Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Message from Craig and Cindy Corrie, March 16, 2011

On the 8th Anniversary of Rachel Corrie’s Stand in Gaza

A Message from Craig and Cindy Corrie, March 16, 2011

On Wednesday, March 16th, we mark the eighth anniversary of our daughter
Rachel’s stand in Rafah, Gaza, to protect the right of a Gazan family to be safe and secure in their home and the rights of all Palestinians to self-determination, freedom, equality, and security in the same measure as their Israeli neighbors.

Here in Olympia, Washington – our hometown and Rachel’s – our family, the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice, and our community will mark this anniversary with an event that emphasizes three components: community-building, education, and action. Strengthening community connections was important to Rachel when she lived and worked here in Olympia, but, also, beyond, as she embraced the world as her community.

As we pursue a more just global community, we must arm ourselves with solid information and knowledge. Rachel believed this profoundly and emphasized in her writing from Gaza the importance of seeking and communicating the facts and doing so without exaggeration. And it is not enough for us to think and talk. We must, also, act. Indeed, it is because of Rachel’s action on March 16, 2003, that we pause to mark this day.

As we consider where Rachel would want us to focus now, Gaza still remains high on the list. The UN Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
reports that the number of weekly civilian injuries in Gaza

was recently higher than it has been for any week since May 2010. The number includes injuries to five children. During the week of February 20-26, imports from Israel into Gaza were only 36 percent of the average amount that entered weekly before Israel imposed its blockade of Gaza in 2007.

Exports and movement of people in and out of the Strip remain severely restricted. Collective punishment of the 1.7 million residents of Gaza by the Israeli government and military continues. We must, therefore, continue to focus on improving their situation and ending the blockade and siege under which they have suffered for so many years.

Rachel would want us to remember the courageous activists whose lives were claimed this past year in nonviolent actions against Israeli policies and those who have found themselves in prison because of their nonviolent resistance. They are American, Palestinian, Turkish, Israeli, and from elsewhere. We had the privilege recently of meeting Ahmet Dogan, the father of Furkan Dogan, the 18-year-old American citizen executed by the Israeli military aboard the Mavi Marmara in international waters. We spent an evening in Istanbul with the wives, children, and grandchildren of others struck down on the same ship. 

We have followed the stories of Jawaher Abu Rahma. fatally injured by teargas during protest in the
Palestinian village of Bil’in and of Ahmad Suliman Salem Deeb, the 19-year-old Gazan shot and killed as he participated in a demonstration against the no-go zone east of Gaza. We have read of the fishermen and farmers injured and killed while grazing their sheep and plying the waters just off the shore of Gaza. We have followed the Israeli court actions against our friends Abdullah Abu Rahma of Bil’in and Jonathan Pollack of Tel Aviv, imprisoned in Israel because of their leadership and nonviolent actions to resist Israeli confiscation of land and the continuing presence of the wall in West Bank villages.

With admiration, we have watched the courageous pursuit of freedom and democracy unfold and spread throughout the Middle East. We have celebrated the victories and mourned the losses. In keeping with our memory of Rachel, we are listening to the voices of young people as they struggle worldwide to assert their visions for a democratic, free, and peaceful future – in Gaza, the West Bank, in the Sheik Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem, in Kabul, Cairo, and beyond. We call on U.S. officials to listen, too. We ask for them to be consistent and strong in their demands that foreign governments and militaries be accountable for their actions, that they respect the right of people to assemble and protest, and that they respond only nonviolently to such protests.

On March 10, 2010, our family’s civil
lawsuit against the State of Israel and its Ministry of Defense opened in Haifa District Court. In sessions spread over the course of the past year, we have heard from four of the internationals who stood with Rachel in Gaza in 2003 and, also, from state’s witnesses who include the bulldozer driver, commander, and the lead investigator in the military police inquiry into Rachel’s case. 

The testimony has often been disturbing. We have recently learned that the case will resume on April 3rd. Six state’s witnesses remain to testify, including commanders who were in charge on March 16, 2003. As our family continues our quest for truth and accountability for Rachel, we demand it for all the others, as well. We know that for there ever to be peace, there must be an airing and resolution of the grievances.

