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Updated: 2018-03-06T09:25:46.443-08:00

 



Il est temps de déclarer le blocus de Gaza terminé !

2012-08-07T05:08:31.003-07:00

Il est temps de déclarer le blocus de Gaza terminé !lundi 6 août 2012 - Ayman QwaiderGaza est une véritable prison à ciel ouvert, un camp de concentration où vit confinée une population de 1,7 million de Palestiniens. La tolérance (voire le soutien) dont bénéficie Israël au niveau international pour perpétrer ses crimes est une honte pour l’humanité.Ce point de passage relie le territoire assiégé avec l’Égypte et le monde extérieur. L’ouverture de la frontière n’est pas seulement une nécessité humanitaire, mais aussi une responsabilité morale et éthique.L’ouverture du passage de Rafah est un exigence essentielle dans les relations entre les deux voisins. Sous le régime pro-américain de Moubarak, ce point de passage n’avait pas un fonctionnement normal, à cause de prétendues « raisons de sécurité », sans même définir ce que signifiait la sécurité. Il est bien connu qu’à travers l’Histoire, la bande de Gaza était le fer de lance de l’Égypte en même temps qu’une garantie de sa sécurité face à Israël. L’Égypte n’est liée par aucun accord pour imposer un blocus draconien sur la bande de Gaza, ni pour restreindre la liberté de circulation de 1,7 millions de personnes.Après la chute de l’ancien régime en Égypte en février 2011, les Palestiniens de la bande de Gaza étaient plein d’espoir et d’enthousiasme, attendant que le nouveau système politique égyptien mette un terme à l’épopée du seul point de passage de Gaza. La fermeture de la frontière de Rafah a été très coûteuse pour les civils de Gaza. Plus de 600 Palestiniens ont perdu la vie après avoir été empêchés de quitter Gaza pour une hospitalisation à l’extérieur. Les étudiants ont été privés d’accès aux écoles et universités à l’étranger. Une grave pénurie de produits de base empêche de répondre aux besoins essentiels. Et par-dessus tout, les Palestiniens, ont été laissés sans aucune possibilité de se mettre à l’abri pendant le massacre dans Gaza, l’hiver 2008-2009.L’Égypte a réellement diminué les restrictions sur la frontière de Rafah, mais n’a pas explicitement déclaré que ce blocus de 6 ans est terminé. Il est vrai que les Palestiniens sont autorisés à sortir librement pour la première fois en quatre ans. Il y a cependant toujours des restrictions concernant le flux de matériaux de construction, les produits alimentaires et le commerce. Il convient également de mentionner que les Palestiniens sont incapables de recevoir des amis d’autres nationalités, librement et sans certaines conditions. Alors que l’humanité est passée dans le 21e siècle, les étrangers doivent passer par d’humiliants tunnels entre Gaza et l’Égypte pour rencontrer leurs homologues dans la bande de Gaza.L’Égypte est toujours l’objet d’un processus révolutionnaire et le nouveau-né du système politique égyptien devrait aller main dans la main avec la volonté du peuple égyptien pour mettre fin à la souffrance quotidienne des Palestiniens dans la bande de Gaza.L’Égypte devrait apporter son soutien à la bande de Gaza. Il convient d’abandonner ce siège injuste, et de mettre fin à l’humiliation délibérée aux passages frontières et dans les aéroports. Le nouveau président Morsi devrait prendre une décision historique et humaine en ouvrant le passage de Rafah, sans conditions ni restrictions tous les jours et toute l’année pour les personnes et les biens.L’ouverture du passage de Rafah est un véritable test pour le succès de la révolution égyptienne et la volonté de changement et de réforme exigée en Égypte et par tous les révolutionnaires arabes.http://www.info-palestine.net/article.php3?id_article=12511http://aymanqwaider.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/il-est-temps-de-declarer-le-blocus-de-gaza-termine/[...]



Mind the Strip, Lessons Learned

2012-04-22T12:49:30.420-07:00

Firstly, humanity and human rights should be our prime concern as peace makers and peace caretakers. I was helped by people I have never met in my life when i was stuck in Gaza and was being prevented by Israel to go to Spain to complete my masters.   My newfound friends, who were different in colour, religion, nationality and language, assisted me without any pre-existing conditions. They initiated a media campaign to pressure public opinion so that Israel would allow me to leave Gaza, simply because we share the most important aspect of what can bring all peoples together and that is humanity.  When I asked them why they helped me, someone that they had never before met, they replied that they believed that what was happening to me was unjust and that they were in a position to help me and so they did what they felt was natural and right.  It is important to stress here is that humanity and a belief in universal justice can transcend all nations and all tribes.  At this point, I would like to bring to your attention an important verse from Sura al-Hujurat of the Quran which highlights this point:O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And God has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).Secondly, we should never overlook or undermine our power as people to make significant changes in the world today. When I was stuck in Gaza and was struggling to leave Gaza for nearly two months, we did not give up. We created peaceful and powerful tools and strategies to put pressure on the Israeli state where we knew it would be most effective: public opinion. We were determined that our efforts would succeed, and that is first and foremost because we believed that we would succeed from the very beginning.   So, first and foremost the strategy was to affect the sphere of public opinion and second, we needed to find the proper tools and access points to achieve this goal.  Through our access to social media networks and local Catalan media and through another Spanish media contact in Jerusalem, we managed to reach the Spanish mainstream media that reported my story in the major Spanish media outlets, and it spread like a wildfire!   The major social media tools that we used included Facebook, Online Petitions and Twitter, however it wouldn’t have been successful had we not taken the effort to reach a more broad audience through traditional media outlets.  However we likely would not have been successful in reaching the mass media without firstly instigating the social media campaign.Thirdly, we learned to never be afraid to demand your basic human rights because it is yours and no power on earth should deny you these rights.  These are not simply the rights outlined in the UN Charter or the Geneva Conventions, but God given rights, irrespective of any international organization or piece of paper that they are written on.Fourthly, all human rights violations should be documented because it is the only way to raise awareness of these plights to a wider audience.  It is important that we stand beyond all deprived and vulnerable people. There are so many people on earth whom their voice is voiceless or they do not have the means to bring their voices to the attention of the world. Thus, it is our duty to help give them a louder voice.And finally, in situations of injustice, never wait for others to assist you. We should always take the lead to change realities of unfairness and injustice. We should always utilize all possible means available to us in order to remove or contribute to removing injustice. Others will be convinced later and take the initiative and complete the path.Watch Mind the Strip[...]



Why do I Support the Welcome to Palestine FLYTILLA.

2012-01-27T17:43:41.708-08:00


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In 1947-48, the Palestinian people were subjected to an ethnic cleansing campaign at the hands of the Zionist forces. The number of Palestinians that experienced expulsion anduprooting during this period of time is estimated to be approximately 775,000. Over the past 64 years, while the Zionist policy of population transfer has continued at a slower and retracted pace, it still remains an extension of the pogroms that began in 1947. Currently, the Palestinians diaspora totals approximately five million. While many Palestinians live in cities across the world, including in North America, South America and Europe, there still remains millions of Palestinians living in abject poverty and horrible conditions in refugee camps across bordering ...

