How to Help Gaza in 1 Easy Step

The news is rife with atrocities in Syria, Iraq, and Palestine, among other places. We clamor against death tolls and rightly so. But the public can grow weary of these images, preferring to turn back to their more comfortable programming.

I am particularly touched by the Gaza crisis because I’m watching how it has polarized friends around the world through social media. Perhaps people misunderstand the Palestinian cause because of the myths about this historical conflict. Perhaps because they don’t know any Palestinians either personally or culturally.

Artists, writers, musicians, friends: each have a role in building our world view of a people group. Sadly for most places in the Arab world, the people are represented by their politicians.

Unlike people in Arab countries, the rest of us can’t as easily make distinctions between people and their leaders. My Iranian friends love me though I’m American. My Pakistani research assistants write down notes from our sessions though I’m Indian. The world thinks of Gaza as being ruled by Hamas because that’s the predominate talking point.

Instead of death tolls or media soundbites, how about we think for ourselves? Can we see people for what they are: humans like us who have passions, desires, needs?

Let me share with you an artist, Mona Hatoum, who I learned about during the exhibit Turbulence at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art. I live in the Middle East and this certainly allows me to gauge the messages the media feeds us about this part of the world. As a writer much of my recent work has been set here because I see it was part of my role to contribute to a wider group of stories about this place. I’m still an expat writing about a place that is not my origin but after nearly 10 years here I write with the other perspective in mind.

Do you have other suggestions of how we can combat media saturation?

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Reader Comments

  1. Noor

    Naomi Wolf, she’s a famous Jewish author who opened a web page on facebook to enable civilized discussion and information sharing, and has spoken against the Gazacaust ever since. Recently Facebook has attempted to censor her, but it seems like that only made her more popular. Join in! Over four million followers so far. God bless her and all those who stand up for justice

    • Mohana

      The response from the Jewish thought leaders, like Naomi and others, has been supportive and oh so necessary. Let’s hope more people keep standing up to defend civilians.

  2. Scott Bury

    Your prescription: think for yourself? I couldn’t agree more. Yes, people, think for yourselves. Don’t swallow what you hear/read/see in mass media. Even if you don’t have time to do a lot of research, you can think.

    Well said, Mohana.

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