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Published by Palestine Community Foundation, 2019-05-23 04:13:24

Palestine Voice: Issue 1 Winter 2018/19

Palestine Voice: Issue 1 Winter 2018/19

Keywords: palestine,culture,winter,christmas,jerusalem,snow,politics,human rights,NGO,charity


ISSUE 1 WINTER 2018/19

IN THIS ISSUE: Projects - Reviews - News - Fun



Growing up as a British Palestinian my
upbringing and adaptation to British
society was at one point easy but became
more difficult as I matured. I often found
myself torn between my identity and my
environment and this internal conflict
got worse as I became more exposed
and aware as to what it means to be a
Palestinian living in diaspora.

Preserving a Palestinian identity was extremely Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to Palestine as I was
important for my parents. My siblings and I detained and denied entry. Since then I have felt an
attended Arabic school every Sunday, we had emptiness that I will live with forever. It was at this
playdates with other Palestinian families, we point that I began to think of a need for a “home”
travelled to the Gaza Strip every summer and for Palestinians in the UK since it is difficult for us
attended summer camps and dabke workshops. to travel back home. I began to think of a need for
When the situation in Gaza became worse and a safe space for like-minded people, Palestinians
the borders closed, we travelled to the West Bank and non-Palestinians alike. A need to educate
for the summer and attended a summer camp in future generations to come. A need to celebrate
Ramallah. My father taught me Palestinian poetry the culture of Palestine. A need for a community. A
and had me recite these poems on stage and need to raise the voice of Palestine.
teach dabke to children raised in London.
We are extremely excited to announce the launch of
A few years ago, I planned to travel to Palestine’s the Palestine Community Foundation (PCF) through
West Bank in my final year of university. our first edition of Palestine Voice.

Programme Director
Palestine Community Foundation

2 PALESTINE VOICE Issue 1 Winter 2018/19



4-5 PCF Aims and Objectives


by Natasha Regan



by Al John




PALESTINE VOICE Issue 1 Winter 2018/19 3

Who are PCF and what are our aims?


a not-for-profit organisation aiming to become the
point of entry for everything relating to Palestine
in the UK. We are a space for Palestinians and
non-Palestinians alike to unite and build a sense
of community, whilst discovering and sharing
the cultural, political and social life of Palestine.

We aim to stand out by first and foremost, building a community. We want to bring people in the UK from all
walks of life together under the Palestinian flag. This is regardless of nationality, ethnicity, religion, culture
or gender; whether you’re a well-versed activist or an individual just wishing to find out more.

PCF hopes to become an information hub for people who wish to work together to promote the human
rights of the Palestinian people. We will promote knowledge and awareness of Palestine, from information
on human rights violations to the steps of traditional dabke dances.

PCF Aims and Objectives:

• Raising awareness of the Palestinian issue and

highlighting human rights abuses

• Acting as a point of contact and facilitator

regarding all Palestinian related activities

• Educating people on the Palestinian issue

through lectures, workshops and publications

• Promoting Palestinian culture through sharing

music, art and food

• Campaigning for the right of self-determination

and right of return of the Palestinian People

• Mobilising international condemnation of the

Israeli occupation through BDS

• Enhancing the Palestinian community in the UK

and strengthening relationships among each
other and those living in diaspora

• Empowering and supporting livelihoods of

Palestinians in Palestine and across the diaspora
through our initiatives which highlight their skills
such as photography, embroidery and Arabic

• Effectively coordinating and collaborating with

national and international organisations to
achieve these aims and objectives

4 PALESTINE VOICE Issue 1 Winter 2018/19


We have been extremely busy working on several exciting projects which you will
learn more about throughout this magazine:

Teaming up Arabic Promoting Palestine through Promoting Palestinian
speakers with learners the cycling community, through photographers from all over
all over the world for educational cycling visits around the world by showcasing
Skype language lessons Palestine and advocacy days of
their work
action in Europe

A cultural exchange The PCF shop which promotes FOR PALESTINE (SAP)
bringing talented teenage authentic embroidered products Support for university
Dabke dancers from made by women in Palestine societies promoting the
Bethlehem to the UK
and across the diaspora Palestinian cause
across the UK

We also create fact sheets and resources, available on our website, and will hold several exciting
events in 2019. If you’re interested in staying up to date, please sign up to our email mailing list from

our website and keep an eye on our website and social media for announcements.

