Help Gaza's 1st Debate Leaders!

$3,510 of $7,000 goal

Raised by 56 people in 40 months
Basel Osama
on behalf of Rayzelda Gravely
First, what do we need this money for?

The programs you'll be reading about now are covering
 part of the expenses we need in order for us to attend them. But we still need to pay for:
1- Our travel tickets to the USA (round trip)
2- Visa Fees
3- Transportations to Jersualem for our Visa inveriew (round trip)
4- Transportations to get to Jordan (round trip)
5- Food expenses for Basel (45 days)
6- Transportations inside the USA

Don't forget to check the perks ;)


I'm Heba, and I'm going to introduce my friend Basel to you as we share this campaign together. Basel is majoring Business Administration in AlAzhar University. He’s one of the greatest and most intelligent people I've ever met and I'm very delighted to tell you more about this friendship which turned into a great success story for both of us!

Basel travelled to the US couple years ago as an exchange student in Harrisburg High School, OR, where he got the chance to take a 10 months debate training and participate in many debates there. Basel is an active community member, he participated in many local campaigns and he’s a co-founder of IHSAN, one of the biggest charity campaigns in Gaza. He is also the Spokesperson & Outreach Volunteer for Gaza Sky Geeks. And now he is working as the PR of Baskaleet Company. Basel is one of the organizers of the first Ted event in Gaza Strip, named TedxShujaiya. He also worked to organize a Hosting Davos event named: Silicon Strip in Gaza, and did a tremendous effort to enhance the art of debate in the region. Basel was and still one of greatest inspirations in my life!

I’m Basel, and I’m going to introduce my friend Heba to you. Heba is an English literature student, a committed hard worker and the co-founder of the first debate club in Gaza Strip. She has been active in community work since she was 12 and has been selected to participate in many projects aimed at the creative development of children and youth. She has two years of working experience while being a college student "a nerdy one", and now she’s a mentor in Technovation project in Gaza Sky Geeks. In the summer of 2015, Heba got the chance to visit Oxford, OH for a 6 weeks course on civic engagement funded by the Department of State, culminating in an academic research on education in Palestine. Ever since, Heba has been developing another action plan to support the culture of dialogue and debate in the region. She also got chosen to attend one of the most selective programs in the United States, called AMENDS in Stanford University, CA, due to her hard work in spreading the values of tolerance, freedom of expression and respecting each other. I once told her she’s a catalyst for change, and I still believe so!

We are Heba and Basel,

Best friends and founders of the first debate club in Gaza. Three years ago, we decided to join Diwan Ghazza reading club where we were inspired to start a debate training there. In one of the post-reading activities, we introduced this art to our friends by performing a debate between us. For us, freedom of expression holds particular significance in the establishment and development of our society, so we worked continuously without any logistic or financial support to create a team which is able to debate both in Arabic and English.  Since then, many public and private debates were held on many pressing issues around the world. We were both elected to travel to Qatar and attend the National Debating Competition, but we couldn't make it due to the borders closure. We worked together on many things but never stopped counting; TedxShujaiya event was one of them. We also joined Gaza Sky Geeks family in different roles, and recently volunteered to organize and moderate a debate in Hosting Davos event in Gaza. We are dreamers, reading addicts and music geeks, and we love what we are doing. One of the greatest things we share is our belief that things in life are never black or white, neither ying or yang. The truth is, there are many great possibilities and colours in life when you have the right vision!


How attending these programs will help us improving our work?

For the past 3 years, debate club has been engaged in many interesting and important events in Gaza strip. Three of its members were nominated to travel to the international debate tournament in Qatar 2015 as the best examples to represent their language and country regionally. Yet, we have an excellent English debate team that is unable to communicate with the outside world. This chance will bring us:

1- A huge push in connections and opportunities for the team.
2- International recognition for the Debate club.
3- In both Heba & Basel’s travels, they will be able to run an outreach sessions, get to know international debate teams and finally, be able to represent Palestinians in such huge events.

We are planning to optimally utilize this opportunity to empower both the culture of debate inside Gaza, and participate in different international events!

Also, for the Global Village community, Basel will be taking an in-depth business course which is also a huge add to any business student in Palestine. Basel is planning to move the things he’s going to learn to the Palestinians in Gaza by conducting sessions and build an action plan to engage business students more in such life changing experiences.

What are we adding to the world, and Gaza?