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Palestine is the Anvil of our Souls: My New Blog

2012-01-27T17:18:33.665-08:00

Palestine is the Anvil of our SoulsAyman QwaiderMy name is Ayman Qwaider, a Palestinian from the Gaza Strip. I am 25 year old raised up and received my primary education in one of the Refugee camp where I live in El Nuserate refugee camp, middle of Gaza Strip. I finished my university degree from Islamic University of Gaza in 2008, then I worked for almost two years in International Humanitarian Aid organization based on the Gaza City. In Feb 2010, I was granted a scholarship in peace, conflict and development studies to complete my post graduate studies in Spain.I started my blogging experience directly after the one-sided war on the Gaza Strip Winter 2008-2009. I launched my blog in order to contribute the mainstream media, which is often influenced by one narrative usually the Israeli narrative. I report so as I can reach a worldwide audience who seek the true facts on the group about the life under a military occupation.I blog because I believe that audience worldwide has the right to receive information, stories, and news about what is happening in Palestine using alternative media sources. I believe that alternative media sources play a vital and effective role in countering the Israeli propaganda. This is not to declare that we are the winners, but we have to be alert that Israel spends over a $1 billion per year on public relations efforts compared with almost nothing that we spend. Though we do not have the money to influence the mainstream media and the politicians, we are able to reach the free voice of the people and we will continue to inform and mobilize the masses.Fellow me: http://aymanqwaider.wordpress.com/[...]



Vers une culture de Paix et Reconnaissance

2011-11-05T02:25:32.480-07:00

Vers une culture de Paix et ReconnaissanceLa Palestine est un membre de l’UNESCOpar Ayman QwaiderLa Palestine est devenue le 195ème Etat à joindre l’Organisation des Nations Unies pour l’éducation, la science et la culture, ci-après, l’UNESCO . Son admission au sein de la famille de l’UNESCO a offert une bouffée d’optimisme et d’espoir aux Palestiniens qui croient, profondément, dans la mission de l’UNESCO, à savoir « construire la paix dans l’esprit des hommes et des femmes. » L’admission de la Palestine est une victoire symbolique non seulement pour les Palestiniens, mais aussi pour les nombreuses nations du monde ayant voté pour la reconnaissance de la Palestine au sein des Nations Unies et soutenu la demande légitime du peuple palestinien à être représenté en tant qu'Etat aux Nations unies. Si ce vote n’est pas en soi une reconnaissance de la souveraineté palestinienne dans le concert des Nations unies, cette large majorité de nations ayant soutenu l’admission de la Palestine à l’UNESCO est symbolique du soutien remarquable dont jouit globalement la cause de la souveraineté et des droits nationaux palestiniens.Les Palestiniens ont été soumis de manière prolongée à un système d’injustices et se battent depuis des décennies non seulement pour être reconnus en tant que peuple à part entière, mais pour se voir accorder des droits humains fondamentaux. Aujourd’hui avec cet pas unilatéral en direction de l’obtention de droits humains élémentaires, ce pas vers la dignité et vers la reconnaissance d’un Etat, les droits et la dignité des générations futures de Palestiniens semblent plus accessibles.Quand il est question de conflit et de paix entre deux parties, et lorsque l’on tente d’atteindre plus de justice, l’acceptation et la reconnaissance de l’autre, est essentielle. Si les droits et la dignité de l’autre ne sont pas pris en compte, comment est-il possible d’imaginer une quelconque justice ? Cela a été impossible depuis plus de 63 ans, et cela ne saura l’être sans la reconnaissance des Palestiniens en tant que peuple. Peuple ayant toute légitimité et ayant droit aussi bien aux droits fondamentaux, que celui d’un Etat et de leur propre souveraineté établie clairement au sein des Nations unies, et à travers son Assemblée Générale. La reconnaissance et l’acceptation par l’UNESCO est un pas positif dans cette direction.De nos jours, la diplomatie est dominée par des intérêts politiques et économiques, et contribue à maintenir des inégalités. C’est le phénomène que d’aucuns ont qualifié de « realpolitik ». Pourtant, malgré de très puissants intérêts en jeu dans la donne géopolitique actuelle, et malgré l’existence d’une opposition à l’initiative palestinienne et sa demande d’une reconnaissance au sein de l’ONU, cette acceptation de la Palestine à l’UNESCO prouve l’existence sous-jacente d’un large consensus sur la question d’un état palestinien. Ce consensus est plus évident que jamais.La Reconnaissance est une étape vitale vers la Justice. La Paix est à la Justice ce que le fruit est à l’arbre ayant pu fleurir. Aucune paix de longue durée n’a pu être atteinte sans une base fondamentalement de justice et d’équité pour toutes les parties concernées. En tant que Palestinien, témoin de décennies de chagrin et injustices, comme tous les Palestiniens, je peux affirmer que nous sommes terriblement reconnaissants à la famille qu’est l’UNESCO pour la générosité de ce geste, cette reconnaissance et son soutien, et de ne pas avoir failli en ce qui concerne cette question de la Palestine. Nous, le peuple de la Palestine, nous vous saluons pour votre droiture, votre équité et votre intégrité dans votre soutien de la cause qu’est la justice.Ayman Qwaiderayman.qauder@gmail.com [...]



Towards a Culture of Peace and Recognition

2011-11-04T08:30:26.274-07:00

Towards a Culture of Peace and Recognition Palestine is a UNESCO Member State By: Ayman Qwaider London (Pal telegraph) Palestine is the 195th state to join the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO. The admission of Palestine to the UNESCO family has given optimism and hope to Palestinians who believe in the mission of UNESCO “Building peace in the Mind of Men and Women”. The admission of Palestine is a symbolic victory not only for Palestinians, but also for the many nations around the world that voted for the recognition of accepting Palestine as the legitimate sovereign state of the Palestinian People. While this vote did not result in the legal recognition of Palestinian sovereignty in the league of the United Nations, the large majority of nations that supported Palestine’s admission to UNESCO is symbolic of the overwhelming global support of Palestinian national rights and sovereignty. Palestinians have been subjected to a prolonged system of injustice, and for decades we have been struggling not simply to be recognized as a sovereign people, but simply to have our basic human rights protected. Today, with this unilateral step towards attaining our human rights, dignity and statehood, we are that much closer to ensuring the rights and dignity of the future generations of Palestinians. In attempting to address issues of justice, conflict and peace between two parties, firstly the recognition and the acceptance of the other is paramount. Without acknowledging the rights and dignity of the other, how can justice ever prevail? It hasn’t for over 63 years, and it won’t until our recognition as a legitimate people; a legitimate people with full human rights and the right to statehood and self-governance is fully achieved in the United Nations General Assembly. Our recognition and acceptance into UNESCO is a positive step in this direction. Diplomacy in the world today is dominated by political and economic inequalities and interests, or what many great geopolitical analysts have coined “Realpolitik. Yet still, despite the very powerful interests at work in the geopolitical fold today, many of which have staunchly opposed the Palestinian initiative and demands for legal recognition of statehood within the UN; this acceptance of Palestine into UNESCO proves that there is a broad consensus on the question of Palestinian statehood. That consensus is now clearer than ever. Recognition is a vital process towards justice. Peace is to justice as a fig is to the tree that flowers it. No long-lasting peace has ever endured without a strong foundation of justice and equity for all parties involved. We wholeheartedly appreciate the UNESCO family for their generous recognition, support and stand on the question of Palestine. We, the people of Palestine, commend you for your integrity, fairness and righteousness in supporting the cause for justice. Published: Paltegraph Ayman Qwaiderayman.qauder@gmail.com [...]