0300 777 1 777 @PalCommunityUK

PALESTINE VOICE Issue 1 Winter 2018/19 5

Speak Arabic! Learn with Palestinians,

Dardasha! (Arabic): Chat (English - noun)

Despite the fragmented nature of the diaspora potential of their children in a rapidly changing
and ever more competitive world.
whereby Palestinians may be far removed from
their loved ones and homeland due to forces beyond Not only is Arabic spoken by 1 billion people
their individual control, they remain connected in globally and is an official UN language, it also
their history, struggle and rich cultural heritage. holds the secrets of two millennia’s worth of
Underpinning all of these is the Arabic language which collective history, and learning it unlocks the door
unites the people to their culture and the individual to to the unimaginable wealth this may provide.
the collective. From appreciating the true word of the Qur’an, to
reading the original script, as intended, of poets,
As with all languages, Arabic is shaped by its speakers writers, philosophers and scientists responsible
as much as it creates the boundaries of individual for shaping much of the modern world as we
expression. So, in order to engage with an individual, know it today, Arabic creates new opportunities
or truly understand their culture, engaging with the for personal growth as well as granting access to
language is the first step towards achieving both. a global community of speakers.

Despite being affected by huge barriers to accessing Through Dardasha, a colloquial expression in
education, Palestinians in the occupied territories Arabic for informal ‘chat’, we want to team up
remain some of the most literate people in the world, Arabic speakers to those seeking to learn, practice
partly due to UNRWA schools. Palestinian families are and enjoy speaking the language. Connecting
right to recognise the power of education which they safety checked and quality-controlled language
traditionally nurture in their children, recognising its teachers to avid learners, enabling you to take one-
necessity to understand, articulate and overcome their on-one language lessons over your screen at your
own oppression. But also simply to unlock the full convenience. Whether it’s a session on your phone
during your lunch break or at home from the sofa
on a Sunday evening, times can be tailored to suit
the needs of both students and teachers.

You may wish to begin by picking up everyday
Arabic phrases or you may be looking to simply
perfect your pronunciation, whatever personal
aims you’ll also have the opportunity to build
a friendly relationship and enjoy a cultural
exchange across the screen. At the same time,
know that in a challenging economy, you are
enabling somebody to improve their livelihood
in chime with the opportunities of today’s
technological world.

Sign up as a prospective teacher at:

6 PALESTINE VOICE Issue 1 Winter 2018/19




• AmHBaeuoitnsfhatilq,esuJhpeeeenmc1it0na,-,cJdAueallrya-iFcrchayporclaa,li,AcnNelg-saKtborhilnpuasletih,laRrarotnahumdg-Jhavelilsrsaouihtms,Naelaezomaf rtheteh,

• Rgridoeupthsraonudghcotomwmnusnaintidesvitlolalgeeasrnanabdomutetehtewith

realities of life in Palestine

• Suhnodwersooclciduapraittyiown iathndthceaPllafolersjtuinsitaicnepaesotphlee living

path to peace.

The ride really did make a difference to the Just Cycle is open to any age or ability, all backgrounds
people we met and to each other – and cultures, email for an information pack –
I will never forget it!
[email protected] or visit our website
for more information




• A cycle ride… through Brussels, ending at the European Parliament
• A rally… outside the European Parliament, with voices from Palestine
• A festival… to celebrate Palestinian culture, with music, dance,

food & crafts


Caycanoonudntywoaorcogutuauhlndseisllapiekt [email protected]ifdnrcauyotsio-osounerr.ldoscirontgoua.unttoaktrrksyepoprleararets?geiIofn
DPaCtFewofeebvseitnetstooobne-cwonwfiwrm.peadle–stfiunlelfdoeutnadilastiwonil.lobreg.ounk the

PALESTINE VOICE Issue 1 Winter 2018/19 7

Photographers of Palestine

Imad Hussein is a medical doctor who works in Mariam Riad Abu Daqqa
Ramallah. He is interested in studying plants and the is a press photographer
surrounding environment, looking at their medicinal from the Gaza Strip.
properties and ethnobotanical side of them.