What we are doing is a way to be existing in this spot of the world that we belong to. This spot that might be too small to be noticed, yet, too loud to be heard by the creative ideas and voices it has rather than the sounds of bombs. After surviving three wars and many hard nights, Gaza is still experiencing after-shock and entire areas are still completely destroyed with many dreams and stories of the people who used to have a life in the same exact areas. There’s so much building to be done, homes, streets, infrastructure..etc.                                                                                                                                                                   We believe that creativity is a type of building and debate is a type of building. Having a place to express yourself freely and openly with some great minds who are always ready to hear and respect the differences is the environment we are trying to encourage in our debating sessions hoping to move it to the community itself one day. We worked with people between 12 and 30 and we still find it more interesting everyday.

They all, including ourselves, do not have the bricks that might build our country, but we have the chance to rebuild the people who’ve been left to fight another day.

Help us improving our work by supporting us covering our final expenses for Heba to attend AMENDS conference in Stanford University, CA as a representative of the debate club and for Basel to attend the Global Village program in Lehigh University, PA.

Any kind of help is a great push forward and a generous call from you for us to keep it up!


The Perks! Woho!

10$ -- We will send you our monthly newsletter and mention your name in a video in Arabic and English.
25$ -- We will send you a postcard when we arrive to the USA with your name written in Arabic.
50$ -- We will record an individual video to thank you for your contribution both in Arabic and English.
100$ -- We will write your name in Arabic calligraphy and ship it to you when we arrive to the USA
150$ -- We will send you a T-Shirt from Gaza with your name written on (Arabic and English) "From Gaza with Love!"
250$ -- We offer you online debate sessions (3 sessions, 2 hours each) and we will have your name listed as a notable supporter of the debate club in Gaza.
350$ --  We will send you a scarf with the Palestinian embroidery.
500$ -- In case you live in Jordan, California, DC or around, we will cook you a Palestinian meal for 5 people! Otherwise, we offer you 2 of the mentioned perks.
1000$ -- We offer you a skype tour in a Palestinian gift shop or 3 of the mentioned perks.
2000$ -- All the above mentioned perks are yours!

Thank you!
+ Read More
Dear friends and supporters,

We are so happy to write you from Washington, D.C. and to update you of some of the most amazing achievements we have made during our trips here. Thanks to your amazing support, I (Heba) made it to attend AMENDS program at Stanford University and gave a speech there about our debate project. We got some amazing emails and made a wonderful network of great minds and potentials to change this world. As far as I know, 700+ people applied to this program and I made it to be one of the 20 delegates from the Middle East and USA for the 2016 cohort. It was an absolutely life-changing experience where I got to meet geniuses who worked for months and years to bring a positive change to their communities and in a larger scale, to the world as a whole. Throughout my life, I was always moved by our differences rather than what is similar between us, and I considered it as a way to bring us together and generate empathy and love between us. I was able to see more inspiration and support than ever during AMENDS and I got to attend some awesome sessions on various topics starting from practices for social entrepreneurs to social justice and design thinking and I made it to develop a wider and broader plan for the debate and dialogue club in Palestine with the help of Basel who you will hear some super exciting news about him now!

We started this campaign to collect donations for Heba to attend AMENDS this April and for Basel to attend the Global Village Program in June. During this time, Basel received a call for an astonishing award by the Dept. Of State, Washington DC in April as a reward for the great work he has done to create the first debate club in Gaza Strip. He was selected along with other 9 delegates from all over around the world for such an outstanding award where he's getting the chance to attend sessions, meet with officials to develop the debate club and attend the award ceremony.

With you wonderful support, Heba made it to go to Stanford University and now it's time to ask again for your support to collect the money needed for Basel to go to Lehigh University this June. Your help is a contribution to shape a better future for individuals and groups who are interested in bringing a change to their societies through debate and dialogue.

Help us to reach our goal this month by sharing and donating to our campaign.

ALSO, wait for more amazing work and news in the next update the coming few days ;)


Heba & Basel
+ Read More
Dear friends and supporters,

We are Heba and Basel and here's our new update! The past two weeks were so full and awesome and we would like to share some good news with you.

First of all, after the problem we faced in update #4 and since most of the people around us thought we were done with our campaign, reaching people became actually harder. It's like we need to do it all over again sometimes. And that is noticed in the donations we get lately, so we still need your support the coming week to get more attention to our campaign and more people who are willing to donate. Our travel dates are so close especially for Heba who should be travelling in one week!

