As the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge continues to grab headlines, the Rubble Bucket Challenge has been launched in solidarity with those in Gaza who have lost their homes in the ongoing conflict with Israel.
Using #RubbleBucketChallenge to raise awareness on social media, campaigners have swapped ice-and-water-filled containers for sand and rocks.
The trend appears to have been started by Jordanian comedian Mohammed Darwaza last Friday, and made popular by journalist Ayman al Aloul over the weekend. It is not clear whether Aloul and Darwaza both thought of the idea by coincidence, or if one inspired the other.
Since its launch on Friday, the Rubble Bucket Challenge Facebook page has garnered thousands of 'likes' and shared videos of participants. On the page, activists explain their aim to “raise awareness about the war on Gaza where people are bombed inside their homes. All people are invited to accept the challenge.”
In Mr Aoul's Rubble Bucket Challenge YouTube video, he tells viewers: “I liked the idea of the ice bucket challenge so I decided to invent the Palestinian version.”
Standing amid what appears to be the ruins of buildings destroyed during the war, he adds: “We looked for a bucket of water, however the use of water is more important than to empty over our heads. And even if the water is available it is difficult to freeze it.”
Encouraging famous people to lend their influence to the cause as they have done with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, he says: “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.
Since Friday, the challenge has transcended the Middle East, with participants from countries including Canada and Malaysia tipping dust and rocks over their heads.
In six weeks, Operation Protective Edge has caused almost 17,000 homes to be destroyed or damaged irreparably, according the UN figures.
More than 2,100 Palestinians and 68 on the Israeli side – all but four of whom were soldiers – have died in the war.
The Rubble Bucket Challenge comes as the Rice Bucket Challenge gains attention. Unlike the ice bucket challenge, the rice bucket challenge asks that participants simply donate a bucket of rice to somebody in need.
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