We create profiles of photographers showcasing their pictures on our
website, along with their chosen contact information.

This enables anybody interested in
using the imagery to get in touch with the photographer directly,
supporting Palestinian photographers who are doing the — often very
dangerous — work on the ground of documenting life in Palestine.

is a dentist based in the Gaza strip. He picked up the camera a few
years ago and revealed a hidden talent for photography.

8 PALESTINE VOICE Issue 1 Winter 2018/19

Promoting talented photographers from
Palestine and across the diaspora

is a 22 year old freelance
journalist from Gaza
City. “My favourite
photography is the
depiction of human
stories, human images
and the portrayal of
wars and hot events in
Palestine. My wish is to
travel outside Palestine
to search for new
humanitarian stories all
over the world.”

Nayef is a
Palestinian from
Hebron living in
Ramallah. He
works in Digital
Marketing & Social
Media, with skills
in photography,
graphic design and
video production.

is a photographer from
Ramallah, Palestine.
His photographs are
inspired by natural
and urban elements
of his environment. He
currently resides with
his family in Indiana,
United States.

Know a talented Palestinian photographer? Ask them to get in touch to be 9
featured on our website and future magazines! [email protected]

PALESTINE VOICE Issue 1 Winter 2018/19

Bethlehem Link

Nina Beaven talks us through the history
of Bethlehem Link, a project being revived
by Palestine Community Foundation with
an exchange visit planned for July 2019.

It was with a great sense of gratitude and pride that
I heard that Rajab Shamallakh wanted to resurrect
Bethlehem Link, a cultural exchange programme
between the Hakaya dancers in Bethlehem’s Ghirass
Centre and schools in the UK, which closed when I
became ill a few years ago.

The charity was set up in 1997 following a trip to the Over the years, as well as in schools and local venues,
West Bank. On my return I established a link between Hakaya has performed at Westminster Abbey; The
the centre and Saint Gregory’s Catholic College in Bath. Rise Festival, London; Bloomsbury Theatre, London;
I then heard that Hakaya had been invited to perform at The Millennium Dome, Cardiff; Wiltshire Music Centre,
Westminster Abbey. Knowing that many of the children Bradford-on-Avon and The Curve Theatre, Leicester.
were living in refugee camps with no hope of affording Links were also made with twenty schools.
airfares to England, I decided to try to raise the money
for them and, with the help of a friend, brought the first As well as dance workshops at the schools, the visits
group over in 1998. were an opportunity to link through subjects such as art,
literature, embroidery, science, film and relevant curricular
In 2003 the charity was registered officially with the Charity subjects. To help us with fundraising, the Palestinian
Commission and Rajab Shamallakh became one of the children produced artwork for Christmas cards (some on
patrons. With his valuable advice and support the profile sale now) and calendars, and exhibitions of their work
of the charity was raised considerably over the years. were held in London and the Guildhall in Bath.

The children always wanted a trip to London during The organisation is non-political and has no religious
their stay, and it was then that Palestinian hospitality as affiliation. It merely provides the opportunity for young
demonstrated by Rajab and his wife Manal, really came people to meet those from a different culture, to enable
to the fore, when they would host the whole group in their them to form their own opinions and explore their
house, with Manal preparing breakfast in the mornings shared humanity. It presents a positive view of both
for 30 people! I came to appreciate then the sincerity and our cultures, which have expected differences, but
generosity of our patron in his work for Palestinians. also surprising similarities. Some of the friendships
established years ago are still maintained, and with the
The dancers, backed by singers, perform dabke, the support of Rajab and his family, I hope that Bethlehem
traditional Arab dance performed at weddings and Link will succeed in establishing many more.
celebrations. They perform to a very high standard, which
presents a positive image of Palestine, undermining the Interested in hosting the Hakaya dancers
negative stereotypes shown in the media. During one at your school or home? Please email
of the stays at Rajab’s house, the children were relaxing [email protected]
after one of the performances with a drumming session.
It was so good that the drumming is now included with
the main dance performance.

10 PALESTINE VOICE Issue 1 Winter 2018/19

PCF Shop - Tatreez

Our shop is named after the Arabic
word for embroidery, Tatreez,
a craft woven deep into
Palestinian culture.

