In Gaza today, we see the “fire this time.”

Blood, death, and destruction, and more blood, death, and destruction , and more blood, death, and destruction. That is the history of Gaza past, and the history of Gaza present, but we must ask ourselves, once the smoking rubble clears, the graves are dug, and the bodies buried, whether it must also be the history of Gaza future.

“We fear destruction and the end of civil life on Gaza.” Shad Al Asi, Gaza resident.

Today America is riveted by pictures of murdered Israeli party goers, shocked by the audacity and surprise of the offensive, which caught the vaunted Israeli Defense Force (IDF) with its pants down, and rife with speculation about Israel’s response, Saudi Arabian diplomacy, and possible Hezbollah and Iranian involvements.

Perhaps, however, the world will finally wake up to the fact that the life of a Palestinian child is as precious as the life of an Israeli child ….

Perhaps, however, the world will finally wake up to the fact that the life of a Palestinian child is as precious as the life of an Israeli child, that murder of civilians is a war crime no matter who perpetrates it, and that hate and vengeance only perpetuate hate and vengeance.

American cities are increasing security, but there have been no “credible threats” against Jews or Muslims in the United States

The American Jewish and Muslim communities are rightly concerned about the potential for sectarian violence. However, although American cities have been increasing security, especially in anticipation of demonstrations, there have not yet been any “credible threats” against American Jews or Muslims.

Do not look away, America, at the deeds done in your name with your money and your blessing.

But as President Joe Biden reflexively announces his “rock solid” support for Israel, Americans seem oblivious to the possibility that the world may have views and hear stories different from their own.

Leaving aside American romanticized and fictionalized understanding of Israel’s carefully orchestrated and brutally executed plan to dispossess the Palestinians over the course of the past century, America should at least take a hard look at the suffering in Gaza and ask themselves if they can simply write those people off because of they are under the thumb of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Look back, America, and ask yourselves how you feel about what we did to the Vietnamese and Cambodians, and do not look away as Benjamin Netanyahu turns the world’s largest open-air prison into the world’s largest open-air abattoir with his “mighty vengeance.”

Moroccans take to the streets, while the government seeks to mediate.

Meanwhile, Moroccans have taken to the streets while the government seeks to mediate. The Moroccan government is seeking de-escalation of the conflict and has called for an emergency meeting of the Arab league.

America knows where hopelessness has led at home, so why are we surprised to see it abroad?

When riots in American cities broke out across the country during the sixties, seventies, and eighties, white America seemed to be surprised. (I watched the Los Angeles riots and at the bombing of the MOVE house in Philadelphia on television.) White Americans could not make sense of the fact that black people would burn down their own houses and smash the windows of their own shops in order to loot them. They had ignored the warnings of people like James Baldwin that confining people in crowded ghettos under miserable conditions without jobs, money, education, food, or hope for generations would inevitably lead to an explosion.

American are engaged in “willful ignorance.”

Yale alumni ostracized Kingman Brewster, the University’s President, after he observed that the Black Panthers could not get a fair trial in America.

White Americans could not make sense of the fact that people would burn down their own houses and smash the windows in order to loot their own shops.

As in Gaza, America in the twentieth century simply drifted toward catastrophe for generations and was wholly unprepared when it arrived.

Freedom to defend yourself raises a question about why you need to.

Naturally, when a gang member tries to knife you, you have the right to defend yourself. However, you might want to ask yourself how he came to be a gang member. And when you ask yourself that, you might further ask yourself why he lives in a neighborhood where gangs are the only viable economic enterprise. And if you are white, you might ask yourself what accident of history led to the fact that in so many of these neighborhoods, these people do not look like you, and the fact that so few of them live in your neighborhood.

Looked at another way, there was no doubt that we had to defend the American frontier against the predation of Native American “savages.” There were acts of appalling brutality perpetrated by both settlers and indigenous people. However, we defended it so successfully that there are almost no more Native Americans, and the ones that remain have almost no land. In case, you were wondering, we had many learned men, beginning with John Locke, who explained why the land belonged to us and not to them.

There is more to the world than America sees.

As we break out the popcorn to watch the sanitized spectacle of aerial bombardment explode on our television, let us reflect that once again, we who have stood by also have blood on our hands.

Perhaps we should also reflect on the fact the narrative we hear and the pictures we see are not necessarily the ones that the rest of the world sees and hears. Our sympathies are not universal. There are more dead and maimed than we see and mourn.

Requiescat in pace.

الله يرحمهم

Note: featured photo taken in Gaza between 2016 and 2020.

How to Support Earthquake Relief in Morocco

As Morocco continues to its efforts to rescue people and rebuild infrastructure after the most catastrophic earthquake in more than a century, people have been suggesting a wide number of ways in which people in the United States and elsewhere can support them, among them the following:

GoFundMe campaigns

Relief efforts by American Charitable Organizations

Many American charitable organizations registered under Section 501(c)(c) of the Internal Revenue Code (which makes donations from American taxpayers tax deductible) that have been working in Morocco for years and have now joined in the effort to relieve people suffering resulting from the earthquake. They are already well/positioned to do so because of their long presence in the country.

  • The High Atlas Foundation has focused on development and reforestation in Morocco for decades, and it is currently using its network in Morocco to distribute food and supplies to communities suffering from earthquake. Donors can give at Earthquake Relief for Moroccan Communities – GlobalGiving.
  • The Rotary Clubs of Casablanca Nord and Washington, DC have teamed up to provide $1,000 in aid to the High Atlas Foundation, with special assistance from Dr. Younes Saih, Dr. Nina Selassi Saih, Mr. Mostafa Slifani, Ms. Linda Solomon, and Ms. Lisa McMcCurdy. Gifts may be made to the Foundation of the Rotary Club of Washington, DC
  • The Near East Foundation, with a broader scope and a longer history, also has a longstanding operation in Morocco and is committed to long-term rebuilding. Interested donors can contribute at Morocco Donate | Near East Foundation.
  • Chefs at World Central Kitchens to date have prepared at least 2,000 meals and delivered them to villages in the Atlas Mountains where people have suffered most. Donate here.
  • Project Soar, while not operating on the same scale a the previous two, continues to provide support for girls and young women in Morocco. It is a very worthy cause, and one near to my heart. People can donate at Donate — Project Soar.
  • My dear friend of many years (even if I see far too little of her) Nadia Serhani has been providing aid to Morocco through the Morocco Foundation for as long as I can recall. Their mission has been especially centered around children and education. As I write, they are delivering four truckloads of supplies to the Atlas, but they, too, need your generous assistance in order to do more.

Relief campaigns by International Organizations

Of course, there are a wide range of international organizations that have also begun efforts to raise money to aid Moroccan earthquake survivors, among which are the following:


I am not affiliated with any of the organizations listed above, and although I have done my best to provide accurate information, I am not soliciting for any particular organization. Anyone interested in giving money is responsible for investigating where and how their money will be spent before they donate.

Thank you/Merci/شكرا

Thank you to all the courageous and dedicated people on the ground saving the wounded and dispossessed people of the Atlas. In this life, there is no end of suffering, and people everywhere deserve our help and compassion. None of us can be everywhere, but even though I will always be an outsider and have long been away, I think of Morocco as my other home, and I have family by adoption there — you know who you are. My thoughts are first her and there — near and far.

I am grateful, and even if I cannot be there on the ground, I hope that each of us who loves Morocco as I do — in all its beauty and all its flaws — will take a moment to do what we are able to give whatever we can to assist our brothers and sisters there. Do unto others ….