Anees “Free Palestine” Assaf announced Wednesday that he has donated all of his winnings from Smash Summit 12 to a Palestinian-based charity. He had previously promised to do so while campaigning for Smash Summit 12 in November of 2021.
“I want to use my time [at Summit] in a meaningful way both Melee wise and more importantly to raise awareness and knowledge about the Free Palestine movement,” Free Palestine tweeted in November.
Specifically, Free Palestine donated his prize money from Smash Summit 12 to the Middle East Children’s Alliance. MECA is focused on upholding “the rights and the well-being” of children from regions like Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria.
Free Palestine’s contribution to MECA is the continuation of a partnership that began in May of 2021. During Netplay for Palestine, an online Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament hosted by Julia “Venus” Grey in conjunction with Free Palestine and others, the Smash community raised over $21,000 for MECA.
Today I donated all my winnings from Smash Summit 12 to a charity doing work in Palestine. Decided to continue the melee community partnership with @MECAForPeace. Thanks to anyone who helped make summit possible for me. Final amount sent was $1,150. pic.twitter.com/KJ9fXpYlyD
— Anees 🇵🇸 انيس (@FreePalestineRN) March 9, 2022
Free Palestine’s Smash Summit 12 donation
Free Palestine placed ninth at Smash Summit 12 in December of 2021. Though he failed to win a set in pools or the gauntlet phase, Free Palestine secured his sole victory of the tournament against John “KoDoRiN” Ko in the final bracket. His Sheik narrowly triumphed over KoDoRiN’s Marth in Game 5 of their set.
For his performance at Smash Summit 12, Free Palestine received a prize of $1,139.32. He ultimately donated $1,150 to MECA.
Before switching to his current tag in February of 2019, Free Palestine entered Melee tournaments under the name “Milhous” as a tongue-in-cheek reference to Richard Nixon. After finishing as “Mr. 101” on the 2018 MPGR, he made his formal top 100 debut at No. 72 on the 2019 MPGR.
However, Free Palestine did not make the cut for MPGRContenders, Melee’s first official post-quarantine ranking. Even so, he’s defeated multiple players ranked top 30 in North America since the return of in-person tournaments last year. He boasts wins against KoDoRiN, Matt “Polish” Warshaw and Daniel “Zamu” Bernstein.