Some of you – in Madison, Wisconsin, Marin County, California, in Turkey, in the U.K. and elsewhere – have told us that you, too, plan commemorative events for
March 16th or during the upcoming weeks. Thank you for remembering Rachel with us. As you do, we hope you will, keep in mind the community-building, education, and action so important to her. 

We hope, too, that you will recall those others who have stood and been struck down, those imprisoned for their nonviolent action, and those who carry on the work – and that you will do what you can to support them all. With events this week and beyond that keep compassion, humility, and love at their core, together, we will honor Rachel’s commitment and spirit.

With appreciation always and in solidarity with all who pursue justice,

Cindy and Craig Corrie

Irish Ship to Gaza

To Gaza With Love

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Living The Change: 22 Million Still Affected: Rebuild Schools

Dear Supporters,

6 months post floods, the 22 Million affected still await your help. As media, civil society and government shows a changed response to rehabilitate them -- We still vow to take our 'flood relief campaign' further. Having reached 60,000 families with 52 Million PKR worth of relief items in 39 deliveries since August 3rd 2010 -- WE STILL LOOK TOWARDS YOU TO HELP US REHABILITATE THEM!

And what better way than doing something that will effect coming generations than to rebuild schools? 2500 students will be educated yearly through this event.

If you don't care about floods that swept 1/3rd of Pakistan -- You can come to see the maestro Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, if he's not good enough for you to help us change lives of a generation, come see QB [Qurat ul Ain Baloch] unleashing the magic of a mesmerizing voice.

Only limited passes available now. Get yours from Gloria Jeans F6 or Illusions F7. 

ON Facebook



Pakistan Youth Alliance

Event Managed by: Miradore Productions

For details:

Pakistan Youth Alliance

Friday, March 11, 2011

My Name is Rachel Corrie: Rachel Corrie Foundation

My Name is Rachel Corrie 
Directed by Lois Pearlman
Starring Mandy Cimino as Rachel

A benefit for the Rachel Corrie Foundation
14 Friends of Palestine and Keep Hope Alive 

Alan Rickman and Katharine Viner based this play on the writings of Rachel Corrie, a 23-year-old American who was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza while trying to save a Palestinian home from demolition.

File:Rachel corrie.jpeg

With Middle Eastern music by HELM, and songs by Doug Adamz

Saturday April 16th 2011 at 3pm
First Presbyterian Church of San Anselmo
72 Kensington Road, San Anselmo, CA 94960

Suggested donation: $15 in advance through Brown Paper Tickets 
or $15 - $20 sliding scale at the door  

Sponsored by Keep Hope Alive and 14 Friends of Palestine and endorsed by the Middle East Children’s Alliance, Nor Cal Friends of Sabeel, Free Gaza, Justice for Palestinians, U.S. Boat to Gaza - West Coast and If Americans Knew.  

Free Henry! wins Hard Rock Café Battle of the Bands

Free Henry!, Western New York band making their mark. Stay tuned with Free Henry! and myself.  So much more to come.


From WNY

Free Henry! wins Hard Rock Café Battle of the Bands

Free Henry!
 Fresh from taking Artpark's "Rock the Park" contest and a headlining slot at the venue this summer, Free Henry! was crowned winner of the Hard Rock Café Niagara Falls' Battle of the Bands on Thursday.

The band's video will be sent to the Hard Rock International corporate offices for final judging by a distinguished panel of judges. The top 10 bands from the participating North American cafes will be posted at on or around April 12 and the online voting portion will begin. The band with the most Internet votes will win a trip to Hard Rock Calling 2011 to perform along with international superstars Stevie Nicks, Rod Stewart and Bon Jovi.

Last year's Hard Rock Niagara Falls winners, More Than Me, went on to win the national contest and opened for Sir Paul McCartney. The café is looking for a repeat in 2011.

