The past weeks have been both tragic and remarkable ones. The attack on the flotilla shocked, angered, and saddened people all over the world. The Rebuilding Alliance sent materials on one boat in the flotilla, the MV Rachel Corrie, as part of our More Than Chocolates for Gaza campaign. We are working hard pressure the U.S. government to assure delivery of those materials.
Meanwhile, the people of Gaza wait for the blockade to be lifted.
There are things we can do to bring hope in the meantime. We can bring light.
Ramadan is coming again, and early. During Ramadan, people come outside to be with one another and celebrate at night, after the fast is over for the day. With your help, we have furnished the soccer field in Rafah with some lights for playing at night, but not enough yet. The field needs more light! Keep up the good work and the much appreciated donations.
Thanks for the help and support you’ve given to our Beam of Light: Ramadan Soccer Tournament in Rafah! Through your help, lights have been installed along the walkway, allowing for safer passage in the evening or night. Additionally, we were able to install the transformer for the lights spec’ed in our project.
You may remember that this project is being organized by the Rachel Corrie Sports Initiative in Gaza. These are the families who knew Rachel when she lived in Gaza and they pursue her commitment to nonviolence and community in her memory.
I want to take this opportunity to tell you that Cindy and Craig Corrie (Rachel’s parents) have asked people around the world to participate in an international day of conscience in her memory. As it happens, on that very day, Tuesday, GlobalGiving will match your donation at 30%, up to $1,000 per donor, for all donations received from 12:01am tonight, eastern standard time until 11:59pm Tuesday, eastern time.
Our Beam of Light project has raised $4744 so far with $ 6587 still needed to meet the $11,331 goal to install all the lights for the field. Please give on Tuesday to make this dream come true.
P.S. In memory of Rachel and her dreams, we would like to send you a very special gift when you make a donation. A few months after Rachel was killed, hundreds of people joined her mother in Olympia Washington, to walk in her memory in the "Procession of the Species" - all wearing dove costumes (- Rachel had been a key volunteer for this gentle parade, designing and making dove costumes).
When you donate for the "Beam of Light: Ramadan Soccer Tournament in Rafah" project, we will email you a certificate of thanks, along with detailed instructions describing how you can make a dove costume in Rachel's memory, developed by Olympia artist candio. and including photos of Rachel and the many adults and children walking as doves in her memory in Olympia's Procession of the Species.
There may now be a way to re-open our Rachel Corrie Rebuilding Campaign in Gaza and complete the 2nd home. This spring, the Free Gaza Movement will send a flotilla of ships destined for Gaza with cargo ranging from school supplies, to sports equipment, to building materials. They have invited the Rebuilding Alliance to participate and will deliver cement and steel re-bar to our partners at the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme for the construction of the Al Bahry family’s home.
You may remember, we began our Rachel Corrie Rebuilding Campaign in Gaza in 2004, and successfully completed construction of a home for the family whom the late Rachel Corrie had sought to protect. Completion of that first home was a significant challenge due to the blockade first imposed on Gaza when Israeli settlers were being relocated from Gaza to Israel.
We dream of rebuilding whole neighborhoods in Gaza. In 2007, despite the blockade, we boldly started raising funds to build a second home, this one for physiotherapist Ali Al Bahry and his family. He is a key provider at Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, serving children and adults who’ve also lost their homes and more.
The blockade and siege kept us from realizing our goals as the price of building supplies dramatically increased then became entirely unavailable in Gaza. We’ve explored many alternatives. Recently, we joined an engineering conference in Doha Qatar to help UN engineers develop plans to rebuild using compressed earth blocks. Now, with the help of the Free Gaza Flotilla, we would like to move forward and rebuild the Al Bahry family’s home at last.
This will be the 9th expedition undertaken by the Free Gaza Movement. Like the previous journeys, we expect some or all of the ships to be detained by the Israeli authorities (5 made it, 3 did not.) Please remember that the boats will be carrying humanitarian aid, will be fully inspected at the port of sail, and will be received by Non-Governmental Organizations in Gaza. We’ll soon be asking your help to contact Congress to request their endorsement of our shipment. Should the ships be detained, we’ll ask you to call them again to ask their staffers to urge free passage on your behalf.
I will be in touch in the next few days to decribe our rebuilding plans in detail.
Thank you again for your support and your continued trust, supporting our work to rebuild war-torn communities and make them safe.
P.S. I appreciate that you may have many questions -- send me email at dbw@RebuildingAlliance.org and I'll reply. I look forward to hearing from you.