Encyclopedia of Palestinian Charities on the Net
Middle East News Online
By Ramzy Baroud, Middle East News Online Managing Editor
In the past nine months, have you felt angry and helpless every time you
watch the news, narrating the devastation inflicted on the Palestinian people
by Israel? Have you asked yourself, "what can I do to help?"
This particular question is one that I have been asked regularly by readers
from all over the world. And because organizing protests to vent our anger
and to grab the attention of the media is not always possible; and because we
might not always be able to protect the lives of the children with our bare
hands, or to wipe the tears of their mothers, we began searching for
alternative methods of assistance.
Some people write, hoping to educate misled readers of the rightfulness of
the Palestinian struggle; others speak in private and in public, narrating
stories and counted names of martyrs, hoping to add a human face to the cold
statistics of those killed while holding the torch of freedom; others quietly
pray, asking God to be with those who are left to survive in the midst of
military blockades, destructive bulldozers, falling shells and flying
Yet despite the hard work, much still needs to be done, as Palestinian
hospitals are left with little to offer to the mounting wounded, as poor
families are left without providers, and homeless children are left to sit
beside their parents, mourning the ruins of what was once home.
In the midst of helplessness, a glimpse of hope springs from the least
expected places, the World Wide Web, opening the door to those who are
willing to convert passion into action.
Trusted Palestinian, Arab, Muslim and pro Palestinian organizations on the
net exist in abundance, ready to carry your donation, to convert it into
bricks to rebuild a demolished house, or into a bottle of milk for a hungry
The main problem is that, although such a medium is available, it is
under-funded, an unfortunate fact that might not stem from apathy as much as
from the lack of awareness of the value of such a venue.
It seems that the Israeli blockade has left Palestinians with two bitter
choices: give up their struggle, or live in endless despair. Such an equation
must change, and with our collective efforts and a few clinks on charity web
sites, lives can be saved, and homes can be rebuilt.
This is a brief directory to some of these organizations. Without you, they
cannot operate, and without them, we cannot tell our brethren in Palestine
how much we care.
The Holy Land Foundation (www.hlf.org/index.shtml) is one of the most
devoted charities that aid Palestinians. Their actively updated web site
offers many options for those wanting to extend a helping hand to Palestinian
families throughout the West Bank and Gaza and refugee camps elsewhere. With
services reaching the fields of social, health, education and emergency
relief, the foundation is able to contribute in various tangible ways that
truly make a difference in the lives of thousands.
The Palestinian Relief and Development Fund (INTERPAL)
(www.interpal.org/), is an independent British Muslim Charity
organization, set up to serve the Palestinian cause. Headed by one of the
most respected Muslim scholars, Sheikh Yusuf, INTERPAL jointly with a number
of Muslim organizations around the world initiated the "101 Day charity
campaign in solidarity with the Palestinian people."
To ensure continuing success for the campaign, your help is urgently needed.
Take part in the campaign by visiting INTERPAL's own donation page:
IslamiQ, (www.islamiq.com/), a Malaysian-based Islamic finance company is
too playing an active role in the 101 Day campaign. However, their rich
donation and Zakah Center page (http://islamiq.com/zakah-center/) is a
comprehensive source for those interested in learning more about other
charities, and it offers its visitors more services and options than any
Palestine Children's Relief Fund (www.wolfenet.com/~pcrf/) is a truly
inspiring project. It's success stories are uplifting and motivating. Its
well-designed web site will greet you with sad faces of wounded Palestinian
children, some shot by Israeli soldiers and others by settlers. Yet the fund
provides you with many ways in which you can help, especially if you are
living in the United States. Being a host family to an injured Palestinian
child who is being treated in the US is one of the most valuable services you
can provide. If you would rather donate money and help in the process of
treating these children, you also have that option.
Would you like to donate medications and medical supplies? Union of Health
Work Committees (www.gaza-health.org), the parent organization of
Al-Awda hospital in Jabalia (in the Gaza Strip) is in urgent need of help. If
the number of visitors are an indication of the amount of support received by
the vital Palestinian medical body, then the organization has sadly received
little help. Visit their site and spend some time finding out the most
suitable way for you to help. A recent appeal by Dr. Rabah Muhana, Chairman
of the Board, indicated that Al-Awda hospital is running out of supplies. Can
you assist an ailing hospital to care for its patients?
The Hebron based Al Ahli hospital (www.ahli.org/index1.html) is in
greater need that it has ever been since it was established in 1978. The
people of Hebron and surrounding areas are left suffering from suffocating
blockades and lack of medical care.
Al Ahli hospital can help. Visit their web site and they will tell you how.
The Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees (UPMRC), founded in 1979,
is an organization mainly reliant on volunteer work that has succeeded in
providing badly needed health services to Palestinian towns and villages
throughout the occupied territories. "Over the years, UPMRC expanded its
constituency to include some 1,200 participating physicians, nurses,
laboratory technicians, pharmacists and other health professionals, the
majority of them volunteers." Whether you are living in the US or elsewhere,
you can do much to help UPMRC to bring the smile back to the faces of wounded
Palestinians. Visit their site to learn about their inspiring projects, and
find out how you can be part of it.
Interested in aiding highly effective political efforts led by Palestinian
activists? Then visit The Council for Palestinian Restitution and
Repatriation (CPRR) (www.rightofreturn.org/). CPRR is one of the most well
known and most active organizations that is working hard to ensure justice
and human rights for millions of Palestinian refugees. You can assist CPRR's
growing campaign by donating directly through their informative web site.
Empowering such a project will ensure that Palestinian voices are heard all
over the world.
Helping the cause of Palestine is an honorable deed that strengthens the
resistance of an oppressed nation. Nothing can be more painful than watching
a child suffer from untreated wounds, or a dignified family living in a tent
beside their destroyed home.
Although your help might not end Palestinian suffering all together, it would
certainly make a difference in the life of an individual.
Palestinians are paying a heavy price for their quest for justice and human
rights; they do not deserve to be left all alone, facing the monstrosity of
tanks and missiles.
They need our help to survive the fight and to win their freedom.