The nomination is notable because the majority of Rakim’s lyrics relate to his identity as a Muslim, which has gone on to influence other contemporary Muslim rappers.
Fundraiser Auctions Bookish Prizes for Immediate Aid and the Future of Palestinian Arts
Books for Palestine is an auction-based fundraising and awareness campaign that will provide immediate aid for the ongoing crisis in Palestine, though its organizers note that the campaign also aims to support Palestine’s future and the preservation of Palestinian rights, voices and culture.
Several publishing industry professionals have grouped together to form Books for Palestine, a book community fundraising auction that supports a free Palestine.
Books for Palestine was created in 2021 by a diverse group of publishing professionals composed of writers, authors, agents, booksellers and readers. It is an auction-based fundraising and awareness campaign that will provide immediate aid for the ongoing crisis in Palestine, though its organizers note that the campaign also aims to support Palestine’s future and the preservation of Palestinian rights, voices and culture.
The fundraiser has received such an overwhelmingly positive response that its organizers had to turn around some items and services offered for donation due the limits of their small team of volunteers. Still, many notable publishing professionals from every corner of the industry are contributing to the fundraiser. Several authors who have achieved notoriety on TikTok, like Ali Hazlewood and Katee Robert, are offering personalized or annotated copies of their bestselling books. Some industry professionals, such as editors and illustrators, are offering up their services or the chance to chat and better understand how to break into the career. In other cases, publishers themselves are involved — Simon & Schuster’s Salaam Reads imprint, the only imprint at a major publisher to focus on Muslim stories, is auctioning off ten book bundles containing their entire catalog of 33 books. There’s even an offer for a zoom chat with Joe Ando, a popular tiktoker who was also a cover model for S. K. Ali’s YA romance “Love from A to Z.”
Notably, many Muslim authors are providing books or services for the auction. Bestselling author Sabaa Tahir is offering any one of her books signed, with an annotation on any chapter of the winner’s choice. Graphic novelist Huda Fahmy is auctioning off the full backlog of her four books, as is middle grade author Susan Muaddi Darraj. New York Times bestselling authors Samira Ahmed and Aisha Saeed are teaming up to critique the first 10 pages of an author’s manuscript, as well as their query letter. And Hena Khan is offering a full middle grade manuscript critique that will evaluate for plot, pacing, character development, emotional arc and more. The full list of goods and services auctioned can be found on the Books for Palestine Instagram page.
Funds from the auction will be donated by the auction winners to their choice of three organizations: the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, which provides free medical care to injured and ill Palestinian children who lack local access to care within their local health care system; the Adalah Justice Project, a U.S.–based Palestinian advocacy organization that aims to shift policy and public discourse on Palestine while organizing for its liberation; and the Palestine Writes Literature Festival, the only North American literature festival dedicated to celebrating and promoting cultural productions of Palestinian writers and artists. These three organizations were chosen in conjunction with Palestinian organizers and activists because they align with Books for Palestine’s goals of providing immediate aid and looking ahead to Palestine’s future.
While the auction is a significant part of Books for Palestine, it is not the organization’s only component. They also have the ongoing goals of promoting heightened awareness of what is happening in Palestine and building community for those who want to provide a brighter future for Palestine. Accordingly, Books for Palestine strongly advocates for ongoing education, calling representatives in a demand for cease-fire, and promoting, advocating for, and amplifying Palestinian voices.
The Books for Palestine auction will go live Nov. 7 at 12 p.m. ET and will close Nov. 11 at 11:59 p.m. ET, with some additional time for extended bidding. The auction will be hosted online via 32auctions.com; while the exact site is not live yet, it will be posted in the Books for Palestine linktree. At that time, the website will provide more details regarding account creation, how to bid on items, and the process for what will happen when or if an item is won.
Fann will update this article when the Books for Palestine fundraiser is live. In the meantime, you can find more information at the organization’s linktree here.
[Update 11/7] The Books for Palestine fundraising auction is now live. Explore the auction at the link below.