Who Is Killing People in the Middle East?

2011-09-15T08:20:12.918-07:00

Thu, Sep 15, 2011Africa, Anti-Human Rights, Chaosistan, Editorial, Middle East, War In LibyaBy ORIENTAL REVIEWRussian and Chinese refusal to support UN sanctions against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at the end of August has caused a dramatic outburst of criticism in Western media and from the local human rights activists. On Tuesday the Facebook group ‘Syrian Revolution 2011’ posted a banner in Russian condemning Moscow for allegedly ‘killing the Syrians’. Let’s have a brief outlook on who is actually killing in Syria and other Arab countries.Despite a common prejudice the rioters opposing the Syrian authorities are by no means ‘peaceful protestors’. The Syrian army and police fight against well-trained and properly armed professional raiders supported by the West and the fifth column inside Syria.A police station in Hama, raided by ‘peaceful demonstrators’. 12 policemen were assassinated inside the building.Since April the total record of Syrian soldiers, policemen and security officers assassinated by the ‘demonstrators’ has reached 600, while the number of injured is even higher. Many of them are killed by knifes with utmost cruelty. Every second shot by the long range sniper fire from upper locations (tops of the multistoried buildings) precisely above or under the vest. That’s a notably professional pattern of action. Although typical for Syria Soviet and Russian-made arms are being widely used in the clashes, many victims were hit by the weapons of Western origin having higher killing power, including pump rifles. There are many mutilated by improvised explosive devices.An assassinated Syrian soldier having his throat cut by the assaulters.A number of other photos of injured and killed Syrian soldiers were published on the RT web-site.The tactics of provocations is another distinctive feature of opposition’s modus operandi set to keep the situation destabilized and create havoc and bloodshed. Having the most significant gangs already dispersed by the governmental forces, the opposition renews this tactics. Here is the message from Elena, who has relatives in Syria:‘The gangsters were planning a series of debacles on 27th day of Ramadan (August 26). This is a special day for Muslims, Laylat al-Qadr (the Night of Destiny), when the sky is believed to be open and Allah is fulfilling all dreams. They wanted to organize a series of explosions and assassinations to cause people’s outrage. Syrian security agencies were timely informed about these plans and managed to detain around 200 plotters. There were several foreign specialists in subversive actions among the detained as well as Arab mercenaries from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other countries. According to the evidence obtained, they were about to capture al Abbasein and al-Amaween squares in Damascus by pretending to organize pro-Assad march. When on the site, they schemed to change the slogans generating chaos, scuffles and eventually victims among the civilians.’ (Source in Russian)NATO’s ‘humanitarian intervention’ in Libya has already led to unprecedented sufferings of the Libyan people. The so-called ‘new government of Libya’ has shown to their former patrons in the UK, France and Italy that they do not care much about the sentiments of international community. The mass lynching of black-skinned foreigners are now typical on the Libyan territories controlled by anti-Qaddafi forces. Mustafa Abdul Jalil, one of the leaders of Libyan Transitional National Council(TNC), has even admitted that ‘there are no bloodless revolutions… We should not be surprised if some casual victims of skirmishes are the case. Our soldiers cannot afford wasting time for identifying detained personalities. Their loyalty to the new authorities will be determined subjectively.’A necropolis of blacks on a street of TripoliAs a result the number of victims of the new regime among Li[...]



Is Gaza Occupied?

2011-08-18T23:43:27.833-07:00

So a journalist sends me a few questions for an article she is writing, those are the questions and my quickanswers. 1. In your opinion, is Gaza “occupied”by Israel?2. What do you want Americans to know about the situation in Palestine?3. What do you want Americans to know about the Arab or Muslim world?4. Any additional comments 1) One must understand the definition of the word ‘occupation’ and then compare it with the facts on the ground in order to judge whether Gaza is indeed occupied by Israel or not. According to my dictionary, occupation means ‘Invasion, conquest, and control of a nation or territory by foreign armed forces’. Another definition is ‘The military government exercising control over an occupied nation or territory.’ Now let us act blind and try to find out whether this is the case in Gaza or not.As a Palestinian living in Gaza, I am subject to random Israeli air strikes every now and then. Case in point would be the day previous to yesterday where the Israeli jets pounded my area with their missiles, using apaches, F16s, and helicopters. In the past couple of days, around 7 people were reported injured, two of whom are children. That is for armed forces. Then we move to our basic human right of movement. As a Palestinian from Gaza, I am destined to strive for at the very least three or four months to plan on leaving the strip for whatever purpose; be it educational, medical, vocational, or even for a holiday. I am destined to work 40 times harder to get the needed documents months in advance, and even then, the likely possibility is for me to be rejected and not allowed to leave the strip. Hundreds of people are rejected everyday at the Rafah crossing, due to the Israeli siege. It is noteworthy that also an engineer in Gaza is assigned the Gaza International Airport project, but Israel would not allow us to rebuild it. Other than movement would be trade. It is incredibly dangerous for any trader to engage in trade, noting that trade in Gaza means only imports as we are not allowed to export. What is allowed to pass through Israel is peanuts compared to the needs of 1.5 million locked up in this 360km2 of land. If it weren’t for the tunnel industry, as dangerous as it is, Gaza would be starving by now. Add to this the regular power cuts we face every single day. Every 8 hours, the power goes out and our only resort would be power generators. This is resulting from not allowing enough fuel to get into Gaza, of course by Israel. Not to mention also the restraints on sent and received mail; never mind the fact that it takes months to reach its destination, whether coming in or going out, but what you are allowed to ship is what matters (only papers and documents are allowed to be shipped in or out, nothing else). These are but few examples of the ‘control of a nation or territory by foreign armed forces’ mentioned in the definition of occupation, and the list goes on for whoever is living in Gaza or interested to know the facts. In the end, what does blockade and siege fall under if it weren’t ‘occupation’? 2) I want Americans to know that their tax dollars are contributing to one of the biggest injustices of modern history, resulting in a massive disproportionate use of power against a civilian population. I want Americans to try to understand what it is like to be under occupation, and to try to feel the anger jammed up inside every Palestinian for seeing their family suffer endlessly when there is very little that they can do about it. I also want Americans to know that violence is never an inherent part of the culture, and if it were them facing 63 years of pain, agony, oppression, displacement, humiliation, and massacres, they would do far more than homemade rockets. While Israel is supplied with the most destructive weapons of all time, on a constant basis, we are being locked[...]



