From rap songs to medical assistance, Bahrain residents have been doing their bit for Palestinian charitys
It’s been a regular outpouring. In the weeks during and since the Israeli attacks on Gaza, the people of Bahrain have responded to the plight of the Palestinians with compassion, solidarity and action, launching a wide range of initiatives in their support.
Fundraising activities have taken place at every level of society. Two telethons for Gaza were organised by Bahrain Television and the Royal Charity Foundation, the first raising US$3.9 million, and the second US$5 million, with proceeds going towards major infrastructure projects. On a smaller scale, fundraising and solidarity activities organised by individuals and groups have included a football tournament, charity auctions, fairs and exhibitions, as well as a march and various discussions held in a Palestine tent set up on the Corniche.
Three MPs made plans to enter the Gaza Strip to hand over a sum of BD150,000, composed of a contribution from parliament and donations by MPs who had given up as much as an entire month’s salary. The trip was foiled when they were informed that the border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip was closed, but the money still made it to its destination, along with sizeable donations from individuals, including Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa and businessman Yousif bin Ali Kanoo, and a number of companies.
Bahrain Medical Society has been very active, both in terms of fundraising and providing assistance. Two Bahraini doctors made it into the Gaza Strip to help while the attacks were taking place, and since the ceasefire, more delegations of doctors have visited hospitals in Gaza and Egypt, both to assist in medical work and to identify patients requiring specialist medical treatment at Bahrain’s Salmaniya Medical Complex. In addition, Palestinian doctors are being brought to Bahrain for training unavailable in Gaza.
And perhaps the most unusual contribution of all… Showing solidarity in a different way, Bahraini racing star Hamad Al Fardan recorded a rap song in support of the people of Gaza (which can be viewed on YouTube).
A word of caution: if you’re still planning to raise funds, get official approval, because organisations that don’t are breaking the law, according to the Ministry of Social Development, which threatens legal action if necessary. There’s nothing to stop you from donating to The National Committee in Support of the Palestinians in Gaza, however, which was formed by a directive of the King to unify fundraising efforts in the country. Donations can be made to the National Committee in Support of the Palestinians in Gaza at the following banks: NBB, BBK, Al Salam Bank, KFH and Shamil Bank. Contact the Royal Charity Organisation on 36 960 081 or visit www.gazasupport.bh (Arabic)