June Newsletter 2011
Tours of Bethlehem and
A tour in Bethlehem
Over the past few months, Windows has started a new project of English-language tours in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The tours target participants from programs such as Birthright/Taglit, MASA, and other programs that usually only express the narrative of the [Israeli] establishment.
Windows’ tour provides a first glimpse into Palestine and the struggle against the occupation. Windows tour participants travel to East Jerusalem to Bethlehem where they meet local residents, and learn about the wall, checkpoints, the refugee camps, and more. The tour is given in a way which allows the participants to process the difficulty of dealing with the new information. Most participants report an increased awareness and knowledge on the conflict, and a desire to go back and learn more about the topic. Many also report a desire to be more involved in the joint struggle for peace and justice.
For more information, click our facebook event
Helping a friend from Bilín
After a struggle that went on for several years in Bilin regarding the borders of the fence and the Israeli Supreme Court decision in 2007, work has begun to move the fence in order to facilitate the return of some of the village’s confiscated land. While the battle to return the rest of the farm land continues, we were called to help our friend from Bilin, Rani Bornat.
At the beginning of the second Intifada Rani was shot in his neck while participating in a demonstration in Ramallah. The injury left him paralyzed from the chest down, and ever since he is confined to a wheelchair. Despite his condition, Rani is a central figure in Bilin’s struggle against the separation fence, both as an activist and as a documenter. Rani’s friends built a website where you can view photos that Rani took, and donate and assist with buying and maintaining the equipment he needs.
Due to the work load and our dealing with the changing reality and the challenges it provides us, we haven’t had the chance to update our friends and supporters as much as we would like. But we are still here, busy as always. We are living in a reality that is perpetuated by the occupation, the ongoing human rights violations that come with it, the racist laws that strengthen the discrimination of the Palestinians in Israel, and the difficulty of Israeli society to see what is really happening beyond the fear.
We get our strength and inspiration both from every struggle that succeeds, and from you – the ones following us for so many years. Your interest in our work, the volunteering, and the spiritual and financial support – it is because of you that we are still here. And today we need you more than ever so that we can do more and make a bigger difference. If you would like to financially support us, you can do that here.
On Identity and Belonging – Windows teens deal with central questions in our lives
Young journalist Workshop
Windows’ young writers continue in their journey towards understanding our complex reality. During the last seminar which took place in Tel-Aviv in May, the writers dealt with questions of identity and belonging.
In one of the workshops where they dealt with the issue, the young writers directed and filmed situations that expressed their feelings. Filming the workshop was the basis for a photography exhibition that was sent to an international exhibition displayed every year in Paris called art en arbre’d.
This is an exhibition that specializes in topics of identity of different groups from around the world.
The opening of a children’s recreational club at the Balata refugee camp in Nablus
The playground at the Balata club
In the past few months Windows has expanded its activity in the Nablus area.
A youth group has formed at the Balata refugee camp, which will later join our young journalists group.
As part of the connections that have formed in the camp we are helping establish a children’s recreational club.
Demonstration in Bilin, June 2011
The End of the School Year – Obstacles and Achievements
Despite the increasing resistance in the schools and youth centers to joint activity on both sides of the green line, we are adjusting our activities to the changing needs and continue to operate.
Ruthie Boazon, Director of Windows at Giv’ol School at Giv’at Olga reports:
"Following the desire and curiosity of the students, we also met with people outside of the school in order to better understand the Palestinian point of view on the reality of life in Israel for them. Additionally, a middle school aged Windows writers group was active all year long. Packed with much curiosity, and a desire to learn and meet, the group went out and conducted interviews, wrote letters, and published two newspapers and a short film that focused on "the different voice" –amplifying the voices of those with different points of view. During this year, the students conducted interviews with Palestinian construction workers, who work next to the school. They also exchanged letters with a Windows young journalist from Bethlehem, and filmed a street survey that they conducted on "Misery, Victimization, and Racism as an addictive way to interpret reality."
In the following school year we will expand our activities to other schools and youth centers on both sides of the green line. We would be glad to hear from you about other frameworks that would enjoy our workshops
For more details call 972-3-6208324.
This newsletter is also available in Arabic and Hebrew.
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