For centuries, Palestinian women have
traditionally got together to embroider fabulous
clothing and art using this technique passed
down in succession from mother to daughter.
The pieces have typically reflected the beauty of
rural Palestinian lifestyle, with patterns inspired
by ancient mythology and the natural landscape.
Whilst the intricate patterns and designs are
often complex works of art in themselves
illuminating the culture from the millennia-old
lands of Palestine, Palestinian women have
also historically used this means of creative
expression to display their individual abilities and
document their own thoughts and feelings. Since
1948 Palestinian women have communicated
their personal protest to violence and foreign
occupation through this medium, adding another
dimension to the importance of the craft.

Nowadays Tatreez is an important symbol of
Palestinian culture, with its signature cross-stitch
embroidered pieces found across the Palestinian
diaspora, from the dresses and authentic costume
found in many wardrobes, to lining the walls of
family homes.

Inspired by the tradition of Tatreez, through our
shop of the same name, we seek to empower
Palestinians, particularly women, by promoting their
stories and works and encouraging our supporters
to invest in their livelihoods and families.

We are in talks with individual women in Palestine and across
the diaspora who make beautiful embroidered products
including pillowcases, purses, bookmarks and Christmas

decorations which will all be available to order through our
website. In buying these women’s labours of love, you can

help them support their families and livelihoods.

Please visit

PALESTINE VOICE Issue 1 Winter 2018/19 11



The Palestinian cause has a long and proud history or what to do, only to offer our resources and ideas
of international student solidarity, and often student to support theirs. Student Palestine groups across
groups push the boundaries for imaginative and creative the UK vary substantially in size, resources and
campaigning. Student societies are a key pillar of ambition, and so we want to tailor our help to what
the Palestinian community in the UK, working on the best suits each society.
frontline confronting new challenges in the fight to defend
Palestinians around the world and foster international Are you an individual who wants support setting
solidarity. But for what they have in energy, enthusiasm up a society? A member of a modest group which
and innovation, student groups often lack in resources, requires information resource packs and support
time and funding. This is where PCF can step in. setting up events? Or perhaps the chair of a well-
established society who simply wants funding
We are here to offer societies support where they see towards an upcoming event? It’s up to you and we
fit. We have no interest in telling them how to operate are here to help.

Head over to to find the application form for funding
assistance, or contact our Programme Officer Omar Aziz [email protected] for an SAP starter pack.

SAP ambitions There are currently active Palestine-focused societies across 49 UK universities. This is a
and assistance wonderful figure but with just over 100 universities in the UK, we want to see one at every UK
institution. Organisation and coordination are crucial attributes for any effective campaigning.
We want to connect societies across the UK in person, online and in their endeavours.

OUR ASSISTANCE WILL INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING: zz Invitation to an online forum where student groups

zz Tailored assistance to your society in the UK may collaborate by sharing ideas,
zz Funding for your events and campaigns coordinating efforts and overcoming obstacles
zz Ideas for potential events and campaigns,
zz A calendar of events and campaigns for everything
as showcased by other societies in the UK Palestine related across the UK
and internationally
zz Assistance promoting your campaign stories and
zz Advice and contacts for speakers at your events successes in local and national press
zz Resources: leaflets, factsheets, posters, stickers,
zz SAP twinning – coupling up established societies
bookmarks etc. to assist your efforts with developing groups to facilitate learning,
coordination and expansion

12 PALESTINE VOICE Issue 1 Winter 2018/19


Our first collaboration has been with UCLan’s Friends of Palestine Society (FPS).
UCLan marked the UN’s International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
with a powerful piece of political theatre at their campus, in association with PCF.