Waging Non-Violent Action in Violent World

2011-07-22T17:28:11.260-07:00

by Imran Khan “Non-violent refusal to co-operate with injustice is the way to defeat it.” R.M Gandhi We live in an extremely violent world. States and transnational non-state actors use violence to achieve their political and strategic objectives, believing that use of violence is the most effective way to do so, notwithstanding that it does not work most of the time. Only the last decade (2001-2011) saw 9/11 terrorist attacks, a protracted and bloody war in Afghanistan, the American invasionof Iraq, Israeli aggression against Lebanon and Palestine, 7/7 bombing in London, terrorist attacks in Mumbai in 2008 and so on. Literally hundreds of thousands of people died in these violent conflicts and terrorist attacks. For that matter, the 20th century was perhaps one of the most violent centuries in human history, witnessing two world wars responsible for the deaths of millions of people.Talking about Pakistan, we are used to violence in thiscountry. In the weeks and months leading up to the creation of Pakistan, the sub-continent witnessed mass killings of both Muslims and Hindus in communal riots. In 64 years of Pakistan’s history, we fought four wars against India. We launched at least four military operations against our Baloch brothers because they offended the state elite by asking for their legitimate rights. Although we haven’t fought any war against a foreign enemy during the last ten years, more than 35,000 Pakistanis were killed during this period in hundreds of terrorist attacks carried out by fellow Pakistanis ledby terrorist organizations.(Fletcher Summer Institute participants with researchers and academics from Tufts University and ICNC)Even now as I write this blog piece, Karachi – the biggest city of Pakistan – is burning due to ethnic-cum-political violence perpetrated by the armed gangs of mainstream political parties. They use violence in Karachi for their political ends. More than 100 people have died in target killings during the last two weeks. Not long ago, we witnessed the assassination of Salman Taseer, the then-governor of Punjab, at the hands of his own bodyguard for criticizing draconian blasphemy laws. Later, the Federal Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti – the only Christian member of the cabinet – was brutally assassinated under the same pretext. And yes, how can I forget the mysterious abduction and gruesome murder of the journalist, Saleem Shahzad. While I work for Khudi Pakistan, a non-violent counter-extremism social movement working to promote democratic culture and pluralism, being a student of history and a Pakistani, I was carrying a baggage of violence when I went to the Fletcher International School to attend a course on Strategic Non-Violent Action (June 21-24). The people I met, the stories I heard and the ideas I was exposed to showed me the other side of the picture. While I thought that 20th century was a century of war, bloodshed, suffering and genocide, it was also a century of strategic non-violent action, I was told. A century that witnessed many successful non-violent movements waged in different parts of the world. (A session at the FSI 2011) I did not know about the role Gandhi’s philosophy of Satyagraha and the civil resistance movement played in the Independence Movement of sub-continent. I was not aware of the strategies anti-apartheid activists used in South Africa to bring down the brutal and repressive Apartheid regime. With my class-mates at Fletcher, I studied the strategies the pro-democracy activists used in Chile and Serbia to bring down the ruthless dictatorships of Augusto Pinochet and Slobodan Milosovic respectively. I heard about the non-violent Solidarity Movement against the repressive communist regime in Poland. These stories convinced me that non-violent action as a political strategy has always had better chances [...]



The humanitarian situation in Gaza Strip - July 2011

2011-07-21T01:51:34.571-07:00

59 people were killed in accidents in tunnels, including 5 children, and 115 people were injured. Since the beginning of 2010,The main crossing point for the movement of Palestinians to and from Gaza Strip (Rafah border with Egypt) remains limited to the passage of 500 people per day. Please, spread this information as you can, and these dramatic and incontrovertible truth, write to friends, to newspapers, national and European parliamentarians, to anyone you want. Gaza has 1.6 million inhabitants, more than 50% under the age of 18 years.38% of Gazans live in poverty. 31% of the workforce in Gaza has no use and 47% of young people are unemployed.54% of Gazans live in conditions of food insecurity and over 75% dependent on aid.The economic output in 2010 was 20% lower than in 2005. 35% of agricultural land in Gaza and 85% of the fishable waters are totally or partially inaccessible due to Israeli military measures. 50 to 80 million gallons of partially treated sewage are discharged into the sea every day. Over 90% of the water coming from the Gaza aquifer is not potable. 85% of Gaza's schools operate double or triple shifts. United nations- office for coordination of humanitarian Affairs/occupied Palestinian territoryResource [...]



Reflection on Nonviolent Conflict Training Course, Boston 2011

2011-07-03T10:24:16.763-07:00

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FSI is a setting for radical transformative empowerment. It’s likely that one might say I am exaggerating to start off my article with such a strong sentence. I have these feelings because I experienced them being a member amongst real united nations, full of inspiration and dedication to bring about change needed to be seen in their realities. Human rights, justice, freedom, aggression, intimidation, equality are part of the discourses I recognized and learned about from very experienced activists for freedom, justice, self-determination and equality. I often think that there are several forms of injustice taking place cross our globe, but all these forms of injustice result pain and suffering are at the same level for any nation regardless of its identity. Through an intense one week training program on nonviolent conflict at Fletcher School, I realized that the result of injustices and oppression are the same regardless of where conflict exists, in Palestine, Tibet, Colombia, Burma, and these are just a small number of conflict affected countries. When there is armed conflict, serious violations of human rights occur, and civilians are significantly the most to suffer its consequences. Probably, what helped the most to keep me faithful and hopeful after being subjected to an enormous number of human rights violations, is the good people I met in the training course and seeing their dedication and commitment to being at hand and of assistance for deprived voiceless people. Attending the training course on nonviolent conflict at the Fletcher Summer Institute in Boston was a spark of inspiration which gives me energy to stay hopeful that justice will prevail. Ordinary people have absolute power is an overwhelming statement which always fascinates and empowers me. Having the chance to share real stories from different parts of world on issues of freedom, equality and justice and being introduced to various kinds of struggle, has assured me that people still have power to challenge state power, and people still have the ability to transform realities through nonviolent resistance. Attending the FSI training program has widened my perspective and allowed me to see issues from different angles. Further, it equipped me with the essential tool of self-empowerment. Nonviolent and civil resistance will prevail against radical injustices. Knowledge is power and self-empowerment. Being a part of the FSI has placed a great responsibility on my shoulders. International Civil society. Throughout listening to people’s testimonies firsthand, I felt the suffering they were subjected to in their countries. I was moved by certain stories and highly motivated to end these injustices.




