Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Help and Equal Opportunities

I just read a blog post from a man in the Gaza strip area of Palestine as he shared about a family rebuilding their home after it had been hit by a bomb. (Click here for the story) The writer shares some vivid details as well as photographing the damaged sustained by the bomb. He further states that international aid is coming via The American Friends Service Committee. Sadly, the help they are receiving only covers a small piece of the renovations needed. The family’s financial need is still beyond their reach.

Maybe it’s just me and the lack of news watching I do, but where is the media coverage on this issue? Ever since the earthquake in Haiti happened, the media has done a great job of bombarding people with the Haitian president's plea for international aid. Shortly after the devastation in Haiti happened, a fundraising telethon was organized in hopes that the Canadian people will donate whatever funds time and energy they were willing. Canadians didn’t disappoint either as the Canada for Haiti website reports their donations that night exceeded $13.5 million, and with the Government matching every dollar, puts the total well over $27 million.

My intent in sharing this is not to be derogatory toward the Haitian people, their situation, or the aid they are receiving. After all I would want as much help as I could get if I were in an earthquake. I would even applaud my countries government for appealing to the rest of the living world for help. My intention is to question the bias of the attention. Why not do the same thing for those trying to rebuild their lives after being victimized by war? To me, it seems a little unfair that the attention given by the media is a little one sided. Why? What’s the problem with unbiased and fair media coverage? Is it because the word of mouth technique news seems to naturally incur is null and void? Or is there something else?

Put yourself in the shoes of someone who HAS had their house blown up by a bomb. Wouldn’t you want as much help as you can get? How would you feel if NUMEROUS humanitarian agencies headed to your town or village because they cared that much? Strangers helping strangers, sounds like a wonderful and totally capable plan for a country that can willingly donate $27 million to an earthquake ravaged country. So why not give equal attention to all those in need of humanitarian aid? Am I alone in feeling this way?

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