After hearing Nesreen (an Iraqi teacher/peace activist) speak to us about her recent, upsetting experiences in Baghdad, many of you have asked how you can help individual Iraqis or even help end the war. Bruce, Nesreen's NYC-based colleague (also a teacher/activist) just emailed me some suggestions. Thank you Bruce! I have pasted that list below.
Meanwhile some thoughts: My Iraqi penpal, a young doctor living in Baghdad, believes that "The US started this mess, so it should help get Iraq out of this mess." I asked if he has always felt that way; he said no. "Basically, people change their minds often on this issue here. But this is what I believe right now." Bruce, on the other hand, passionately believes that the U.S. should leave Iraq as soon as possible. And, naturally, many Iraqis agree with him.
So what is an aspiring activist to do? Different groups of researchers/activists offer various suggestions. You can begin by checking out the various resources that Bruce brings to our attention, and by doing some research on your own, says Bruce.
BRUCE'S TO-DO LIST
· Call your congress person 1-800-828-0498 (Call 1-888-VOTE-SMART to find out who your congress person is).
· Go to the United For Peace and Justice website (http://www.unitedforpeace.org/ ) and click on END THE WAR ON IRAQ in the left column. They have plenty of things for you to do.
· March in the next Bring The Troops Home Now event.
· Go to the American Friends Service Committee site (www.afsc.org/ ) and click on the Take Action button. There are a few ways you can help with both dollars and signatures. Subscribe to their newsletter and stay informed about what others are doing to help.
· Stay informed. Spend 10 minutes searching the internet for “help iraqis.” Use different words each time…”aid Iraqis”, “life in Baghdad today," etc...
· Read about the UN work in Iraq (and support them with dollars if you can).
· Volunteer with the UFPJ to work to get the troops home now.
· Contact Iraq Veterans Against the War and/or Military Families Speak Out and ask them if they need your help.
· Bring your friends and family to the Eyes Wide Open exhibit on Staten Island Tuesday Aug 6.
· Start a discussion group of your friends to try and figure out the best way for you and your friends to help the Iraqi people. There are actually millions of Iraqis in Jordan and Syria who have no homes, live in tents, and would welcome donations of food and clothing and money.