Current Saudi atmosphere

It makes my heart swell with pride to know that my country is trying to do something for the Palestinians in Gaza. A friend who works in the military hospital here in Riyadh told me that for the past two days the hospital has been discharging people left and right to accommodate the wounded from Gaza and today the first airlift arrived. Everyone here in Saudi feels helpless and frustrated when we see the photos of the Israeli air raids aftermath. The photos of bleeding children and leveled buildings are driving us crazy. We need to have something to do. It’s so bad that many people went to government hospitals wanting to donate blood to the Palestinians. So many that the Health minister had to issue a statement saying that the Palestinians need supplies not blood.

Update Jan 3rd

The Saudi government organized a charity for Gaza that was broadcast on TV for the past two days and the last time I checked which was about four hours ago they had collected over eleven million dollars mostly from average Saudis to send to Gaza.  One of the stories that they showed tonight was that of a lady who brought her welfare check to give to the cause. Another brought her whole jewelry box and told them this is all I have and I want to give it to the Palestinians suffering in Gaza. On TV there were a number of glass boxes with signs stating 10 riyal notes, 50 riyal notes, …etc. And Saudis would walk by putting their money in the appropriate box with several throwing notes into the 500 riyals box.

Update Jan 5th

the donations have reached 125 million riyals which is over 33 million dollars from both average Saudis, royalty and commercial establishments.

11 Comments

Filed under Palestinian/ Israel conflict, Regional and International

11 responses to “Current Saudi atmosphere

  1. This made me cry.
    Do you know who airlifts them?
    allahu Muasta’aan

  2. I am happy to read this, even though the circumstances are nothing short of tragic.

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  4. Andrew

    The charitable actions supported by the King are good and noble, and deserve our support.

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  6. Oh don’t we just LOVE to brag about our pathetic, shameful contributions to our people in Palestine? Don’t we just rush to publicize our charities and seek the unlimited praising on media channels?

    While the people in Gaza are severely attacked, while they spent the nights anticipating their own death, while their infants are heartlessly murdered in front of their parents’ eyes, while they live under siege and poverty, we actually feel “proud” about offering medical help and donating money.

    Sad! Truly sad.

  7. Andrew

    A Global Citizen:

    Yes, we do feel proud about our contributions, and these contributions are not at all shameful.

    If your argument is that we should not be willing to assist needy human beings, then such an argument will fall on deaf ears.

    And, if your point is that what the world needs is even more violence, then I would simply note that violence is not a solution.

    The King’s approach is the correct approach — to offer humanitarian assistance.

  8. Andrew,

    My point is that contributions are not enough nowadays, contributions mean nothing in this shamful state of silence that we see our dear brothers and sisters go through such heinous atrocities and Arab regimes don’t take any actual steps towards ending the violence. For God’s sakes, the war on Gaza has been going on for 11 days and still they can’t figure out how to meet for an Arab Summit. The EU met during the first few days and France came up with an initiative to end the war on Gaza and Arab states still ignore calls by some leaders (specifically the call of Prince of Qatar) to hold an urgent summit. Yes we know for a fact that even if they meet, they are incapable of reaching practical solutions.

    Personally I don’t feel proud of such contributions because I don’t believe it is actually what people of Gaza need, they don’t need medicines and food while they are being bombed every second of the day..I don’t think they need to die healthy and full. They need us to stand up to the agression and end it and yes then, and only then, we can be proud of our contributions.

  9. Andrew

    A Global Citizen:

    Thank you for the comment.

    If by “stand up to the agression and end it” you mean NON-violent resistance, then I believe that to be commendable.

    I would advocate a process similar to that undertaken by Mohandas Gandhi — a renunciation of violence and the instruments of violence, coupled with non-violent resistance.

    I do believe that your point is unnecessarily pessimistic, as when you say that “Arab regimes don’t take any actual steps towards ending the violence”

    The path of non-violent resistence is one that can be taken at the personal level.

    If we encouraged Hamas and the enemy to both pursue non-violence that would be positive.

    Much depends on the actions of the actual parties to the conflict after all.

    If they both indulge in the pursuit of violence, then humanitarian assistance is all that can be done.

    I found this article to be somewhat interesting and relevant to the issue:

    http://english.daralhayat.com/opinion/OPED/01-2009/Article-20090105-a736c9e7-c0a8-10ed-00be-6108775c9770/story.html

    So long as there is a strong preference for violence, then there will be further violence, and no meaningful resolution.

    However, I would continue to disagree with the notion that we can only be proud of our humanitarian assistance if there is also in place some other step.

    Humanitarian assistance does, after all is considered, help actual human beings.

    Moreover, I would disagree with your statement “they don’t need medicines and food while they are being bombed every second of the day”

    Those in need actually state that they are grateful for Saudi medicines and food when it is received by them.

    By the logic of having no such pride, one could result in a situation in which no such humanitarian assistance is rendered to the innocent victims.

    I would reject that notion.

    Saudis can and should take pride in our respect for humanity and in our humanitarian assistance.

    Of course, we should also continue to strive for domestic improvements with the nation as well.

  10. Arabyah

    I am feeling a lot of shame as a Saudi citizen for the Saudi contribution. what the Saudis offered is the lest that needs to be offered. We represent an Islamic Arab country and those people (Palestinians) are our brothers and sisters and all we can do is supply them with food and medicine after they die and suffer??? Why not pressure Egypt, Israel and send a medical team to go on the grounds and help the wounded before they die.
    Why not pressure the US and Israel to stop the violence? Why not call for a national boycott for American goods as an act of pressure to the USA. That would do good for the Palestinians.
    The USA is currently going through an economic crises. boycott would do good. I’m personally and my family is boycotting American goods.

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