From Buffalo Spree and Erin Habes

Spree Style with Erin Habes: Free Henry! gets style
© City Lights Photography

Free Henry!, a free-flowing rock n’ roll jam band, has recently burst onto the Buffalo scene. Their music has an eclectic mix of influences, from jazz and jam-heavy pop to rock. Each of the members—Bob Buckley, Alex Foote, Derek Presti, and Pat Mannella—are talented musicians, and their sound is powerful and full of life. Gigging regularly on the Buffalo circuit, the group is finalizing their much-anticipated second album, Ethereal Gust, which is due for release this fall.

Not too long ago I was asked to help define Free Henry!’s style identity as a band, giving them a fresh new look for their album cover. Considering their musical influences, I chose a look that captures their vibrant spirit, yet leaves room for each of the members to express their distinct personality.

I tapped Urban Treads, which has a nice balance of rock n’ roll meets trendy casual, carrying lines like Ben Sherman and French Connection. I also played around with some defining accessories to enhance their look, which included bold watches, striped scarves and fedora hats. To top it all off, I chose incredible eyewear from Visualeyes for lead singer Buckley. This pair of signature ic! berlin frames are a sure way to embrace your inner rock star.

The photo shoot took place on a cold winter night, but was warmed by friends who worked collaboratively to magnify Free Henry!’s style. The final outcome, you ask? An updated Free Henry! ready to take on the release of a great new album with a fresh sense of style.

Stylist- Erin Habes
Style Assistant- Jeff Todd
Photography- City Lights Photography

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Shahen-Shah The Spirit of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

In support of NPR, our youth and music: 

A rare written interview gifted to me by Andy Carvin (now with NPR) with Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, uncle of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, while Andy were in college. Please read below and connect to Andy online. 

Shahen-Shah-  The Spirit of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is performing to renovate schools damaged by flooding in Pakistan on March 22nd. The event is organized by Pakistan Youth Alliance (CEO, Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi.

Please see that event here with Rahat:

If you can't attend, please donate. If you can't donate, please share that event. Donation/ticket info is on the above link, as well as easy online share options. But if you are in Pakistan, I am jealous! I would be running to this event. 

It is by far the most astounding music and for such a needed cause. Children are our future. But they need schools right now. 

Being in radio, journalism, music, it is my extreme pleasure to bring out Andy's interview with a most spiritual man no longer with us. Please check that out and go to the event to witness his son giving back to the children. 

Thank you Andy, Ali, Nusrat and Rahat:



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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Read Across America: Read To Succeed Buffalo: NEA

On March 2, the National Education Association calls for every child to be reading in the company of a caring adult.


Read Across America

Read Across America!

Celebrate Reading and the Birthday of Dr. Suess
March 2, 2011 


Read To Succeed Buffalo willRegister your site with "Read Across America", provide a lesson plan to help with structuring your day, give away a unique bookmark for children to take home, and assign a "Celebrity Reader" to read a Dr. Seuss Book to children.

The National Education’s (NEA) "Read Across America" is an annual program celebrated on March 2, the birthday of Dr. Seuss, to motivate reading and literacy awareness.

For the first time, Buffalo is on the National Education Association map as a host site of “Read Across America.” Readers of all ages are encouraged to celebrate. Participating Buffalo Public Schools include:  School #90,  Dr. Charles R. Drew Science Magnet, and School #53.

Motivating children to read is an important factor in student achievement and creating lifelong successful readers. Random House have put together a terrific Read Across America resources page featuring a teacher's guide, activities, games and so much more. 

"Read to Succeed" works with nearly 50 coalition partner organizations to create a culture of literacy within our community.  They spearhead initiatives that give children the literacy and language tools necessary for success in kindergarten and beyond.


Join the Cause
Volunteer »
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"Read to Succeed Buffalo" is determined to give every child a strong start when entering kindergarten. More than 4 in 10 children entering kindergarten in Buffalo Public Schools are behind in literacy skills.  With the help of Buffalo's three largest foundations and nearly 50 organizational partners, we give children a fighting chance to succeed in school.  

