Keep going until they’re free: Pakistani celebrities continue to stand firmly with Palestine

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Artists shared detailed insights on why speaking up for the cause is vital


Amid a surge in violence by Israel against Palestine, the global community appears divided between those who support the oppressor and those who stand in solidarity with the oppressed. Calls for an end to the occupation have grown louder, as worldwide protests serve as a testament to the changing tide. The Western-dominated narrative, which once held sway, is now being challenged by stories emerging from Palestine, shedding light on the true facts.

Numerous Pakistani Celebrities

Numerous Pakistani celebrities have raised their voices against the Israeli aggression. These influential figures, with their substantial platforms, have played a pivotal role in catalyzing change. Actor Ushna Shah, speaking to The Express Tribune, explains, “For decades, the Western media has heavily favored Israel in its narrative, but now, a shift is underway. If you examine the content and comments on major Western networks, you can clearly see a significant change in global loyalties. While the official narrative may still favor Israel, public sentiment certainly does not.”


Armeena Khan

On the other hand, Armeena Khan sees things differently, stating, “First, let’s not confuse the Western narrative with the global narrative. The Western narrative often promotes ‘might is right,’ ‘injustice,’ and ‘selective humanity.’ The West operates within a self-centered echo chamber.” She adds, “However, there is an alternative narrative. The world instinctively empathizes with Palestine, as it did with movements like ‘Black Lives Matter,’ ‘Me Too,’ and ‘Times Up.’ We are at a turning point. The Israeli brutality is born out of desperation, as they find themselves performing for a 21st-century global audience with 20th-century tactics. Their unquestioned control over the narrative is fading. Social media has played a crucial role in this shift.”


Renowned Singer Hasan Raheem Emphasizes

Renowned singer Hasan Raheem emphasizes, “If you consider the global voices that have been speaking out against the apartheid state of Israel and the genocide in Gaza, it’s unfair to label the narrative as pro-Israel. The tide has turned, and it’s a step in the right direction after a long time.”


Yasir Hussain reflects

Images and videos from Palestine have deeply moved people worldwide. Visualizing the one-sided atrocities of war has been heart-wrenching. However, sharing these images has been essential in exposing the extent of Israeli brutality. Yasir Hussain reflects, “It is undoubtedly a sad situation. The suffering of any human anywhere in the world saddens us. The plight of Palestinians pushed against the wall for years, has always been a source of sorrow.”


Ushna adds

Ushna adds, “My life is currently revolving around this crisis. I can’t escape it. Even when I find moments of laughter or distraction, I’m reminded of the harsh reality unfolding right now. What impacts me the most are two things: the suffering of children, witnessing children orphaned, injured, and traumatized, and the blatant ethnic cleansing of an entire population. It’s an agonizing reality that I never expected to witness in my lifetime, and I struggle to fully comprehend it.”

Armeena also shares her perspective, saying,

Armeena also shares her perspective, saying, “Every dead child, whether Palestinian or Israeli, reminds me of my own family. We, as a community, are collectively experiencing trauma that won’t heal. We will carry these images with us to our graves. There’s no solace in this.” Hasan remarks, “The images are distressing and not something one wishes to see when opening a social media app. But, at this point, they are awakening people from their slumber and prompting conversations about the genocide. I feel powerless, and I pray for those who have passed away. May Allah grant patience to their loved ones.”

when it comes to using my platform to advocate for the Palestinian people

The ongoing debate about the perceived silence of influential figures takes into account the potential backlash or loss of brand endorsements for those who express support for Palestine. Ushna acknowledges, “There has been some backlash from those on the other side. I’ve faced trolling here and there. However, when it comes to using my platform to advocate for the Palestinian people, nothing in the world can deter me, and I will never stay silent. I believe this is my calling now, and I will continue to speak for the Palestinian cause, even after a ceasefire. Allah has given me a purpose, and I’m committed to it.”

Armeena reveals

Armeena reveals, “Big businesses profit from wars, and multinationals support the oppressive power structures in developing countries. When I speak out, I challenge these interests. For instance, when I raised my voice for the Kashmiri people, Indian authorities sent me legal notices, and I lost a film project there because the producers couldn’t guarantee my safety. Due to my advocacy, I have lost endorsements, but I have also been embraced by ethical companies that share my values. I have built my career independently, without relying on favoritism or nepotism, and I am unafraid. So, I remain undeterred and fearless because my success is rooted in my fans and my faith in Allah.”

Unwavering Hasan simply states, “God provides

Unwavering Hasan simply states, “God provides. I can endure some backlash for the sake of humanity, so it’s all good.” Yasir candidly points out, “One concern for influencers, especially actors, is that by supporting Palestine, they may contradict their endorsements of products from Israeli companies. To address this, we must promote our own products and spotlight local alternatives that can compete with Israeli products, similar to what our neighboring countries have done. Actors and influential figures may fear that speaking up for Palestine today may lead to endorsing Israeli products tomorrow and facing public scrutiny. That’s a valid concern. I, however, do not face this issue.”

I know it’s challenging

As the death toll continues to rise in the region, it remains crucial to keep raising awareness and amplifying Palestinian voices. Ushna urges, “Please don’t stop discussing this issue. Even if there’s a ceasefire, don’t let the conversation fade away. Even if you become desensitized for a while, take short breaks and then return to watching the videos. I know it’s challenging, but rekindle the pain within yourself, so you keep fighting and spreading the message. The global pressure is mounting, and this may serve as a catalyst for ending this crisis. Keep talking, sharing, posting, pressuring your governments, boycotting, protesting, and advocating. Just keep going. Keep going until they achieve freedom.”

Armeena reinforces

Armeena reinforces, “I see some people becoming depressed and losing hope because the images coming out are horrific. Take regular breaks from social media to safeguard your mental health. Moreover, don’t be a passive observer. Get involved in the justice movement, join a group, or contribute your skills, whether in writing or social media. You are needed. Do what you can, where you can, with the resources you have. I have been advocating for Palestine since high school. The movement is stronger than ever, and the Palestinian people I communicate with remain resolute. If they don’t give up, who are we to do so?”

News Source: Tribune

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