Challenging Israeli apartheid, starting at Ben Gurion Airport

2011-06-21T20:44:37.449-07:00

by LAURA DURKAY on JUNE 20, 2011From July 8-16, I will join hundreds of internationals for a week of solidarity actions in coordination with 15 Palestinian civil resistance organizations in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. To my knowledge, this will be the first attempt to bring such a large number of internationals—already over 500, according to organizers—to the West Bank and East Jerusalem in a coordinated manner. While Freedom Flotilla 2, sailing in the coming days, rightly puts the spotlight on Israel’s cruel blockade of Gaza, we intend to show that Israeli repression in the rest of historic Palestine—the West Bank, Jerusalem, and what is now Israel—is no less important and is part of the same project of ethnic cleansing and colonization. The opening act of our week of nonviolent resistance is, in my opinion, its most creative and daring component. On a single day, July 8, hundreds of internationals and Palestinians living abroad will fly in to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport and perform one simple but radical action: refuse to lie about the fact that we are there to travel to the Occupied Territories and visit Palestinians. Anyone who has traveled to Palestine knows the potential risks associated with this action. Israel controls all entry points into Palestine, except for the Rafah crossing into Gaza, which is controlled by Egypt and has its own Kafkaesque challenges. The Israeli government routinely denies entry to people it knows or simply suspects of being Palestine solidarity activists; journalists, academics and cultural workers sympathetic to the Palestinians; even people coming to do volunteer or charity work in the Occupied Territories. This means that for years, the most common strategy among solidarity activists entering Palestine has been to keep your head down and lie about why you are there. Plenty of us know the routine. You say that you’re a tourist. You play dumb about history and politics, and you never say you are going to visit Palestinians. You don’t point out the fact that every person of color in your group just got picked out for questioning. You submit calmly to interrogation and construct non-offensive half-truths, conveniently leaving out certain parts of your itinerary. When they search your stuff, you nod and say you understand it’s for “security reasons.” You swallow every rebellious instinct that brought you to Palestine in the first place and temporarily submit to a racist, invasive, intimidating security apparatus in the hope that they will deign to let you in to Palestine, and accept that this is the price to be paid for being able to do the work you want to do. For the record, I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong with this strategy. In any given situation, the most useful way to interact with agents of the Israeli state is a tactical decision. I understand there are many groups of people who do not have the luxury of pissing off Israeli security: people who depend on free movement in and out of Palestine for work, study, or to see family; those engaged in long-term projects in the region for whom maintaining access to the Occupied Territories is crucial; those engaged in critical media work that gets Palestine’s story out to the world; those who may be in a more vulnerable position for any number of reasons. But at the same time, we should be clear that Israel’s border controls and repressive entry policies are part of the apartheid system—a big part. Entry restrictions on solidarity activists, journalists, and NGO workers are a natural outgrowth of the restrictions that prevent a large percentage of the worldwide Palestinian population from returning to their own country and/or moving about freely within it. They are a[...]



GISHA: The top 10 reasons why the opening of Rafah Crossing just doesn't cut it

2011-06-20T17:31:25.582-07:00

In no particular order of importance, we thought we'd list some of the reasons why the opening of Rafah, while significant and helpful, doesn't meet all of Gaza's needs for access and why, as some voices in Israel have recently suggested, it can't serve as Gaza's only access point. Despite four unanticipated days of closure last week, the crossing has been operating for the passage of travelers on a more regular but still semi-limited basis. 1.Passage through the crossing remains limited: Egypt has indicated that it will operate the crossing six days per week during regular working hours, but it seems this won't be enough: between 400 - 450 individuals have been able to travel through the crossing per day from Gaza to Egypt. From November 2005 to June 2006, approximately 660 passengers per day exited the Gaza Strip through Rafah and according to the Palestinian Crossings Authority, 10,000 people are currently waiting to travel.2.The situation is unstable: As last week's closure of the crossing indicates, the situation on both sides of Rafah remains unstable, such that it's not clear whether the crossing will remain open, nor exactly to what degree.3. Rafah doesn't lead to the West Bank: Travel and movement of goods between Gaza and the West Bank remains severely limited, a problem which Rafah cannot address, as goods and Gaza ID holders are not allowed into the West Bank even via the Egypt-Jordan route. The West Bank and the Gaza Strip are part of the same customs envelope, and are recognized, including by Israel, as a single territorial unit, which, despite four years of tight closure, still shares one economy, one education system, one healthcare system and countless familial and social ties.4. Export is not moving and not through Rafah either: Export remains severely limited (about 2 truckloads per day, the last of which left Gaza on May 1, 2011, compared with a target of 400 per day in the Agreement on Movement and Access) and is currently not taking place through Rafah at all. This is impacting industries across Gaza which used to sell or export their wares in Israel, the West Bank and abroad. Before the closure, the vast majority of Gaza’s "exports" were sold in Israel and the West Bank. 5.Construction materials do not enter through Rafah: Construction materials are being let into Gaza via Kerem Shalom only (between Israel and Gaza) for approved projects undertaken by international organizations and following exceedingly lengthy bureaucratic procedures. Each month since January 2011, about 10% of what entered monthly in the years prior to June 2007 has entered for these specific projects. At present, Egyptian authorities have not indicated if or when they will allow construction materials to pass at Rafah.6. Import of goods does not take place at Rafah: Imports to the Strip purchased by the private sector enter Gaza from Israel via Kerem Shalom Crossing. Even if Egypt were to allow goods to enter at Rafah (and there is no indication that they intend to do so nor when) the crossing and surrounding roadways are not currently equipped to handle the transfer of large quantities of goods, on the scale of the access needs of the Strip.7. Humanitarian aid does not regularly enter through Rafah: Aid enters Gaza via Kerem Shalom Crossing, between Gaza and Israel. At present, Egyptian authorities have not indicated if or when they will allow convoys of humanitarian aid to pass at Rafah.8.Medical patients in need of treatment not available in Gaza cannot always make the long journey to Egyptian hospitals. In any case, Palestinian hospitals in east Jerusalem and the West Bank, part of a common Palestinian health care system, are there to serve all residents of the Palestinian territory, including Gaza r[...]



معا لنغير واقع فلسطين هذا الصيف

2011-06-13T01:34:46.744-07:00

معا لنغير واقع فلسطين هذا الصيف لجان المقاومة الشعبية ومؤسسات المجتمع المدني الفلسطيني ومناصري ونشطاء السلام وحقوق الإنسان و أصحاب الضمائر الحية في كل العالم يدعون الجميع لنشاطات في فلسطين في الفترة بين 8-16 /7. مئات ألأجانب استجابوا للدعوة وبانضمام أعداد كبيرة من الفلسطينيين نستطيع عمل الكثير للتغيير. لندركْ أنّ الدخول بالمئات لفلسطين عبر مطار بن جوريون في فترة 24 ساعة سيرسل رسالةً واضحةً لإسرائيل لاحترام الحقوق الإنسانيّة الأساسيّة للذين يريدون زيارة فلسطين. يمكنكم زيارة موقع حملة الحق في الدخول على http://www.righttoenter.ps. سيكون هناك برنامج فعاليات ومقاومة شعبية في القدس ومحافظة بيت لحم والخليل ورام لله والأغوار والنقب الخ. إنّ الفلسطينين في فلسطين التاريخية و المنفى لا زالوا يؤمنون بالعمل من أجل السلام المبني على العدل وبمساعدة المجتمع المدني نستطيع أنْ نحقّقَ سلامنا و حريتنا. نحن نؤمن بالمقاومة الشعبيّة كوسيلة لاستعادة حقوقنا كما اعترفت بها القوانين الدوليّة. نحن نؤمن -بناء على تجاربنا الناجحة السابقة- أنّ كلَّ فردٍ منّا تقع عليه مسؤوليّةٌ ويستطيع أن يصنع التغيير اللازم. ندعوكم للإنضمام إلينا لكي نكون التغيير الذي تريدون أن تروه في هذا العالم. إنّ تجربتنا السابقة في هذه الفعاليات كانت ناجحة مثلا أنظر فعاليات شهر 12 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rif2ZSSeRok وفعاليات يوم النكبة 15/5 والنكسة 5/6 وأسطول الحرية. هناك عددٌ كبير ملتزم بالحضور والمشاركة في هذه النشاطات وأكثر من 100 متطوع محلي. مجموعات النشطاء المحليّين في أوروبا وامريكا الشمالية واللاتينية ومناطق أخرى من العالم تقوم بترتيب قدوم الوفود إلى فلسطين. وقد قامت المجموعات المحلية المدرجة أدناه بتكوين لجانٍ مختصّة للعمل في نواحٍ(قانونية, وإعلامبة, ولوجستية,وتواصل, وبرنامج) ولقد شرعت في العمل. راسلونا على info@palestinejn.org اذا كنتم تودون التواصل أو المساعدة مع المجموعات المنسقة في بلدكم أو محليا في فلسطين. معا لمرحلة جديدة للتغيير والحرية. مسرح الرواد alrowwad-acts.ps شبكة العدالة لفلسطين palestinejn.orgمركز بديل badil.org المركز الفلسطيني للتقارب بين الشعوب PCR.PSأصدقاء الحرية و العدالة في بلعين bilin-ffj.org الحملة الشعبية- اوقفوا الجدار stopthewall.orgمؤسسة هولي لاند ترست holylandtrust.org مشروع المناصرة palestinesolidarityproject.org ا[...]



