Rally to be held in Doha on Tuesday to support Palestinians (updated)
Updated to reflect everyone is welcome to attend, and with comment from the Palestinian ambassador.
As the latest bombing campaign by Israel into the Gaza Strip continues into its seventh day, the number of Palestinians killed in the blasts has now surpassed 170 people.
Calls from the international community for a cease-fire between the Israeli government and the Hamas-led Palestinians have been growing, but there appears to be no truce in sight.
In light of the bloodshed, several Qatar residents are planning to hold a protest on Tuesday evening in solidarity with the Palestinian people. The event appears to be part of a worldwide effort to draw attention to the bloodshed.
The Palestinian embassy in Doha has confirmed that
an organized protest rally would take place in front of its inside its gates in the Diplomatic area (near West Bay petrol station) from 8pm to 9pm 10pm on Tuesday.
Google Maps incorrectly indicates that the embassy is in Abu Hamour.
On Monday, an official speaking to Doha News said that only men would be allowed to attend. However, during a visit to the embassy on Tuesday morning, a representative said all are welcome.
The embassy is situated in a villa tucked into a residential area, and it is unclear how many people can be crowded into the event.
Speaking to Doha News on Tuesday, Ambassador Munir Ghannam stressed that the event was not a protest, but rather a show of solidarity. The embassy was only hosting the event, he added, which is being organized by a group of young people.
Political protests in Qatar are rare, and typically must be pre-approved by the government. But in recent years, residents have congregated to rally for causes in Egypt, Syria and Libya. And state-approved events for Palestine have also been organized in the past.
In addition to the expression of solidarity, humanitarian aid is in much demand, following the destruction of homes and infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.
Local organization such as Qatar Charity, Eid Charity and Qatar Red Crescent have all set up ways for people to donate.
Here are some ways to contribute to the relief effort:
QC has primarily been providing aid through the distribution of food parcels in the Gaza Strip. While charity will accept any donation – from clothing to furniture to gold, a representative there said that monetary contributions are especially appreciated.
Residents can donate cash by stopping at QC booths in one of Qatar’s malls, or items at Qatar Charity’s main office, which is located behind The Mall in Al Hilal. Ramadan office hours are 8:30am to 5:30pm, and 8:30pm to 11:00pm on weekdays; and from 1pm to midnight on Friday.
The charity also has an SMS service. A number of payment options are available. For Ooredoo users who want to donate, send an SMS with the word “Palestine” to:
- 92133 to donate QR25;
- 92632 to donate QR50;
- 92642 to donate QR100;
- 92428 to donate QR500; and
- 92429 to donate QR1,000.
If you’re a Vodafone user who wants to donate, send an SMS with the word “Donate” to:
- 97790 to donate QR10;
- 97286 to donate QR50;
- 97287 to donate QR100; and
- 97289 to donate QR300.
For more information, call Qatar Charity’s hotline at 4466-7711.
Eid Charity has been providing Palestinians with food and medical aid, and has also said it prefers cash contributions for the relief effort. Residents can donate by visiting EC’s main office in Dafna, or by approaching one of the charity’s mall booths.
There is also an SMS donation service – send a text with the number “1” to 920244 (for Ooredoo users only). Each SMS counts for a donation of QR100. EC’s Ramadan office hours are 9am to 1pm and 8:30pm to 11:30pm from Saturday to Thursday; and closed on Friday.
For more information, call Eid Charity’s hotline at 4435-5555. Women can call a special number: 4498-0141
Qatar Red Crescent
QRC has been providing medical aid in Palestine through partnerships with NGOs such as the Palestine Red Crescent Society.
The charity is accepting monetary donations to help those in Palestine at its booths in local malls. Residents can also donate by sending an SMS with the number “183” to 92176 (Ooredoo only). Each SMS counts for a donation of QR50.
There are also a number of non-profit organizations providing online users with the chance to donate to Palestine, including the United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA).
Although UNRWA focuses on providing aid to Palestinian refugees, the UN has opened a “Gaza Emergency Appeal” category where people can donate either $25, $30, $100 or $280 to all Palestinians suffering from the bombings.
There’s also the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, which has offices in the US as well as Palestine, and focuses on providing medical aid for children in the Middle East.
PCRF has now strengthened its focus on Palestine through its “Urgent Gaza Relief” program, which provides people with the opportunity to donate.
Do you know of any other ways to help? Thoughts?