DOM Research Center
Dom Research Center Promoting cultural awareness
           and community enhancement

Global Health: A Look at the Dom People of the Middle East
November 2015

During 2015 Dom community leaders began to collect data that will shed light on the health care situation of the Dom communities in the Palestinian Territories. As the initial data is gathered, Dr. Bethany Williams made a presentation at the Texas Tech Health Science Center to raise awareness of both the Dom culture and to bring their medical needs into the larger global health picture. While there are several medical conditions presenting themselves in the communities, the Gaza wars and the on-going problems of inadequate housing and unclean drinking water have negatively impacted the overall health picture. These realities and their attending medical problems can and must be addressed.

Diabetes is one of the prevalent medical issues reported in the Dom communities. Equipment to monitor an individual's diabetic condition, as well as medications, are available in the region if one can afford them. In one situation a young Dom girl's treatment for diabetes costs 70% of the family's monthly income. Family and friends who are able to get insulin for their diabetic condition share their medications with her whenever possible. Even when a dose of insulin is available, clean syringes to administer the medication may not be available. Patients resort to cutting themselves and putting the insulin on the open cut in hopes that the body will absorb the medicine. Education, monitoring supplies, and medications are all needed to address this recurring problem.

The Dom Research Center is investigating ways to assist the Dom communities with these issues. Gathering of medical data will continue to be emphasized, but practical means of addressing these needs are being considered. Already contributions to the DRC are used to gain access to a local medical clinic for one Dom community on the West Bank. At times, the DRC has released relief funds to purchase medications for the Dom in Gaza.

As a part of the expanding attention given to the medical conditions the Dom face, the DRC is looking for both individuals and organizations interested in joining the effort to address the need for both medical care and clean water. In October 2015 the DRC committed to finding individuals to provide "Senna" with her diabetes medications. Working with Amoun Sleem of the Domari Society, three months of treatments were purchased and delivered to her. The DRC is also receiving donations to purchase monitoring equipment. Also in October, funds were given to purchase filters for 2 community water tanks. Additional filters are needed in other communities.

The medical needs in Gaza are extensive. The medical equipment and treatments needed are being currently researched, and plans developed to address these needs. In subsequent posts to this site those needs will be outlined. Check the DRC Facebook page and this website for updates and instructions for making contributions. Below is information that will assist you to make a contribution toward the purchase of insulin for "Senna." Her medications cost 700 NIS (shekels) per month, which is approximately $181 USD per month.

All contributions are tax deductible for US tax payers.

Send your contribution to: Dom Research Center P.O. Box 121 McComb, MS 39649 USA

Or click on the link below to make a donation to the Dom Medical Fund by credit card or PayPal account. After you complete your donation you will be directed back to the Dom Research Center website.

A Gypsy Dreaming in Jerusalem, by Amoun Sleem

Working with author Virginia McGee Butler, Amoun Sleem has written a book in which she shares about her life as a Dom child in Jerusalem, her family, her dreams for her community, and the establishment of the Domari Society of Gypsies in Jerusalem.

Anat Hoffman, chairperson of the Domari Society, spoke about Amoun saying, "Amoun and the Domari are proof that miracles can still happen in Jerusalem. Against all odds, she is able to become teacher, leader, mentor. Without the benefit of any female leadership role model she invented a unique path and walked it with courage. She pays the highest price for her struggle for her people--she is usually alone on the front lines. Amoun's spirit is a force of nature. She has not succumbed to pressures from all sides 'to be normal,' bend her head, and accept a marginal role. Amoun can't help following her vocation to lift her people from the bottom strata of Jerusalem society. Amoun is one of the bravest people I know. As long as there are Miracles like her in the world one can believe that leadership is a divine gift."

Order your copy today from the Dom Research Center by clicking on the PayPal button below. The book costs $9.99 (plus $3.00 for shipping).

Orders can also be placed directly with the publisher. Use the coupon code AUTHOR15 to receive a 15% discount. The publisher's new, on-line bookstore where you can place your order is

New Articles in the DRC's Kuri Journal

"Lom: Still Present," by M. van Rheenen

"Sinte," by M. van Rheenen

"Gentrification and Romani Dance in Istanbul," by M. Shivaun Corry

"Syrian Refugees are being Ignored: The Gypsies," by Kemal Vural Tarlan

"Forgotten in the Crisis: The Dom People of Syria and Turkey on the Streets of Diyarbakir," by Ana Oprisan

"Alice in Amman," by Hadeel Dawwas

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