09 January 2009


The most common response I get to the mess in Gaza is: "Yes, Mai, but what can I do?" Here is an easy imaginative answer to that. Please read the sessage below, which came into IHRO this morning. I have a couple of suggestions to follow:

Someone sent this idea. We should be calling Gaza and telling the
people who live there that we are with them. What if we take it one
step further and call them and pray with them, with hundreds or
thousands of people doing it at the same time?

Call any random number in Gaza, and tell them that you are calling
from North America (or wherever you are), make Duaa (pray) for them and
them all their brothers and sisters around the world are with them;
this will give them moral support and courage ! How to call? Very

Dial any of these number and replace the last 4 digits by any random
ones, try 4 or 5 times and you'll reach a family insha'Allah ! Even
if you don't speak Arabic, talk to them with very slow and simple
English. Here's what you can say in Arabic. We'll have an audio
version of this by tomorrow i/a:

(011)9728284- XXXX (011)9728282- XXXX (011)9728255- XXXX
PLEASE BE MINDFUL OF TIME-ZONES! (7 hrs ahead of US/.Canada EST, 10hrs ahead of US/Canada PST, 2 hrs ahead of UK, 3.5 hrs behind India IST - if my calculation is correct. I know people from many different countries read this blog. If in doubt about time zones, go to the World Clock.
Gaza is in the same time zone as Jerusalem.)

I would suggest a friendly greeting of "Salaam aleichem," "Peace be unto you. I believe the Arabic word for friend is "effendi," but I'm not sure. It might be helpful to write out what you plan to say. It is very important that you sperak in your most soothing voice, as the person on the other end will probably not understand your language. (I assume if you read this blog, you can speak English.) I have said, "Salaam alechem, effendi. I speak English." And then pause a minute to see if there is a response.Then I say, "We love you. We care. The world knows. We try to help. Please be strong. God bless you." The only time I got through, I did get a response. It was simple and direct. A heavily accented voice said, choking, "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you." Then some words I did not understand, followed by a disconnect. Needless to say, there were tears in my eyes as well as tears in the voice on the other end. The connexion was not good. I don't even know if I spoke to a man or a woman.

Please be aware of the difficulties. All the mobile phone/cell towers in Gaza are down. Your only chance of getting through is on a land line. Even there, getting through may take many tries. Most all the phone lines are down, as well. However, I managed to get through and, if it is the Hukam of Vaheguru, so will you! At least, please give it a try. I can't think of a better way to spend a few dollars, rupees, pounds, euros...shekels(?).