On the 29th November 2018, UCLan FPS captivated students with an The Chair of UCLan Friends of Palestine Society,
imaginative piece of dramatic protest inspired by Geneva University’s Sarah Ahmed, described the event as:
own display from May 2018. Paper aeroplanes rained down on
students dressed in Palestinian costume as they marched towards Apwseuiptophoppwltlehieeerddferufomrluosonmyndms-Ptbtarhoaleeltii-scntcgiglnoeoecsukCtruossrmueoplmtipoduoatnrhrtiiettayyP,nFamdoleuaresdntsedionapuitaoironcsnesisble
freedom, symbolising the barrage of projectiles which have struck
down Palestinians in Gaza this year. During the display leaflets were handed out to the intrigued audience,
connecting the symbolism of the performance to the situation of
As the student line progressed in time to Palestinian music, adorned Palestinians in Gaza and the Occupied Territories, calling
in keffiyeh, a crowd of students gathered to watch the performance for ‘Apartheid Off Campus’.
unfold. Slowly, one by one, the students fell to the ground, dead, until
none remained standing. UCLan have proven the power of creative resistance, successfully
drawing wide attention to the plight of Palestinians through their
Imitating the murder of Palestinians in the Great Return March performance as well as the need for students to unite in ending their
which started on the 30th March 2018 where over 4000 Gazans have own universities’ complicity in the oppression of Palestinians.
been struck by live ammunition, killing over 180 including 23 children,
this act of creative symbolism emotively displayed the blatant Well done UCLan Friends of Palestine Society!
injustice inflicted by Israeli forces on Gaza this year. However,
it also illuminates the broader story of Israeli oppression of
Palestinians more generally throughout the Occupied
Territories; indiscriminate, inhumane and unjust.

UNIVERSITIES Aston University Newcastle University
WITH ACTIVE University of Bristol University of Manchester
PALESTINE Brunel University Northumbria University
SOCIETIES University of Cambridge University of Nottingham
City University London Oxford Brookes University
University of Central Lancashire University of Oxford
Coventry University Queen Mary London
University of Dundee University of Portsmouth
Durham University Queen’s University Belfast
University of East Anglia University of Sheffield
Goldsmiths, University of London School of Oriental and African Studies
University of Essex University of Strathclyde
Imperial College London Sheffield Hallam University
University of Exeter University of Sussex
Keele University St George’s University of London
University of Glasgow University of Warwick
Kings College London University College London
University of Hull University of West England, Bristol
Lancaster University University of Aberdeen
University of Kent University of Westminster
London School of Economics University of Birmingham
University of Leeds University of Wolverhampton
Manchester Metropolitan University University of Brighton
University of Leicester University of York

PALESTINE VOICE Issue 1 Winter 2018/19 13

14 PALESTINE VOICE Issue 1 Winter 2018/19

PALESTINE VOICE Issue 1 Winter 2018/19 15


University of Leeds
Divestment Success!

University of Leeds has confirmed its divestment
from three companies complicit in the oppression
of Palestinians through their manufacturing of
military equipment sold to Israel.

University of Leeds Palestine Solidarity Group (PSG) called for
an immediate withdrawal of all funds in an open letter from
companies which supply aeronautical equipment, jet engines
and other military components to the State of Israel and the
Israeli Defence Force, citing the University’s own Ethical
Investment Policy.

Whilst the open letter called for an immediate withdrawal of (Facebook 2018)
funds and had gathered 469 signatures by 1st November, a
University spokesperson has since claimed it had withdrawn Cooperation between human rights
funding on the 15th October for reasons other than BDS. apagonawdineersnftvucilroaorlnplimoarneacnteetaiplnoctwahmeerplaariggenrinfgigihsta
It is claimed the companies in question, Airbus, Keyence
Corporation and United Technologies, all fall outside of the coincidence that companies which consistently enable
University’s new climate active strategy, and so were no the violation of Palestinians’ basic human rights by Israeli
longer viable sources for investment. military occupation and assault often also contribute
disproportionately towards accelerating climate breakdown.
Leeds PSG have responded to this claim stating their
campaign has been active for over a year, that none of the Leeds’ success shows cooperation between human rights
three companies are targets in the Fossil Free Campaign and environmental campaigning is a powerful alliance in
and that the most recent University portfolio still contains the larger fight against corporate power and they need not
investments of over £3.5m in Shell and BP. be mutually exclusive endeavours. Where transnational
corporations show disregard for their involvement in human
Leeds People and Planet Society have said, ‘The fact that the rights abuses and their contribution to climate breakdown
University is using our campaign to erase the efforts of Leeds whilst pocketing lucrative profits, our resistance is strongest
PSG, whilst still investing millions in fossil fuel companies, is in solidarity.
hypocritical and offensive’.

