“I don’t have anything to wear,” whines your average teenage girl to her mother, hinting that she would like a hundred Kuwaiti Dinars and a ride to The Avenues. If her words would be interpreted literally—exactly as they are—one would go to this girl’s closet and find it to be empty. But that is not the case, and when the mother marches up to her daughter’s room to investigate the validity of this brat’s complaints, she opens the doors to her daughter’s closet—and clothes fall out. Her closet is overflowing with fancy garments, jeans of all different shades of blue, comfortable shirts, jackets made of animals’ skin and fur, beautiful dresses, feminine skirts, warm pajamas, and footwear galore. Some of her clothes even still have price-tags on them. She owns clothes that make her feel both comfortable and beautiful. Others do not have this privilege.
It seems that somewhere amongst our mess of a panic about losing the icebergs we caused to melt and the extinction of the animals we continuously slaughter, we forgot to worry about the extinction of the most important human need—compassion. Lack of compassion is the leading cause of death in the world. Because of mankind’s lack of compassion in 2011, children walk with bare, bloody feet, sometimes wearing only a pair of shorts. In the winter, they die of pneumonia. In the summer, they die of dehydration, malnutrition, or an infection as a result of unsanitary water. Of course, they can’t write their own names, or recognize them if they were written in front of them. The possibility stands that they may have heard of computers, but have never seen them. Their idea of games never involves technology, instead usually involving their imagination or two pairs of wooden twigs for sword-fights.
A small charity group has taken a great step forward and decided to be compassionate towards children in Ghazza. This group is called “From Q8 With Love”, and what they do is donate different kinds of materials to Ghazza’s Community Center, who then passes on the donations to classrooms. Three Kuwaiti teenage girls came up with this incredibly humane idea: Fatemah Khalfan, Sara Al Mutawa, and Shayma Shamo. They collect English and Arabic books, school materials, educational toys and games, used computers, cameras, headphones, running shoes, paint sets, office supplies, and any other materials that citizens feel could be put to better use than being thrown away—leaving the door of options wide open.
This charity organization started at the beginning of April of 2011, when an American political activist figure in Ghazza began posting videos and gruesome stories of the situation in Ghazza on his online blog. The purpose of his call to others was not to induce hate, but to donate, to empathize, to reach out to these people merely because they are human beings whose lives are being unjustifiably turned into an existence of fear and misery. Fatimah, a reader of his blog, was greatly impacted when he posted one story about the Sammouni family—97 people killed, tricked by Israeli forces into thinking they were staying at a shelter, telling them “you’ll be safe here”, and waiting until they were asleep to bulldoze the building so it would tumble down atop of them. This story is one of many endless tales of Palestinian martyrs, but it had been this mass act of murder that motivated “From Q8 With Love” to take action.
Starting out small, Fatimah set up a Facebook event, announcing that this group would be collecting donations and contributions of any kind. An interesting observation noted by the organizers was how “lazy” the so-called donators were. Donations were being accepted for a full month, and the group even offered the option of collecting the materials from the person’s own home to make the process an easy one; a month passed, and some of the people somehow couldn’t find the time to simply box up these materials. So far, the group members have relied heavily on close friends and family members for donations, which really speaks out on just how much we care as human beings, and not as Kuwaitis, or even residents of Kuwait.
Elaborating on this particular point, Sara had mentioned that the American University of Kuwait and the Gulf University of Science & Technology had denied them permission to rent booths at previous expositions due to political reasons. When asked about her standpoint on Kuwait aiding Ghazza, Fatimah Khalfan said, “You have to put everything aside. You can’t think of religion, or nationality, or politics, even though your very existence revolves around politics. You have to just stay human, and remember that these people are human, too.”
Wonderful, wonderful idea! People like you, who makes me proud to be Kuwaiti.