“Only the birds are free in the homeland.”- Sakir Khader (Palestinian documentary photographer)
Our deepest condolences and prayers go out to the victims of the ongoing crisis in Palestine. The suffering and loss that the Palestinian people have endured is truly heart-wrenching, and our thoughts and prayers are with those who have been affected. We stand in solidarity with all those who have lost loved ones, their homes, and their sense of security. Our hearts are with Palestine during these difficult times, and we hope for a future of peace, justice, and healing for all those affected by this tragedy.
But this can change if we collectivize our efforts in aiding the Palestinian people in their resistance against oppression.
VELA firmly maintains that violence is never the solution, advocating instead for equality, freedom, and peace for Palestine, a nation that has suffered more than its fair share. The children of Palestine have endured more than enough. While the U.S. continues to support Israel, it falls on us, as a united community, to stand by our Palestinian brothers and sisters. Let us persist in our efforts to donate, to pray, to hope, and to provide the help so desperately needed.
How can I help?
Donations directly change the lives of those who get them. A reliable donation source is Islamic Relief. To continue your education with depth and accuracy, it's important to explore beyond mainstream sources, which may sometimes lack essential details.
If you prefer physical reading materials, a selection of novels might pique your interest. "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine" by Ilan Pappe offers a unique perspective from an Israeli viewpoint, condemning the actions of fellow Israelis. Another illuminating work, "Against the Loveless World" by Susan Abulhawa, is a fictional tale about a young Palestinian refugee searching for better opportunities in the Middle East but finding herself imprisoned by Israeli forces. Lastly, "The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine" by Palestinian author Rashid Khalidi takes you on a journey from 1917 to 2017, offering insights into the lead-up to the Nakba and the enduring struggles of Palestine.
In addition to raising awareness, boycotting Israeli-owned and supported brands can play a pivotal role. Some of these brands include Disney, Lego, Nike, Good American, Starbucks, Puma, HP, Lipton, Sabra, Clinique, Walmart, and Revlon. Spreading the message about brand boycotts and keeping each other informed is vital for Palestine to receive the recognition it deserves. Currently, Israel intends to ban Al Jazeera from Palestine, cutting off worldwide news coverage, making it even more essential to stay informed and spread awareness about what is going on inside Palestine. Them cutting off news coverage eliminates the chance for the rest of the world to see their vile actions.
The last, and most powerful way to help, is by making dua. Often overlooked, but the mercy of our Creator is something we should always acknowledge and cherish.
Prayer is Power
“O Allah! Improve (help) the state of the Ummah of Muhammad. O Allah! Grant ease to the Ummah of Muhammad. O Allah! Have mercy on the Ummah of Muhammad.”
اللَّهُمَّ أَصْلِحْ أُمَّةَ مُحَمَّدٍ اللَّهُمَّ فَرِّجْ عَنْ أُمَّةِ مُحَمَّدٍ اللَّهُمَّ ارْحَمْ أُمَّةَ مُحَمَّدٍ
Allahumma aslih Ummata Muhammad. Allahumma farrij ‘an Ummati Muhammad. AllahummaRham Ummata Muhammad [sallAllahu alayhi wasalam]
More dua’s can be found by clicking here.
What does our community need?
In these challenging times, Vela recognizes the need for emotional support. If you find yourself in need of someone to talk to, @SilkRouteTherapy is offering zoom sessions based on what you can pay. More information can be found on Menosh’s website. If you are located in the Bay Area, @FreedomCommunityClinic is offering free 1-on-1 healing services to the Palestinian community and Arab, Muslim, and Palestinian individuals to create a healing environment for people as they grieve. They are also ready on call to provide healing services at any upcoming protests or actions that are Palestinian-led and/or Arab-led. More information can be found here.
If you find yourself facing employment threats, there are institutions ready to stand up for your rights. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) offers resources to individuals facing threats. Moreover, the Muslim Legal Support Centre offers support to individuals in the Ontario region. Additionally, the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) extends its assistance to those in the Greater Toronto Area, Montreal, London, Edmonton, and Saskatoon.
Remember to be consistent. If you cannot donate monetarily, donate your du'as. What is happening to our brothers and sisters affects us all, which is why it is just as important to donate time to ourselves as well, to our own peace and well-being. There is strength in numbers, but even the strongest people step away for a moment. May we all see the day the people of Palestine find peace and justice.
This article was written by one of our blog contributors, Athmar Al-Ghanim from Seattle, Washington. After petting every cat that passes her by, she's a bookworm graduating from University of Washington, whose main motivation is dressing up and documenting all of life's moments. You can find her at @fatherathmar.