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We Are Not Numbers

We Are Not Numbers Receives Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk

The annual Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk was established in 2005 to honour the work of HRDs who are courageously making outstanding contributions to the promotion and protection of the human rights of others, often at great personal risk to themselves.

We Are Not Numbers (WANN) is a youth-led Palestinian nonprofit project established in the Gaza Strip in 2014, with the aim of telling the everyday, human stories of thousands of Palestinians. Their vision is to spread Palestinian voices and narratives, based on respect for human rights through the work of peaceful, non-violent, youth led Palestinians. When co-founder Ahmed Alnaouq lost his 23-year-old brother, Ayman, during an Israeli military attack on Palestinians in the summer of 2014, he was devastated, and sunk into a depression from which he thought he would never escape. During this time, he met American journalist Pam Bailey, who encouraged him to celebrate his brother’s legacy by writing a story about him. Like many young people in Gaza, Ahmed was majoring in English literature to improve his language skills. Pam published the story on a Western news website, which was well-received beyond expectation. Ahmed and Pam realised that writing the story had brought some healing to him and that this could be done on a much bigger platform.