Spread love, help others, and always hustle!

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I was born in Brooklyn, and lived in New York until I was nine. When I moved back home to Falesteen, it was a difficult time to be a teenager there. So, at 17, I went to California for school. After finishing college, I settled in Florida.

My daughter, Isabella, and I always wanted to do something to help people — to give back to children around the world. Palestinian Hustle is what came out of that. It’s a company with a social mission. In 2018, we landed on the name and logo. Not long after, we launched the website.

I have always been motivated by doing good in the world. I was born on this earth to help others. I believe that helping others fills our hearts and feeds our souls. We are just built to always help others.

Samer and Isabella
Samer and Isabella

And I’ve shared these values with my daughter. Ever since Bella was a child I’ve always taught her that we have to give back, whether it’s supporting people experiencing homelessness or volunteering at our local women’s shelter. No matter where we are in our lives, we always have to remember others. Gratitude and service go together. It’s important for us to always remember to be grateful for what we have and it’s equally important for us to give more to those who need it.

Palestinian Hustle is about sharing a message and a life lesson with my daughter, so I always wanted it to be something that we would do together. It’s a way to shed light on the beauty of the Palestinian people through the sharing of culture and by helping others. We’ve been in business for two years come September. Our message is simple: spread love, help others, and always hustle. A percentage of every sale of our original creations is used to feed hungry children in the US and worldwide, and to aid refugees in Palestine.

From the beginning we decided we wanted to focus on helping children in the U.S. and in Palestine. To start, I pulled up a number of organizations to partner with. Unfortunately, finding organizations who wanted to work with us was really hard. There were lots of prohibitive bureaucratic requirements. Then I got a call back from Anera. I told them what we’re about and we figured out the formalities of the partnership. They’re the first organization on the ground in Palestine to partner with us.

We love the work Anera does. Their programs with preschools and early childhood development are revolutionary. I want to let Palestinians around the world know about Anera.

We’ve since partnered with other charitable and humanitarian groups, but we’re selective about it. It’s about quality over quantity for us — in our business and in our partnerships. I’d rather we be small and be impactful than lose the message.

Let’s Read | Hayya Naqra

Girl reading at the Atarah Preschool in Palestine's West Bank
Atarah Preschool

This month we launched a campaign for Eid Al Adha to raise funds to support Anera’s early childhood development program in Palestine. The Hayya Naqra (Let’s Read) program instills a love of reading in children, teachers and parents, providing quality materials and creating special reading spaces in classrooms and community centers. We’ve promoted Anera in our marketing and events since the beginning but this will be our first sustained campaign together. We’d like to do more campaigns for Anera in the future to support things like food parcel distributions in Gaza. And I’m looking forward to working with Anera’s Visionaries program.

The funds we raise this month will allow us to get locally made tote bags filled with books into the hands of Palestinian preschoolers. The fun materials include the Arabic translation of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, three other reading books, and a workbook to allow the children to practice their ABCs and fine motor skills. They also get crayons.

We’re also including in the totes information to help parents guide their children’s learning at home during the pandemic. It will include suggestions for games to play with and engage kids as well as ideas for creating arts and crafts like puppets using recycled materials. Prior to the restrictions brought on by COVID-19, these activities were happening in the classroom. Now we need to help parents to prepare for the fall when in-person classes may not resume as normal so that their children continue to learn in the home.

Our goal is to raise $15,000, which would allow us to provide reading packs to 750 students in 10 preschools across Gaza and the West Bank.

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