While most of the world are still taking on the ice/cold water “dare” in support of ALS research, some Palestinians have created their own version of the #ALSIceBucketChallenge.
The challenge, known as the #RubbleBucketChallenge, aims to raise awareness about the ongoing crisis in Gaza. It invites social media users to douse themselves in, get this, sand, gravel, and other materials from buildings that have been destroyed during Israel’s 7-week military offensive. Why sand, gravel, and other materials from buildings and not ice water, you ask?
According to a Gaza resident, Abu Yazan, “In Gaza we don’t have water and when we have water, we can’t make ice since the electricity is off most of the time. So my cousin Hafiz, (my) nephew Khalid and I used remains of a destroyed house to participate in this challenge.”
Hence, the choice of materials, due to deteriorating conditions on the ground, worked in their favour for this awareness campaign.
Launched just over the weekend, the “Rubble Bucket Challenge” has picked up steam on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter! As at time of writing, the Rubble Bucket Challenge Facebook page has garnered more than 5k likes, with many sharing videos of themselves taking on the challenge. There has also been a few versions of the #RubbleBucketChallenge hashtag such as #DustBucketChallenge and #RemainsBucketChallenge.
This brave young lady took on the challenge and nominated the President of the United States, Barack Obama:
Also, unlike the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, this campaign doesn’t ask users for monetary donations. Instead, it relies on social media to simply raise awareness about a humanitarian crisis that its Facebook page describes as “ethnic cleansing”.
According to Maysam Yusef, the Gaza university student who launched the challenge:
Money will not bring the so many innocent souls back to life and we cannot begin to rebuild Gaza unless the Israeli attacks stop So our campaign is more of a social media revolution, where people show their solidarity with Gaza and publicly reject the killing of civilians. We are trying to form a worldwide movement to pressure Israel to stop this genocidal act against Palestinians of Gaza.
Would you take this on? We’re not sure how safe this is if a person is required to dump a bucket of rubble/building remains/dust over their heads. That having said, at least it does a better job at raising awareness about the Israel Gaza conflict than organising boycotts and causing unnecessary distress to others.
And if the Rubble Bucket Challenge ain’t your thing, you can still play your part by visiting Viva Palestina Malaysia to find out what you can do to help. There’s also Candies4Gaza, which is a page dedicated to the children of Gaza.