Mind the Strip Documentary

2011-06-12T08:50:47.359-07:00

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Mind the Strip is a documentary to highlight a story of Ayman Qwaider, Gazan student who had difficulties to access the closing borders of Gaza to pursue his studies in Spain. It does not often happen that students can easily get out from the blockade in Gaza Strip pursuing their further studies abroad. Ayman had numerous obstacles to reach his goal in Spain and pursue his masters’ studies. After working tirelessly and contacting anyone who would listen to his story, comprehensive media campaign, he received his longed-for transit permit from Israel in order to exit the Gaza Strip and travel to University of Jaume I in Spain, to pursue a graduate degree in Peace, Conflict & Development Studies (how appropriate!).



Facebook Event in Girona, Spain June16

Mind the Strip Facebook page

Website: Mind the Strip Website



Let´s take part of ending injustices happening in Palestine

2011-06-12T08:36:46.231-07:00

(image) Dear friends,Palestinian civil society organizations applaud the Freedom Flotilla that will again, in May, challenge the brutal and illegal siege of the people of Gaza. Decent people around the world will be working in support of this international intiative.

While we rightly focus on Gaza we must not forget that Israeli colonial authorities are implementing their racist apartheid policies throughout historic Palestine. In the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and in the Negev and the Galilee, ethnic cleansing and killing/injuring civilians are just some of the many violations of basic human rights. The aim is always to keep us isolated as well as divided, the better to achieve the goal of dispossessing us.

For this reason, we call on civil society organizations and people of conscience around the world to support and join the other important international challenge this summer to the Israeli siege of the whole of Palestine. The daily indignities heaped on the Palestinian people are reflected in the attitude of officials at Tel Aviv airport to prevent any humanitarian/solidarity trips. Israel’s attempts to prevent entry by peace activists even though the occuupied Palestinian Territories are recognized internationally as illegally occupied by Israel. We must oppose Israel’s arbitrary, unlawful, and abusive behavior (See the Right to Enter Campaign at http://www.righttoenter.ps/)
A week of solidarity: 8 – 16 July

Hundreds of men, women and children fly into Tel Aviv airport to visit us in the occupied Palestinian territories The international community must recognize our basic human right to receive visitors from abroad and support the right of their own citizens to travel to Palestine without harassement. We call upon citizens of many countries to visit us on July 8th. Where Israel works to isolate us, we invite you to join with us openly and proudly as the decent human beings you are. We do not accept the attempts to keep us apart or to force you to speak less than with the honesty you are used to.

You will be accommodated locally. You will enjoy Palestinian hospitality and a program of networking, fellowship, and volunteer peace work in Palestinian towns and villages (e.g. land reclamation).

For futher details please check:
http://bienvenuepalestine.com/?page_id=232








“Social networking helped me realize my right to education.”

2011-04-06T05:23:22.406-07:00

©Ayman QwaiderAyman Qwaider, a 24-year-old Palestinian student from Gaza, has led several parallel lives: student, teacher, humanitarian worker and blogger.Ayman is currently an intern in UNESCO’s Education Sector, working with and learning about post-conflict post-disaster education as part of a Master’s degree in peace studies. “I believe in the importance of education for transforming societies and resolving conflicts,” he says. “I know this from experience.”After completing his primary and secondary education in UNRWA schools, and graduating in 2008 from the English programme of the Islamic University of Gaza (Palestinian Authority), Ayman became first a teacher, then a humanitarian worker. “I was Child Welfare Programme Officer with a number of international NGOs,” he explains. “During this time Ayman started blogging about daily life in Gaza. His main ambition, however, was to travel abroad and pursue peace studies. The blog and his social network ultimately made that possible. Ayman was interested in the International Master’s degree in Peace, Conflict and Development Studies (or “Peace Master”) which is one of the activities of the UNESCO Chair of Philosophy for Peace at the Jaume I University in Castellón, Spain. He applied for a scholarship financed by the Bancaja-Caja Castellón Foundation and was accepted for the session from February 2010 to May 2012. With the help of a go-between – an Israeli friend he had met online, who benefited from greater mobility than he – Ayman obtained a Spanish student visa. Once his papers were in order, he booked a flight for 1 February 2010. However, like several hundred other scholarship students, he was prevented from leaving Gaza. The Master’s degree programme began without him. Having tried and failed to get support from official channels (embassies, NGOs such as Amnesty International, even the European Parliament), he turned to social networking. The week before he was due to start his studies, Ayman posted an article on his blog called “I have a dream” recounting his difficulties with the Israeli authorities in trying to leave Gaza. “It was non-accusatory,” he explains”. I was just asking for the basic right to pursue an education.” He ended the article with the sentence: “I am appealing and calling lawyers, politicians, journalists and all activists for human rights to join the fight for me and my right to the education that I have always dreamed of.” The response was overwhelming: Ayman’s online friends translated his appeal into English, Spanish, French, Catalan and Hebrew. It was picked up by bloggers everywhere. A Facebook campaign was launched and acquired 1000 followers while an online petition gathered almost 2000 signatures in the first week, many from Israel. Ayman had become a cause célèbre.“Social networking helped me realize my right to education,” Ayman claims. Following the international mobilization Ayman finally received his permission to travel. He arrived in Spain one week late for class. At the Jaume I University, he is taking several courses on aspects of human rights education, peace education and conflict transformation. “It is a very healthy environment where I am also being educated in mulitculturality,” he says. “Thanks to these courses I have became more aware about different conflicts taking place around the world.” Ayman also shared first-hand experience with people who have lived in conflict situations. “It assured me that conflicts are the same everywhere, and that humanity is humanity wherever we are.” Ayman rec[...]



