A very good friend of mine, who I’ve met online, known for nearly three years & had the chance to meet last September is asking us all for a favor. Here, she introduces us to her activism and what you can do to help her help the people of Gaza. Her info is at the bottom! She has sent her friends this email so I have decided to broaden it by posting it on my blog. Good luck, Jemaimah!
“Dear family and friends, As you may or may not know, I’ve been working for an non-governmental organisation named Viva Palestina Malaysia (VPM) since 2009. Although its been a part-time job due to also being a full-time masters student in political science its been one the most rewarding things I’ve ever done in my life and I love it. Besides learning things I never thought I would ever do, VPM has taken me to Lebanon not once but twice where I had the privilege of meeting Palestinian refugees. There are no words to describe these camps and the living situations are so dire. What touched me though was when walking through the camps the children would walk besides you with big smiles on their faces wanting you to take photos of them and the grand-mothers stopped you just to shake your hand and say thank you. Just someone from the outside community who wanted to know their story was enough to keep this spirit of wanting to fight on going. I have attached 2 pictures of the children at the camps and a group photo of my fellow friends and I at the border between Israel and Lebanon where during a peaceful protest marking the Nakba, 6 people were killed by snipers, mostly Palestinian and mostly children. The youngest was 8 years old. I could go on about my trips to Lebanon but another time if you are interested right now I have another area I want to focus on. The reason I joined this NGO was during the attack on Gaza back in 2008/2009. Before then I had never known about the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. But when I saw on live news what was going on, it tore me up inside that I couldn’t do anything. So when I joined VPM I felt it was a small contribution in helping to re-build the lives of these people. Thus far, VPM has raised money for several projects in Gaza to help to create jobs for the people, which includes building a rehabilitation centre for women. We have also just raised money in order to build the much needed 11 schools in Gaza as well as sending medical and humanitarian aid during the convoy in 2010. I am now asking for you to help my wishes come true which ties into the final stage of my masters programme. There is going to be another land convoy leaving for Gaza from London in mid-April and we hope to raise enough money to purchase a specific vehicle the Gazan people have asked for such as a mini-bus plus fill it up with aid such as educational items needed for the schools that will be built soon. The reason I am asking you all for help is because I want to be the one who delivers it. I feel my time to go has come. I want to go and see exactly what is going on with my own eyes so I can educate the people not just with facts I read but by what I’ve seen with my own eyes. I want to finally meet the people I’ve spoken to online and tell them face-to-face I did not forget them. After all the work I’ve done at VPM, I want to see just how I’ve helped, as small as it is. So I’m asking anyone who can make a donation of any amount to please contact me. To purchase one vehicle full of aid plus my travel costs etc will roughly cost RM50,000. Even if this amount is not met, whatever is raised I will still give to VPM towards the convoy and hopefully I will still be able to be a part of the team. It would just be an honour if I could raise enough for 1 vehicle so I could drive into Gaza knowing it was due to the love and support from all of you that made one of my dreams come true. Even your prayers and thoughts during the journey would be just as wonderful for me For my studies, my final thesis is based on the convoys to Gaza and my supervisor has stated that if I am able to go, it will provide better results due to being able to have the first hand experience of going on the convoy. Therefore this is not just one of my dreams being fulfilled but will also help me tremdously in hopefully publishing my thesis. I hope you are all doing great and I apologise for not seeing/keeping in touch as much as I would have liked but not a day goes by when I don’t think of mum and henceforth it leads me to all the wonderful times. I will try my best to be better. I just can’t believe how much time has gone by. For those in KL if you are ever free please, please don’t hesitate to give me a buzz to meet up. Before I sign off I just want to thank you all for even reading this email in the first place. So thank you, and not only for this but being in my life. I know throughout my life the whole family wouldn’t have been able to get through what we did go through. I can’t thank you enough. So I’m going to wrap up. Wishing you all the best for the new year (lil late) and I hope to hear or see you all soon!
Details: Name: Jemaimah Badaruddin Mustapha
Bank: Standard Chartered Bank
Account number: 312-1-5704123-7
Mobile number: 019-321-1115