Secondly, we'd like to share some great news regarding our debate club. Couple weeks from now, we started a debate training for 20 YES alumni students in Amideast and then we did a 3 days debate competition with them. The least we can say is that the training went just awesome! In the 3-days competition we had, we debated 25 topics between individuals and teams. We did lots of research, brainstorming and gained a great knowledge. The students we trained are now getting ready to hold the same training to other students in Amideast with our help, and will add a huge value to our society by spreading the debate culture more and more. Debate rocks ;)

Also, our story was part of Empowe2016 event in Qatar, which is a three days event that includes a combination of seminar panel discussion, keynote speeches, small group workshops, seminars, off-site activities, exhibition and youth artistic expression. It was an amazing opportunity for us and we recorded a video to them and get some empowering and great feedbacks.

We still need your help as we are only half way now. Please help us reach our goal, spread the call and donate to us.

Here's again the article written about Heba and our debate club in the International Women's Day, check it out and share it with your network:

Thanks a lot of reading our update, you are awesome! :)
+ Read More
Update #4: A very important note to our dear friends and supporters,

It's Heba and Basel and this is a very important update regarding our campaign.

Two days ago we moderated a debate in the International Women's Day on "Women In STEM". It was a very interesting and successful event and we are really glad we are able to leave such an impact in Gaza Strip so far. During the event we received an email from GoFundMe telling us that someone has donated the rest amount of the money we need and that we reached our goal! Of course everyone celebrated with us and got really excited, it was one of the best moments ever.

Before we decided to withdraw the money, we wanted to reach the person who donated for us and thank him/her. When we exported the donations details from GoFundMe, we suspected that the money wasn't true so we emailed GoFundMe to make sure it's not a stolen visa. It turned out that someone stole a visa and donated this money.

We DIDN'T appreciate it at all, and in that moment it felt like a big let down ( only one moment :) ) But at the same time we won't ever accept something like that so we asked GoFundMe to take the money back and return it.

We are really glad we knew it wasn't a real donation, because any penny we get is something we really appreciate and it wouldn't ever have any meaning if it wasn't from someone who believed in us.

We are writing you to tell you that we are still going and need your support, and to thank you over and over again for believing in us and helping us reaching our goal. You are amazing!

So, in case you checked the campaign the past two days and found out we're done, we are not! Super excited to work more and make our dream to attend these wonderful events come true. We appreciate any kind of help to reach as many supporters as possible.

Thank you so much for reading this.

All the best,

Heba & Basel

PS: this is an article written about Heba and our debate club in the International Women's Day, check it out!

+ Read More
Hi dear friends and supporters,

It's Heba and I'm very happy to tell you that I finally made it to Jerusalem for my visa interview last Thursday.
I want to thank everyone who donated and helped me and my friend to make theses amazing travels possible. So far, 41% of the needed expenses in order for me and Basel to get to the USA is covered but we still need your help to collect the rest of it.

I just received AMENDS 2016 welcome packet and I'm so excited to share all these details with you all this April! Only 3 weeks separate me from the big event and every little support counts. With your help, we can establish and maintain a wonderful environment for some great minds to build a better future for Gaza.

Make an impact by any kind of contribution whether by donating our helping us reaching as many supporters as possible. This means a lot to us and to the debate community in Gaza Strip.

Also, we can't wait to update you with our big upcoming debate event in the women's day the next two days. And to tell you more about a new awesome group of young leaders we've been training on debate skills the past two weeks! Lots of amazing stuff to share. Stay tuned ;)

Thanks again, we love you!
+ Read More
Read a Previous Update
Be the first to leave a comment on this campaign.

$3,510 of $7,000 goal

Raised by 56 people in 40 months
Created February 19, 2016
Your share could be bringing in donations. Sign in to track your impact.
We will never post without your permission.
In the future, we'll let you know if your sharing brings in any donations.
We weren't able to connect your Facebook account. Please try again later.
Mario Varon Garrido
38 months ago
Darryl Groce
39 months ago

Good Luck Basel!

Jessica Dickinson Goodman
39 months ago
Joseph Franklin
39 months ago
Clelia Good
39 months ago
40 months ago
Erin Keeley
40 months ago
Dawn Steele
40 months ago
Elana Golden
40 months ago
Paul Robinson
40 months ago
Be the first to leave a comment on this campaign.
Use My Email Address
By continuing, you agree with the GoFundMe
terms and privacy policy
There's an issue with this Campaign Organizer's account. Our team has contacted them with the solution! Please ask them to sign in to GoFundMe and check their account. Return to Campaign

Are you ready for the next step?
Even a $5 donation can help!
Donate Now Not now
Connect on Facebook to keep track of how many donations your share brings.
We will never post on Facebook without your permission.