appreciation to the NSDL and the Catholic Relief Services to their meeting, which contributed to the to aware youth of the dangers of drug abuse.

The participants in the meeting called all segments of society to fight this phenomenon and all the other phenomena have been observed in the community, urging the Palestinian police to carry out its duty and its role in this aspect, and the prosecution of drug dealers and bring them to justice and punished them for what they have gained at the expense of Palestinian youth’s health and blood. And there is a must to search for contraband places used by dealers, confirming their willingness to cooperate with any hand faces those who are out of law.

The participants also recommended the intensification of activities and events which deal with such phenomena, and the need for special media campaign to combat this phenomenon in all across the homeland.