How to Get Fired 🇵🇸

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On January 24, 2024, Khalid sent an email to everyone at his company, Algolia, a software startup of 700+ people.

The next day, January 25, Khalid was fired.

Learn more about this incident and about the history of this website by listening to Khalid's 94-minute interview with Abby Martin of the Empire Files: Read the email that Khalid sent below, or watch a recital of the email on YouTube.

Is my Arab blood so cheap?
Is the price of truth so steep?
That I must not speak for equality and liberty?
That I must tolerate genocide to earn my salary?

12,660 Gazan kids KILLED in 104 days,
Compared to approximately 500 kids in TWO YEARS in Ukraine.
An average of 121 children will be killed TODAY,
by Israel's war crimes, deaths on digital display.

It was directly in our product,
where we declared our support for Ukraine,
but I am threatened with termination,
for representing Palestinian pain?

Our cancerous empire perpetuates violence,
by fostering corporate culture that mandates our silence,
and diffuses responsibility across numerous organizations,
to build an armed consortium that exploits third-world nations.

I've heard all the lip service,
and read all the brochures,
about how important diversity is,
and how inclusion's the cure.

The truth is quite simple: you don't really care.
Diversity quotas only matter for hiring,
When an anti-apartheid Arab perspective gets shared...
Quick! HR! We had better get firing!

This is not out of the blue,
This is honest and true,
Raytheon Missiles and Defense,
Does diversity & inclusion, too.

“That's so not fair,
we really do CARE!
It's in our core values,
see, right there!”

I would LOVE to see Algolia CARE,
About starving Gazan children drinking tears, eating air.
I asked Bernie [CEO] to send an email denouncing GENOCIDE,

I speak in OUTRAGE against Palestinian suffering and strife,
I speak AGAINST Israel's crimes and FOR the sanctity of all life,
I speak to HONOR every martyr of Israeli aggression,
I speak to DEMAND a swift end to this decades-long oppression.

Our employer will not look our torment in the eye,
The controversy is too risky, better just leave us to die.
Your decision is not as rude as a statement of hate,
Yet you betray the drowning like a lifeguard who has chosen to wait.

And so I can't breathe while I earn, here, my dollar,
And I wish that this pressure on my neck would just loose.
This job that I am working, you call it "white-collar,"
But with your response to my words, it feels like a noose.

I've attached all communications, [but did not upload them to this website for legal reasons]
I invite you to read for yourself.
Judge freely my actions,
Am I entitled? Am I unwell?

To those who would say that I anti-semitize,
For witnessing Israel's crimes and daring to criticize:
My first language was Arabic. I am as Semitic as it gets,
but it is not just us Arabs marching in these protests!

I march shoulder-to-shoulder with my brothers and sisters, the Jews,
Jewish elders meet me and thank me for the protest work that I do,
My most beloved mentor in this stage of my life,
is my jiujitsu instructor, a Jewish man, who says “Free Palestine!”

On the 8th night of Hanukkah,
I stood up and cut my supper short.
I ran down to University Bridge,
where the Jewish Voice for Peace was holding court.

It was much more filling to sing,
With these Jewish family members of mine,
Brothers and sisters of humanity,
Than to stay home and dine.

In this political climate where humanitarian advocacy is a perilous game,
It is the work of Jewish journalists and activists that helped me stand on my feet.
When the Jewish masses reject Israel's genocide: “NOT IN OUR NAME,”
How can you NOT join them as they march through the street?

So deal consequence to my actions and explain away my words,
Restore a tremulous order over us laboring herds.
It takes all of my courage to commit to this leap,
But what choice do I have as long as Arab blood runs so cheap?

The rest of my message is focused on Israel,
And how they fulfill their vision of turning Gaza into hell,
There are thousands more crimes that I've certainly missed,
My goal here is, at least, to deliver a glimpse.

From the river to the sea,
Palestine will be FREE!
From the sea to the river,
Palestine will live FOREVER!

Thank you so much for reading!
I assert my humanity.
Free Palestine!
-Khalid E.