Skype with Gaza: A Story of Ahmed Qwaider

2011-04-25T02:32:20.411-07:00

Ayman QwaiderApril 4th. After recent bombings in my home the Gaza Strip, I finally had an opportunity to speak with my brother Ahmed, 23 years old on skype. The focus of our conversation was my brother's job search after "recent" graduation from his university in Gaza—The Islamic University. Below are excerpts from our chat. Ayman: Brother, what are you doing now? Ahmed: I am waiting the exam from Government in order to get a job and I am fed up from situation in Gaza. Ayman: Which government are you applying for and what is the nature of the job you might get?Ahmed: I have applied for the government in Gaza because you are aware of our unfortunate situation: we are two governments under occupation. (I applied just) in case I will get accepted, though I am not hopeful. Because I will end up in front of office and not practice any of the skills I learned at University because Israel’s government still prevent all construction material to get to Gaza which makes it quite complicated to find a job in the field and to practice what I have leaned at University. I was proud that my brother was striving to be employed, and wondered how he passes his time. Ayman Qwaider: What are you doing nowadays?Ahmed: I spend most of my time taking training and receiving courses; this how the Gaza graduated engineers end up in Gaza. After a while, the conversation turned to the issues of violence that Gaza experiences daily. Having left Gaza 1 year ago myself, I rely heavily on information from family members such as my brother, to give me details of my home. Media sources are often inaccurate. Ahmed relayed his experience during a receiving bombing and how it affected him personally. Ayman Qwaider: How is the current situation in Gaza?Ahmed: Insecure, deprived and no glace of hope at all. One day we feel hope and 10 days we are lost. I am not even able to think of the upcoming future. Dreams you are not allowed to have in Gaza. Almost every day, people of Gaza are exposed to the Gaza common theme, bombardment, cut off electricity, and blockade. Ayman Qwaider: Has the Israeli army waged attacks recently?Ahmed: Ayman, I want to tell you a joke; it sounds funny but it is ridicules. Ayman Qwaider: Yes please share it; I miss jokes from Gaza. Ahmed: Three days ago I was up at out home sleeping at my room. It was around 3 am and the power was off. I heard a sort of an Israeli F16 fighter jet but it was a bit far from us. Then I said to myself, let me back to my bed. AS soon as I got back to bed, a big voice of explosion took place somewhere close to us, but I had no idea where exactly. As you know, in my room there is a sort of big decorated star which is made of plaster hanged at the ceil. It felt down in the ground and I had the feeling that the rocket ended up in my room. It was super crazy and I was really terrified. I left my rood down to my family floor creaming when I felt that the attack is just close. Ayman: How do you feel now?Ahmed: Ayman, look, I have been passing though such hard week now. I was send to doctor to check my health situation after the attack. I am really suffering bad psychological situation now due to this attack. It was really massive and it walked up all people around. I do not know when this will come to an end?! As a peacebuilder myself, I felt moved to say something encouraging. I tried to provide moral and emotional support to Ahmed in his times of trial. My own thoughts and feelings regarding the situation came out as well. Ayman: Ahmed, I am extremely sorry but I really feel bad an[...]



Come peace train and pick me up

2011-03-18T14:36:14.113-07:00

Come peace train and pick me up Ayman Qwaider & Abeer AbaidMarch 18.Give me my freedom and childhood back: a statement stressed on through an action day taking place on March 18th in Al Maghzi Refugee camp stationed in the Gaza Strip. Remarkably some 10,000 refugee camp kids gathered and participated in the action day entitled We Need Freedom….We Need Childhood.Despite the fact that the Gaza Strip residents have been enduring a profound and extraordinary living conditions as a result of the on-going unlawful Israeli’s government blockade, regular military activities and internal Palestinian political conflict, children still dream of happiness and going back their normal lives. "I am still dreaming of a better world dominated by peace and tranquility. It is more than enough what we; children in Gaza have to cope with in the 21st country. We believe that war is incredibly costly and devastating in the meanwhile, peace is much cheaper and adorable" says Asmhan Shaaban a fifteen year-old child from Al Maghzi refugee camp who participated in the event.For several decades, exposure to tension and violence in the local community has resulted in tremendous negative repercussions for the children. This lingering situation has had negative consequences on all aspects of life, including education, health, economic situation and financial status, and social interactions and interpersonal relationships. "When I take part in this event, I feel cheerful and relaxed. I like playing and getting my face painted. I love peace, I love the world. I dream of a better tomorrow for us, the children in Gaza where we can have a peaceful and secured environment. I need to walk around my neighborhood peacefully and pick pretty flowers. I do not like to hear Israeli fighter jets or bombardments," another participant told the organizers. The action day was organized by the Gaza Art Gallery committee team that is organized by Unlimited Association Friends, a local non-governmental organization based in AL Maghzi Refugee camp, and sponsored by a Dutch association, Rotterdam for Gaza. The action day organizers pointed out that this event shows how the world is interconnected and human beings should share with others’ human rights grievances and happiness. Abeer Abaid, an event organizer, graciously gave her time for an interview. She extended her gratitude to Rotterman for Gaza, stating that the organization based in the Netherlands had provided outstanding support and helping make the children’s dreams come true and bringing them a little bit of happiness.The event started directly with children at the end of the children’s school day. They were escorted by funny clowns walking around the refugee camp alleys while music and live performances were being performed. It was a public invitation for children from the refugee camp to join the biggest children’s caravan organized in Al Maghzi Refugee camp. The caravan ended up at the main refugee UNRWA (United Nation Relief and Work Agency) sports club. It was an amazing popular festival taking place in one of the most densely populated camps in Gaza and everyone was invited to share it with the children. With smiling and painted faces, children happily joined the activities suggested, along with the youth volunteer participants. Among the activities carried out were music performances, puppet shows, and a traditional Palestinian dance, the Dabka. The event succeeded in drawing smiles for over 10,000 thousand faces, restoring the sense of hope and belief in peace for its young [...]



We Need Childhood…We need Freedom

2011-03-14T03:57:08.841-07:00

Setting:Day & Date: Thursday March 17th, 2011Venue: Maghazi Refugee CampSpecial InvitationThe Unlimited Friends Association cordially invites you to our action day for children entitled:We Need Childhood…We need FreedomThe event aims at creating space for children from the Al-Maghazi Refugee camp and rebuilding the peace and love inside them. Several activities will be carried out, including Puppets' shows and popular Dabka. The Unlimited Friends Association welcomes the participants, branding the event as a quest for freedom, and an endeavor to allow children to spend some time out of the stress and frustration.The Unlimited Friends Association declares that this event voices a message that calls for defying the siege and emphasizing children's rights to live like any other children all over the world. Children voice slogans saying:"No to Siege, No to Destruction" & “Yes to peace, yes to love”.The event sponsored by: Rotterdam for Gazahttp://rotterdam4gaza.wordpress.com/Yours trulyAyman Qwaider[...]



US vetoes UNSC resolution on Israeli settlements

2011-02-19T02:40:49.165-08:00

Dear friends,

President Obama has just missed out on an opportunity to bring a major change in direction to the Peace Process between Palestine and Israel by vetoing a resoltion which had been backed by over 130 members including all 14 other members of the security Council (even the UK): http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12512732

Please write to President Obamam telling him how you feel about his decision:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact

Thanks for your support,


Suggested email to President Obama:

Dear President Obama,

After promsing a better relationship with the Arab World, I am astonished and bewildered by your cowardly response to the Resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories as an obstacle to peace.

