By David Hawa
Travel Log: Seattle ✈ San Francisco ✈ LA ✈ San Diego
The magic number this week has been four. For the past four days, I’ve been in four cities, doing four charity events, averaging less than four hours of sleep, and spending less than (twenty) four hours in each city. The reason for my travels? Islamic Relief’s Promise for Palestine tour with humanitarian and world renowned artist Mohammed Assaf. The money raised on this tour will benefit the Palestinian people we serve through our programs.
I’m sure people might say wow, lucky guy: Seattle, San Francisco, LA and San Diego in one trip. But honestly, you can’t tell the difference from city to city. You travel to each place to set up and run a charity dinner event for several hundred people, breakdown, get to your room at two a.m., wake up by six a.m. and start all over again for the next show. That’s life on the road.
As tiring as it is, it’s worth it. Because the two weeks with little sleep and an average of 30,000 steps a day will eventually end after this tour. But for the people we are helping, they don’t get a day off. They don’t get a break. I’ve seen families of eight living in an area smaller than my hotel room with only a community bathroom. While my hotel room has four walls and a roof with heat and A/C, their living quarters can most accurately be likened to a tin can: three or four metal walls, and maybe a roof for the fortunate ones.
With the grace of God, we managed to raise one million dollars in four shows to help those in need. With three shows left in DC, New York and Texas this weekend, we will be able to help thousands of people in need. People who don’t have the basic needs that we take for granted. This is why I do what I do with this crew, who also took time away from their families for a great cause to help those in need. I want to give a special thanks to the travel team that includes Waleed, Daud, Lena, Reem, Hassan, and our speakers and entertainers Said Durrah, Linda Sarsour, and Mohammed Assaf.
Tomorrow we may hear more heartbreaking news coming out of Palestine. But today and always, we will work to fulfill our promise to do whatever we can to help.