Everything About this Picture is Wrong

One of my favourite iTunes applications for the iPad is The Guardian Eyewitness, a photography portal that brings in usually great photos almost every day from the news. Along with The Frame and The Big Picture, I get my daily dose of superb street photography and photojournalism.

A few days ago, the photo below landed on my iPad. According to the website:

An Israeli motorist runs down a masked Palestinian youth who was among a group of boys throwing stones at Israeli cars in the mostly Arab east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan.

This isn’t the first time I am subjected to such an image, and I have seen much worse on The Frame and The Big Picture.

You can’t stop and think that everything about this photo is wrong.

Dubai Cares Children of Gaza Campaign

I just got this from my friend. If you’re in the UAE it would be great to join:

Subject: help package 50,000 basic school kits and 50,000 hygiene kits for the Children of Gaza

Dubai Cares is joining a united front of UAE-based relief and charitable organizations to pledge humanitarian assistance and mobilize the UAE community to help the children of Gaza.

There are approximately 275,000 students of primary school age in Gaza and Dubai Cares is asking for your help to support them in this time of need.

Here’s how you can help. Dubai Cares is currently recruiting volunteers to help package 50,000 basic school kits and 50,000 hygiene kits for the Children of Gaza. Approximately 150 participants are needed each day for this event as we are aiming to assemble approximately 10,000 kits a day . We would be honored if you could join us.

Dubai Cares will supply all of the items required for the kits and we need your help to pack and prepare them for shipping to the children of Gaza.

Date: Wednesday, January 14 through January 20, 2009
Venue: DIFC – Emperor Hall
Weekdays: 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Friday January 16, 2009: 2:00 -6:00 p.m.
Saturday January 17, 2009: 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

You are welcome to join us anytime. Please bring your friends and family to the venue during our working hours and we will put you to work. You can also help us spread the word by forwarding this email to others who you believe may want to help. We will have snacks and beverages available.

Should you have any queries or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at: gaza /at/ dubaicares /dot/ ae

We hope you will be able to join with us to show solidarity for the children of Gaza.

If you want a map to DIFC:


Quote of the Year & More Ways to Help Gaza

Quote of the year nomination goes to Shimon Peres:

We are not in the business of public relations or improving our image. We are fighting against terror…

So let me get this straight: bombing a school/UN-shelter is now considered fighting against terror? It’s clearly obvious they’re not improving their image but will they be able to handle the consequences? However the Quote of the Year award goes to Tzipi Livni:

Is there a humanitarian crisis? There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza

Of course she can’t comprehend what a humanitarian crisis is as she is barely ISO-certified as an organic life-form.

I am not going to brood over the matter, but you can go to Qwaider’s blog for more opinions on the general subject.

The Universal Street amaze me at their commitment to help the cause. As demonstrated in NY (read about it in Batoul’s blog).




Another venue of relief opened in Dubai as 50 pharmacies now have medicine-for-Gaza packages. You can read more about them in moryarti’s blog. However you can take the list and buy it at your local pharmacy outside the UAE and donate it. Don’t forget the babies – pick up baby formulas!

There is also another rally in Dubai Mamzar Park this Friday at 4 PM. Mamzar Rally Event.

UPDATE: For anyone who can donate some time, UAE Aramex needs help in their warehouse sorting out all the donations. They are located near Dragonmart area and need as much help as possible. They are working from 9am – 12 midnight, so please go any time until Jan 11/12. Map of Dragon Mart

Compassion Goes a Long way

I’ve been in the office for a couple of hours now and I haven’t been able to fully concentrate on finishing any task. The ground offensive against Gaza set a new record for inhumanity as well as stupidity on both the Arab and Western fronts.

What I wanted to say is that the past week has taught us a great deal about our situation as a global community. It has exposed deficits in both sides of the war, the public’s stance against the global governments as well as how ridiculously absurd of a concept it is to not have a voice in a supposedly-democratic world.

The message that the average Gazan citizen is showing us is that not only do we have to defend our rights but also have compassion.

We have to be compassionate about our lives, our friends and family and our circumstances. Observing the war shows you how little your problems really are, and that most of them are not truly worth the fuss. While it is important to be realistic about your own problems (because, granted, anything compared to war is nothing), it is also important to realize that with a little more compassion in your life, at least some of the problems would be resolved.

Do not hate yourself. Most of us are living with the guilt that we cannot help the Palestinian people. But we cannot help them if we continually live in this guilt. We have to be compassionate towards ourselves and others, and the guys at 7iber and the whole Aramex movement across Jordan and the UAE showed how a little compassion can go a long way, for us as individuals – that we overcame the guilt and helped – and for the Palestinians who are, hopefully, receiving our donations and the moral support.

My best friend is cooking up a great plan for aid that doesn’t require you to move off your seat, and I would be informing you about it when we have it settled.

In these times, appreciate what you have, appreciate your life, and do not forget those less fortunate. Be realistic and give attention to problems that truly require your attention. Love your friends, your spouses, kids, family, and most importantly, love yourself, so that you can love others.