Tuesday, 27 December 2011


English: Costumes and characters, etc. Girls o...
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I'm sure someone wise and statistically inclined will analyse it, but the fact is the #SaveSamar campaign has raised $21,000 to send a terminally ill little girl from Ramallah to Florence for surgery on the brain tumour that would possibly have snuffed out her life before January 2012 had passed.

The Palestine Children Relief Fund's 'thank you' message is linked here. It's a remarkable demonstration of online activism, social media and all that. Sara of Ussa Nabulsiyeh fame and I both posted about Samar's dilemma (the dilemma being she was dying) on the 21st December. On the evening of the 22nd the fund was nearing 50% subscribed and we had heard privately that the fund was going to close thanks to the intervention of Salam Ya Seghar, the fund for children's education in Palestine backed by the wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi. The offline world works at differential speeds and so fundraising online carried on apace, with a spirited effort on Twitter carrying word out, so that by the time the Salam Ya Seghar offer was formally made and accepted, the online campaign had reached something like 70% of the fundraising target.

So you could say this online campaign raised the funds in 24 hours. You could say it took five days. But either result is remarkable for the speed, the generosity of people (Half-crazed uber-geek Gerald Donovan take a bow, BTW) and the involvement of am amazingly diverse and seemingly inchoate community in coming together to address a small, but vital, need.

The vital catalyst, the speedy element, was Twitter. The power of that platform constantly stuns me.

But I'm still grinning. Crumbs, chaps, we might have saved a life! Isn't that tiny, tiny thing wonderful?

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1 comment:

yasmine said...

I think another element that helped was the TEDxRamallah talk that was broadcasted live. Seeing that young girl smile made it more real - well at least to me it did.
It helped relate to Samar more.

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