As the rest of the world continues to dump buckets of cold water over their heads in support of ALS research, some Palestinians have created their own version of the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise awareness about the ongoing crisis in Gaza. Known as the Rubble Bucket Challenge, the campaign invites social media users to douse themselves in sand, gravel, and other materials from buildings that have been destroyed during Israel’s seven-week military offensive. The choice of materials was both deliberate and necessary: they couldn’t use ice water, participants say, due to deteriorating conditions on the ground.
“In Gaza we don’t have water and when we have water, we can’t make ice since the electricity is off most of the time,” writes Gaza resident Abu Yazan, alongside a video he uploaded to Facebook Tuesday morning. “So my cousin Hafiz, [my] nephew Khalid and I used remains of a destroyed house to participate in this challenge.”
The campaign launched on Saturday, and has picked up steam on Facebook and Twitter. At the time of this writing, the Rubble Bucket Challenge Facebook page has more than 4,200 “likes,” and many have posted videos of themselves completing the feat under the hashtag #RubbleBucketChallenge. (Others have appeared under the tags #DustBucketChallenge and #RemainsBucketChallenge.) The campaign received an extra boost today, with the support of Palestinian singer Mohammad Assaf, and has been heavily promoted by Palestinian journalist Ayman al-Aloul, who posted the video embedded above.