In the Gaza Strip, there are 18 hospitals, and Al-Maamadani Hospital, also known as Al-Ahli Arab Hospital, is the oldest among them. It was built in the Zaytoun neighborhood in the heart of Gaza City. It is more than half a century older than the Palestinian Nakba.
Originally established by the Anglican Missionary Diocese, it started as a church. Over time, the decision was made to expand and convert it into what was called the English Hospital while preserving the church building within it.
At that time, the hospital was the only one serving about twenty thousand people in the area between the cities of Jaffa in Palestine and Port Said in Egypt.
During World War I, the hospital suffered damage and looting and was closed. It was reconstructed in 1919 and resumed its operations.
With the end of the British Mandate in Palestine, the Baptist Mission took over the hospital.
However, a dispute arose over the ownership of its lands, prompting a group of Palestinians residing in the United States to fund it to keep its doors open.
Its name changed to Al-Ahli Arab Hospital while retaining the name Al-Maamadani Hospital.
Throughout the wars, Al-Maamadani Hospital did not cease its operations, and its name became associated with the tragedy that unfolded, transforming it from being known as the Al-Maamadani Hospital to the hospital that moved the world to tears.