Say what you will about the now-famous ice bucket challenge, but there is no denying the fact that it is a thoroughly first world campaign; it wastes clean drinking water, an invaluable and unavailable commodity in many places of the world, for the sake of ‘raising awareness’ (or ‘seeking attention’, depending on your perspective).
An alternative challenge has hit the web with the purpose of shining a light on the lives at risk in Gaza. Ice water is pretty hard to come by, however, and so it has been replaced with sand, dirt and rocks. “I like the idea of ‘ice bucket challenge’,” says Palestinian journalist Ayman al Aloul in his YouTube video, “so I decided to create the Palestinian version. But here, the water is too precious to be poured on the head… We looked at what was around us and we decided to use what is there in the place of ice water.”
Unlike the ALS challenge, Aloul does not call for donations or material aid, but rather for “solidarity messages, especially from those who have lots of followers… If five famous people in the world, like actors or presidents will do the challenge, that means I succeeded in sending the message about Gaza.”
While Aloul claims to be the creator of the gravel bucket challenge, many believe that Jordanian comedian Mohammed Darwaza was actually the one to start the campaign, in order to identify with the pain of children living in danger on the Gaza strip.
The Rubble Bucket Challenge Facebook page has garnered 7,600 Likes since the first videos went live over the weekend. The first celebrity to take part is Palestinian singer Mohammad Assaf. In Hollywood, most stars have been reluctant to voice support for Palestine, although there are a few who have spoken out, including Rihanna, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, and Selena Gomez. Maybe one of them will take on the challenge?