It’s a wonderful thing that you have donated your Face Book status message. Really it shows that you are aware of what is going on and that you care. Now, have you donated money, medicine, food or any kind of tangible item that can actually help the people in Gaza? Is there a FaceBook app which can tell us how much money has been collected and a link for people to donate more to encourage the donation of money? The numbers are devastating and saddening but publicly stating what is already known does no good.
Financial aid is needed now for treatment of the wounded, food, clothing, shelter and power. You can easily donate from anywhere in the world as long as you have internet access. In Egypt you can head over to the Egyptian Medical Syndicate, they have been helping send donations to Gaza and Palestine since the beginning of the siege, these are doctors and administrators who leave their homes, jobs and families for days and weeks waiting at the border in Rafah to make sure that the supplies get through the borders.
It also gives this sense that the problem can go away if the killing stops and the numbers stop rising. Has anyone thought how much money Gaza will need to rebuild its infrastructure? How much money will be needed to help support the widdows, orphans and the people who will need medical care for the coming months? How much money will be needed to rebuild schools and put young men and women through college so they can replace the doctors and engineers who have been killed? Once the attacks are over and Israel has completely demolished everything in Gaza will you still remember and will you still care?
There is a humanitarian crisis right now. Your face book status is of no value, it is just a reminder of how powerless we all are and how we choose to show our solidarity by a couple of words on a status instead of finding ways to help no matter how simple or simplistic they might appear.
I have a very interesting question. What do you think the Arabic Media should be doing in the current state of crisis in Ghazzeh?
Yesterday, I happened to catch part of a show called “Al I7′tirak”, the presenter was calling strategic analysts and asking them what they thought and managed to confirm that mos of the Arab heads of states knew that the IDF had plans to attack Ghazzeh. Then they played on the viewers’ emotions by playing heartbreaking songs while showing pictures of the dead and slain. While I believe that the goal of the media is to portray the truth, I don’t think it is in a position to be moving the emotions of the people knowing that they can do nothing. The show was running on the state owned Egyptian Satellite Channel, so one must assume that this is state approved. From a conspiracy theory point of view this might be part of a plan to keep the Egyptian people thinking of the trouble in Ghazzeh than our own home grown issues. Musicians and singers are popping up with songs left and right about the attacks. The video clips are being played over and over again. Over at Tales of a Fattractive Egyptian woman there was a post about it. Shows like El 3ashera Masa2an keep discussing whether or not we should open Rafah, 90 minutes had a heartbreaking report on the officer who was killed at the border and the news is all about the protests and rallies all over the world.
Should they be doing this? Or, is there something better that could be done? I really don’t know what the right thing is.
Here is an interesting documentary on the Israel lobby in the United states. I must say that I don’t think the US should be solving our issues but that this just shows how smart and intertwined Israel is in world politics and we are just weak spectators in a very sophisticated game. The other question is, when will we learn the rules and start playing it correctly?
Recommended reading: Israel and America and the Forever War. I would also recommend that you read the comments too. Knowledge is power, we need a smarter, more knowledgeable generation so our countries can prosper.
I have been thinking of how we can really help instead of just being passive.
Be depressed. This does not do anything for the people who need help.
Blame Egypt. I really hate this one and think it changes nothing just creates lots of anger and resentment on both sides.
Demonstrate. This is one I always have mixed feelings about. On one hand we have to say something yet on the other it has always proven to be an inneffective method of change in Arab countries. If you can hold a peaceful demonstration with a list of changes that the government can do then by all means go ahead. Otherways I think holding donation collection rallies might be a better idea.
Donate. Helps. Just make sure you find a good organization that knows how to get help to the people who need it.
Understand our politics. Yes we need to understand who are the stakeholders, how they respond to trouble, what they have done in the past and how we can change it.
Understand our history. This might seem like it does not help a lot, but I believe it does because to understand the current situation we can look back at what happened in the forties, the sixties and in the seventies. The dates are different but the methodologies stay the same.
Educate our children. The problem will not go away today even if the bombing stops. Our children and the younger generations need to understand what is going on. They need to be politically savvy, they need to understand the history of the whole area and understand how things work and how they can help. Explaining to a child why you are donating money, clothes or medication builds a long term understanding of what is effective and what isn’t.
Learn from the enemy. Lasto Adri posted an interesting link in her shared bookmarks which just shows how the Israeli’s try to help their cause. I will not post the link because I don’t want to help his SEO but you can see from the screen shot that the ideas are pretty smart. We are bloggers, users of Facebook, Twitterers and smart people. Here are some examples of what people are already doing:
Just read what they are doing, stop and think. Put your anger and intellect into good use.
If you are a blogger, blog about it. Stay level and smart, respond to hate comments wisely and smartly.
If you use Twitter, tweet about it.
If you live in a country where you can change your politics rally and lobby for the cause.
If you use Facebook, post articles and blog posts to point your non Arab friends to fairer information.
If you are a cartoonist or an artist, express yourself and post on deviantart, facebook, blogs or wherever you can.
If you are a teacher teach our younger generations.
If you are part of Global Voices then translate articles and educate the rest of the world.
Be positive and active.
No matter what you do or who you are do the right thing. This problem will not go away in a day or even a week, the problem stays as long as Palestine is occupied. This problem stays as long as we are negative and passive. This problem stays as long as we do nothing and only moan and blame others for our misfortunes. We are not all Ghazzeh, we go back to our warm homes, turn on our electricity, put loads of laundry in the washing machine with lovely smelling softener, curse if someone cuts us off in the street in our shiny cars, pick up our kids from their fancy schools and have no idea what they are going through. We do not know what it is like living in constant everyday hell. We do not mourn family members in the dozens and we do not. We are not immune, we live in countries that have borders with the occupation and we can be victims when they choose.
If you can do nothing then pray silently and remember the civillians who are being killed every day.