Immediately after the Israeli air strikes began at the end of December a group of remarkable Bay Area poets came together to do a benefit reading to raise money for MECA to send aid to Gaza. About 200 people attended this beautiful event at the Islamic Cultural Center in Oakland and donated a total of $4,000. The poets: Elmaz Abinader, Anita Barrows, Aurora Levins Morales, Dyanna Loeb, Dina Omar, Deema Shehabi, Lenore Weiss. Alicia Raquel did an amazing job as MC. Many thanks to the Islamic Center of Northern California for donating the space and to all the poets who gave their time, talent and excellent organizing.

Individuals and groups around the country organized a variety of events and raised a total of nearly twenty thousand dollars for MECA for the children of Gaza. University of Illinois Students for Justice in Palestine sponsored Café Intifada, a night of spoken word, music and visual art in Chicago. School of Unity and Liberation (SOUL) in Oakland held an educational forum and fundraiser, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in San Francisco did a special Sunday collection. Alternatives to War and Palestine and Palestine Action Group in Corvallis, Oregon held a Valentine’s Day Dance and a Celebration of Palestinian Culture Night. More than a dozen groups got together in Honolulu to put on “Rays of Hope for Gaza,” The Louisville Committee for Peace in the Middle East did a house party. Mideast Just Peace of Suttons Bay, Michigan organized an educational event. The bands Ghost Echoes, Koalacaust, Swank, and the Fucking Buckaroos, did a special club special club night San Francisco. And activists in the Bay Area, Ohio and Montana invited Barbara Lubin to do a presentation about her recent trip to Gaza.

MECA’s apologies to anyone who was inadvertently left out of this impressive list.
Many, many thanks to one and all!

If you would like to host an event for MECA please contact Events Coordinator Penny Rosenwasser at penny@mecaforpeace.,org.