Tattoo artists raise $74k for Palestinians in need; plan more flash fundraising events in US cities

A collage of three images: On the left, a tattoo of a bushel of olives on the back of someone's ankle. In the center, a screenshot of an Instagram grid for the Hibr tattoo fundraiser, and on the right, a tattoo of a watermelon next to a daisy

Earlier this month, a coalition of over 180 international tattoo artists joined together as part of Hibr: A tattoo fundraising campaign led by Palestinian Americans to provide aid to folks in need in Gaza.

(Hibr is an Arabic word that means ‘ink.’)

Led by activists Randa Jarrar and Ariana Bazlamit, the group of independent artists created flash sheets filled with designs related to Palestinian culture or social justice, booking tattoo appointments for those designs all on the same day: May 4.

The profits from these tattoos were then sent to Jarrar and Bazlamit, who shared that they will redistribute funds to Palestinians most in need.

Randa Jarrar and Ariana Bazlamit smile in an Instagram Reel promoting their Hibr tattoo fundraiser
Jarrar (left) and Bazlamit (right) announce the Hibr fundraiser on Instagram.

“We are absolutely blown away to announce that after our first worldwide Hibr event, our community has raised over $74,000,” the organizers shared on Instagram this week.

“This has absolutely surpassed any expectations we could have dreamed of. We couldn’t possibly express how grateful we are to every single one of you who has partnered with us and contributed to our cause with your time, energy, money, and bodies.”

The donations are being split among “vetted mutual aid campaigns for Gazans,” the post said.

Along with committing $10,000 to Ele Elna Elak, a student-led organization that provides essentials to Gazans, the organizers said they are in the process of being connected to evacuated Palestinian families made up of six or more people through the group Egyptians for Palestinians.

“We are committing to sponsor multiple families for a year,” they wrote.

Lastly, they said that they are committing $5,000 to Cairo Mutual Aid, an effort led by Hattie Soykan, to help cover the evacuation costs for families fleeing violence in Palestine.

But this is only the beginning.

The group will continue to hold monthly flash fundraising dates for its global community of tattoo artists, with June 1 and July 16 next up on the calendar. 

Some artists have also committed to offering their designs indefinitely, with all proceeds going back to the aforementioned causes. 

A tattoo that reads "from the river to the sea" with keffiyeh stitching done in support of the Hibr tattoo fundraiser
Photo courtesy of Landon Skelly/Instagram

“Everything counts,” Landon Skelly of Skeleton Inks in Pittsburgh, shared on Instagram after raising $690. 

“I will still be offering this flash, so don’t worry if you were unable to make it to the event. Funds from these designs will still be distributed.” 

Tattoo artists who are interested in participating in the ongoing fundraiser are required to submit a form to be part of the collective. From there, they are free to set their own hours, tattoo sizes, and prices — while committing to donate 100% of profits from these designs to Hibr.

“It’s beautiful to see how much impact we can make when we work together,” Fruit Camp, a Maryland tattoo studio that raised a collective $4,000, shared on Instagram. “Palestine will be free in our lifetimes!”

Participating artists are also featured on Hibr’s Instagram account, so folks interested in getting their own tattoos can find a location near them for future events. Many artists are located in the U.S. and Canada, with a handful working in Europe — and even some in Cairo, Egypt.

As Bazlamit told Good Good Good: their efforts just keep growing; Hibr’s list of participating artists now swells to over 240.

“We’ve been crying since May 4th. The only thing going through our minds is how much we’re going to be able to help our people,” Bazlamit said.

“This won’t undo the horrors they’re experiencing every moment, but we hope it will at least help them feel even the tiniest amount of relief. We love our people beyond measure, and we have an army of tattoo artist partners who are fighting right along with us.”

Header images courtesy of Landon Skelly, Hbir, and Angela Smyth

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May 14, 2024 11:40 AM
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