For the second time in as many weeks, the children of Gaza set a Guinness World Record today in an event organized by the United Nations as part of its 2011 Summer Games programme – this time for the largest number of footballs dribbled simultaneously.
The event, involving 2,011 children, took place in Kherbit El-Addas, Rafah, just a few miles from the Khan Younis stadium, where on 30 June 3,500 children broke the world record for the largest number of parachute games.
“I want to congratulate the children of Gaza once again for their second world record in two weeks,” said Christer Nordahl, acting director of operations in Gaza for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
“As we’ve seen yet again, when given the opportunity, the children of Gaza can be the best in the world.”
For five years the UNRWA has staged the Summer Games – which include sports, arts and other activities – to provide a recreational outlet for an estimated 250,000 children in the Gaza Strip. This year’s games coincide with the fifth year of the Israeli blockade of Gaza.
“We need to lift the blockade and give the kids of Gaza a chance to fulfil their true potential,” said UNRWA spokesperson Chris Gunness.
“These records breakers evoke other world records,” he stated. “The Israeli blockade of Gaza has lasted longer than some of the most notorious sieges in human history.”
The next world record attempt will take place on 21 July, when children with special needs aim to create the largest ever hand-print painting. Then before the Games wrap up at the end of July, up to 10,000 children will attempt to smash their own record set last year for kite flying.