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Gaza’s Rubble Bucket Challenge

“We looked around and found what you see here: rubble and sand.”

Update — Aug. 26, 3:17 a.m. EST

After the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS went viral, Palestinian journalist Ayman Aloul decided to take the Gaza version, the Rubble Bucket Challenge, a campaign launched to spread awareness of life in Gaza in the aftermath of Israeli airstrikes.

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“I liked the idea of the Ice Bucket Challenge that people and stars all around were doing, so I decided to invent a Palestinian version,” Aloul, who lives in Gaza, explained in a video uploaded to his YouTube account on Aug. 23. But when Aloul started to look for a bucket of water, he told viewers, he found it hard: Israel’s military campaign in Gaza has left many areas destroyed, more than 2,100 Palestinians dead, and basics like water and electricity in short supply.

“When we tried to make the Palestinian version, we looked around us and found what you see here: rubble and sand that belonged to Gaza’s destroyed houses.” So, Aloul explained, he found a solution: dumping a bucket of readily available rubble on his head.

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Gaza activist Maysam Yusef, 24, started the campaign the day before with the Facebook page Rubble Bucket Challenge. Speaking from Gaza City, she told BuzzFeed that Aloul’s participation had helped to spread the campaign as he is a famous media figure.

Yusef is a student of English literature and political science at the Islamic University of Gaza. youtube.com

Since Yusef started #RubbleBucketChallenge on Aug. 22, others have started using #دلو_الركام (#Rubble_Bucket), #DustBucketChallenge, and #RemainsBucketChallenge to help spread the word.

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“The whole point is to gain attention,” Yusef said, “because Gaza doesn’t need money, it needs someone to stop this.” The biggest name to participate yet seems to be Mohammed Assaf, a Palestinian singer and the 2013 winner of Arab Idol.

The Ice Bucket Challenge has raised over $62.5 million for the ALS Association, according to NBC News. youtube.com

“The challenge is not for specific people, but for all people who sympathize with Gaza,” Aloul explained in his video, concluding, “We don’t have water, but this is what we have.”

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