For more information: Deborah Ann Porter: Community Outreach Coordinator: Read to Succeed Buffalo at 843-8895 and 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

New Date: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan for Flood Victims: Tues, March 22 8pm

                New date for event: Tuesday, March 22 at 8:00pm March 23 at 1:00am

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan for Flood Victims

After making 39 deliveries to 29 locations, having raised and disbursed relief items over 52 Million PKR (just from streets, only for flood victims. Over 120 Million PKR till date for various initiatives) since 3rd August, 2010, 


Pakistan Youth Alliance now vows to rebuild and renovate schools destroyed by floods. As donations dwindle, we are arranging a fundraiser-charity concert in Islamabad to raise enough funds to renovate 2 schools in Nowshera and Kot Addu respectively.

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan shall weave magic by his music and mesmerize Islamabad live. 

PYA, in continuation of its widely acknowledged flood relief efforts shall rebuild 2 schools through funds raised by this concert. 

Shake your souls and help students who cant go to schools as their schools were destroyed by floods. 

Top businessmen, diplomats and politicians will be in attendance. 

Event Managed by: Miradore Productions
Venue: TBA
Donation Tickets: Rs. 5000 per head for single entry
VIP table of 10 including buffet dinner starting from Rs. 300,000

For details:

Pakistan Youth Alliance remains to be the ONLY non-partisan youth organization to be acknowledge at UN Headquarters. New York City for its selfless and continuous work, whenever needed. 

Click below for press conference at UN HQ's mentioning PYA:

For complete international, local media coverage, reports and documentaries; see our facebook albums and our youtube channel 


Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi
Pakistan Youth Alliance
Central Executive Committee --  Khudi Pakistan
Coordinator for Youth Pages of The Islamabad Dateline

BB Pin: 25698CBD
Twitter @Ali_Abbas_Zaidi
Blog: Plastic Tearz: An Insight

Contact Me Facebook Twitter MySpace YouTube

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Grace Stumberg: Millennium Music Conference: 7 City Tour

Buffalo, NY’s next musical offering aiming for the national stage merges strengths of that city’s best known musical exports, Ani DiFranco and the Goo Goo Dolls. In fact, one of her mentors is Goo Goo Dolls founding member, Robby Takac.

It’s 21-year old acoustic rock, singer songwriter Grace Stumberg that holds the hope for Buffalo making another in-road to the mainstream. She is the top graduate of the high school Music in Action program co-authored by Takac and is gaining critical support for her debut CD & live performances.

Stumberg’s sound is a blend of difranco’s acoustic snap, the pop vibes of the Goos with echos of Sheryl Crow, Bonnie Raitt, Ingrid Michaelson, and Grace Potter.

She is fresh off a 7 city tour in support of NYC-based duo Left on Red on The Chocolate Revolution Tour 2011 that visited high school classrooms during the days and clubs in the evenings, sharing music, career stories, and global business lessons about "Fair Trade" chocolate as a smarter alternative to Valentine's Day. "Fair Trade" purchases, like coffee and chocolate, support small farmers and also reduce child-exploitation.

 © Erica Eichelkraut

At 21, Stumberg is gathering a strong network of industry fans that have opened invitation-only doors at America’s Got Talent, Roadtrip Nation, the 15th annual Millennium Music Conference (Feb. 19, 2011), a talent agent at CAA (Creative Artists Agency, LA), and others. She also coordinates the Buffalo-based “tunes4food” food bank campaign that has raised over 40,000 meals since June 2009.

"She is the real thing... Stumberg has tapped into something
deep and meaningful..." - Jeff Miers - BUFFALO NEWS, June 4, 2010

"Grace Stumberg is a supernova! ...debut CD is what the world needs right now..."
- Susan Marie, NIGHTLIFE MAGAZINE, August 2010

"Stumberg has it all - songs, sounds & smarts...everything she needs to go all the way."
- Anthony Casuccio, THE GRAMMYS, September 2010

“Genuinely refreshing, lyrically astounding… Grace’s music deserves to be
heard by the masses. Lovely and wonderfully superb.” - IAE Magazine, December 2010


CONTACT: Bob James, 716-912-6656 or

Bob James,
Creative Director
716.912.6656 (cell)