All fourteen other members of the security council (including the UK) backed the resolution while you ceded to Israeli pressure groups. Israel has had problems with its neighbours since its formation and it is now time for a tougher stance from the US if a peaceful solution is to be found.

I urge you to lead the way to two-State solution. I urge you to change your position and back the resolution.

Your sincerely,



Invitation of Humanity

2011-02-14T16:51:43.363-08:00

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Peace students from over 40 countries around the world gathered in the name of humanity and justice. Leaving behind other identities, students came together today February 14 to send a message of love and humanity to children of Gaza that you are not alone. The message is this: "Our hearts and minds are with you. Humanity cannot be divided whether in Gaza or any part of the world”. Students and others present pledged their support to the children of Gaza during the hard times you are enduring under the Israeli system of injustices and inequalities, represented through on-going Israeli blockade imposed on you, depriving you from adequate drinkable water.

Peace students gathered at University of Jaume 1 to send out a message of solidarity and humanity to children in Gaza in through an outstanding event called Comidas del mundo, “Food of the World”. The event aimed at raising awareness about the current water crisis in the Gaza Strip that has profound negative impact on the heath of Gaza children. The event proved that humanity has no borders when it comes to children; the participants stressed that their assistance must reach children of Gaza despite the fact that Gaza is currently is under blockade and borders are shut down.





EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH AYMAN QWAIDER

2011-02-10T16:24:16.865-08:00

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH AYMAN QWAIDER 10. Feb, 2011 Print This Article! 0 Comments Share Ayman Qwaider, is a 24 years old humanitarian activist who has a bachelor’s degree in the English language and General Education. He was born in Nuserate Refugee camp which is located in the middle of the Gaza strip . He has worked in different fields for 4 years prior and after terminating his universtiy studies. During his university studies, he has volunteered in different local humanitarian organizations, where he developed social activism skills. He organized a series of projects for refugee camp children who have endured devastating conditions due to the Israeli military activities and its Assault on Gaza , and the on-going blockade. Part of that work included active participating in practical community initiatives carried out by young people. Two years prior to leaving Gaza to complete is master’s in Spain , he has also participated in the Palestinian International Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza. Throughout his time working for this campaign, he took part in organizing many non-violent activities that enjoyed the support of many international civil societies, Israeli human rights organizations and other solidarity groups from across the world. The main objective of this campaign has been peaceful and non-violent struggle, coupled with international media campaigns to unmask the Israeli siege over the Gaza Strip. ___________________________ Exclusive Interview with Ayman Qwaider Please describe what life is like for Palestinian from Nuseirat, a refugee camp situated in the middle of the Gaza Strip? Ayman Qwaider: The living conditions in a Palestinian refugee camp have been the same ugly picture since 1948, when the indigenous peoples of that area were forced out of their homes by well-armed and funded non-indigenous Jewish immigrants just arriving from Europe intending to create an exclusively-Jewish state known as Israel. It would be pretty hard to describe what life for such a refugee is like in only a few sentences, and even with that, it truly is something that unless you experience it you will more than likely not understand. Part of the painful history endured by these refugees is that their situation is very harsh. Without assistance agencies such as UNRWA–the United Nations Relief and Work Agency–and other humanitarian agencies to keep their life sustainable they would simply cease to exist. The overall awareness amongst the 1.5 million people living in Gaza is the feeling of insecurity and uncertainty. It is difficult for a human being to live in an unstable and insecure environment such as the Gaza Strip where people are constantly exposed to all colors of human rights violations. Every day the mother sends her children to school to receive an education, but she is not assured of having lunch for them or not…The farmer takes care and cultivates his land, but he is not sure that he will eat what his hands have created. The Gazan fisherman goes every day to fish but is not certain he will make it back alive to feed his family. Students spend 12 years in their studies but are not sure they will be able to pursue higher education. In the rare c[...]



Mind the Strip a Documentary to highlight the story of Ayman Qwaider

2011-02-03T14:56:29.229-08:00

Mind The Strip….. First ShowMind the Strip is a documentary to highlight a story of Ayman Qwaider, Gazan student who had difficulties to access the closing borders of Gaza to pursue his studies in Spain. It does not often happen that students can easily get out from the blockade in Gaza Strip pursuing their further studies abroad. Ayman had numerous obstacles to reach his goal in Spain and pursue his masters’ studies. After working tirelessly and contacting anyone who would listen to his story, comprehensive media campaign, he received his longed-for transit permit from Israel in order to exit the Gaza Strip and travel to University of Jaume I in Spain, to pursue a graduate degree in Peace, Conflict & Development Studies (how appropriate!). SpanishMind the strip … Estreno en la Casa de Cultura de Castelló (C. Antoni Maura, 4), el sábado 12 de febrero a las 12h..Mind the strip es un documental realizado para dar a conocer la historia de Ayman Qwaider −estudiante palestino de Gaza− y las dificultades que encontró para traspasar el bloqueo de las fronteras de Gaza con el fin de cursar sus estudios en España. No es nada habitual que el estudiantado pueda salir de la sitiada Franja de Gaza para realizar estudios superiores en el extranjero. Ayman se encontró con múltiples obstáculos para alcanzar su objetivo y estudiar un máster en España. Después de un incansable trabajo, de haber contactado a toda aquella persona que escuchara su historia y de una exhaustiva campaña mediática, obtuvo el anhelado permiso de tránsito de Israel para poder salir de la Franja y viajar hasta Castelló, donde en la Universitat Jaume I ha realizado el Máster Internacional en Estudios de Paz, Conflictos y Desarrollo (¡elección muy apropiada!).CATALAN VERSION!!Mind the Strip... Estrena a la Casa de la Cultura de Castelló (C. Antoni Maura, 5), el dissabte 12 de febrer a les 12h.Mind the Strip és un documental realitzat per tal de donar a conèixer la història d’Ayman Qwaider –estudiant palestí de Gaza− i les dificultats que es va trobar superar el bloqueig de les fronteres de Gaza a fi de cursar els seus estudis a Espanya. No és gens comú que l’estudiantat aconsegueixi sortir de l’assetjada Franja de Gaza per realitzar estudis superiors a l’estranger. Ayman es va trobar amb nombrosos obstacles per aconseguir el seu objectiu i estudiar un màster a Espanya. Després d’un esgotador treball, d’haver contactat amb tota aquella persona que escoltés la seva història i d’una exhaustiva campanya mediàtica, obtingué l’anhelat permís de trànsit d’Israel per poder eixir de la Franja i viatjar fins Castelló, on ha realitzat a la Universitat Jaume I el Màster Internacional en Estudis de Pau, Conflictes i Desenvolupament (¡una elecció molt apropiada!)FRENCH VERSION!!Mind the strip … Première dans la Casa de la Cultura de Castelló (C. Antoni Maura), samedi 12 de février à 12h.Mind the strip est un documentaire réalisé pour montrer l’histoire d’Ayman Qwaider, un étudiant de Gaza qui a subi des difficultés pour franchir les bloquées frontières de Gaza pour faire des études en Espagne. Ce n’est pas usuel que des étudiants peuvent dépasser le blocus de la Bande de Gaza pour faire des études à l’étranger. Ayman a connu des nombreux obstacles pour atteindre son but et étudier un master en Espagne. Après d’un infatigable travail, de [...]