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Kuwaitis, expats gather near US embassy Protest in support of Palestinians

KUWAIT CITY, July 15: A crowd of Kuwaitis and expatriates gathered near the US Embassy to stage a peaceful demonstration and express their solidarity with the Palestinian people in light of the escalating conflict in Gaza. Fueled by the hope that ‘an hour of silence can be as powerful in its unity of purpose and message’, demonstrators carried candles and held silent vigil. Demonstrators held up signs that read ‘let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty storm’, ‘silence is not an option’, Freedom for Palestine and ‘Stop killing my friends’. In addition, organisers drew attention to aid organisations for attendees to make donations to.
 
The peaceful gathering was planned when several individuals from of different nationalities expressed their desire to do something in support of the Palestinian people. The idea quickly gained momentum on social media, within three days over 13,000 were invited, and over 1300 indicated that they would want to attend.
The organizers released the following statement of intent — “The objective is a silent yet powerful stand for all of humanity. Apartheid can no longer function, as long as it is not fed. People from across the globe are coming together and are asking the main financier, the United States of America, of the rogue state of Israel to stop this funding. We are also planning to submit a letter to the President of the United States of America, Mr. Barack Obama signed by participants today and to formally present it to the United States Embassy in Kuwait.”
 
“It’s the least I can do and the most I can do from Kuwait”, twenty five-year-old attendee Rgaya Al Sabah stated. “Sixty-six years and we still have to protest something so inhumane”, remarked Yasmeen Dimachkie, a seventeen-year-old whose grandmother owns a non-profit charity supporting Palestinians.
The peaceful demonstration is being held outside the United States Embassy in Kuwait, ‘for the obvious indicators that should funding stop, the military offensive against unarmed citizens of Palestine would become harder and harder to achieve’, organizers shared. As of July 14, The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has reported 178 Palestinian fatalities, including at least 138 civilians of whom 36 were children. 1,361 Palestinians have been injured of whom 386 children and 249 women. 1255 homes were destroyed or severely damaged in Gaza, 17,000 displaced persons have taken shelter at UNRWA schools with reports of an estimated additional 7500 people have been displaced since the beginning of the emergency and 600,000 people are at risk of losing access to water supply.
 
OCHA reports that over 1.8 million people have been affected in the Gaza strip. Furthermore, 28 percent of essential medicines are reported to be out of stock in Gaza’s central drug store, and 75 percent of the city is without electricity, affecting 400,000 people. 5 health facilities and 66 schools were damaged.
“We hope that this event is part of raising awareness to the community that when individuals come together, respect differences of opinion and approach yet, have a common vision that is to uphold the universal basic human rights we all possess, we can move forward to forcing the last country on the planet that was created based on Apartheid and is now considered a Pariah state by the rest of the world to no longer function on these inhumane and destructive policies”, Lubna Saif Abbas, a member of the organising group, told the Arab Times. 
 
“This group is only affiliated to a larger collective of humanity, we are not associated nor will we be associated with any political, religious or sectarian groups. We are simply a microcosm of the people on this planet who happen to live in Kuwait, with a respect that life is sacred and nations existing on racist precepts are no longer viable,” she explained.
 
Earlier in the week, members of the team communicated with senior officials of the Ministry of Interior informing them of their intent and arrangements in terms of timing and conduct. Organisers believe that in addition, this gathering will be instrumental in bringing new ideas forth to further the cause of Palestine. “Today, the children of Gaza and their families are standing up to the violence. The dream that one day the children of Gaza can sleep like any other child and wake up to a better day is what keeps us pushing”, Abbas exclaimed. The US Embassy in Kuwait did not issue any statements in response to the demonstration.
 

By Cinatra Fernandes

Arab Times Staff

By: Cinatra Fernandes

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