HSBC holds over £800m in companies
proven to contribute to Israel’s
military assault on Palestinians

The University of Leeds is yet to divest from HSBC in which Where multinationals act with impunity, Leeds PSG have
it holds £1.3m of shares, but PSG have stated via their shown we can encourage our institutions to invest more
Facebook page they ‘will still campaign until the University responsibly with the power of collective action and drawing
divests from HSBC and adopts a screening policy to assure public attention. Whilst the official statement of Leeds
us that they will never invest in a complicit company again’. University’s divestment announcement does not directly
HSBC holds over £800m in companies proven to contribute to cite BDS for inspiring its actions, Leeds’ PSG have clearly
Israel’s military assault on Palestinians. This includes £3.6m been successful in scrutinising their University’s investment
worth of shares in Elbit Systems which produces drones like portfolio, drawing attention to it and demanding divestment.
the ones used to bomb Gaza in 2014 when 2252 Palestinians
were killed, including 551 children. Congratulations to University of Leeds Palestine Solidarity
Group, and good luck to other organisations challenging
Whilst Leeds’ BDS pressure has seen a commendable their own institution’s investment portfolios in the fight
outcome, it also draws attention to the relationship between against enabling Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and for
environmental and human rights activism and opens a just and sustainable future.
up potential avenues for further collaboration. It is not a

16 PALESTINE VOICE Issue 1 Winter 2018/19

Palestinian prisoners re-enact trauma
in FIlm Ghost Hunting

After a two year break, the London Palestine Film Festival returned
in November with a packed ten day programme across the city.

The festival opened on Friday 16 this is a highly disturbing and Despite the fact that an
November at The Barbican with unsettling watch. estimated 10,000 Palestinian
a screening of Ghost Hunting women have been arrested
followed by a Q&A with the film’s As director, Andoni was as much a and/or detained over the
critically acclaimed director Raed part of this process as the others, last 50 years (Addameer),
Andoni. The film picked up the having too shared the experience Ghost Hunting deals almost
main documentary prize at The of incarceration as a teenager. exclusively with the experience
Berlin International Film Festival With one in four Palestinians of the Palestinian male prisoner.
and was Palestine’s entry for Best having passed through Israeli Though the film fell short of
Foreign Language Oscar at the detention centres, Andoni much acknowledgement of the
2018 Academy Awards. remarked how this is simply female prisoner’s experience,
part of the collective Palestinian it was not a total erasure as
The real life stories carried experience. He recalled towards the end a young woman
more weight and emotion sitting in the cell and weeping visited the set and shared with
than fiction every could uncontrollably when making this the attentively listening group
film. He believes it is because her own recollections from six
Ghost Hunting may well raise he shares in this collective months in an Israeli detention
a few eyebrows for its ethically experience that the film works centre, in a cell she described
ambiguous premise. A group as well as it does and the men as even smaller than any in this
of former Palestinian prisoners were able to reach the depths of recreation.
reconstruct an Israeli interrogation emotion they do. The men trusted
and detention centre in a him, he said, and even allowed They’re damaged characters,
warehouse in Ramallah, primarily him to be violent with them. but they’re not broken.
based upon Jerusalem’s notorious
al-Moskobiya. Andoni is not suggesting that Ghost Hunting does not serve
in re-enacting their trauma, the as an informative documentary
The participants, who all willingly former prisoners will somehow about Palestinian prisoners. It is a
volunteered for the process, exorcise and be freed from their raw experiment: confrontational,
play out their experiences demons. “The only solution to upsetting and at times tittering on
from prison, in turn playing trauma is to accept that your the edge of acceptability.
interrogator and prisoner during ghosts will follow you and
scenes depicting verbal, physical become part of your life,” he said, The group went through different
and sexual abuse, all based on sardonically referring to his own motions during the experiment,
their actual experiences from sat beside him on the stage. which Andoni described as
time in Israeli jails. In fact, having revealing layers. By the end, they
originally scripted the film, Your ghosts will follow you were sat together joyfully talking
Andoni scrapped this on the first and become part of your life about their loved ones. “All the
day of filming, realising the real love came in the end. It became
life stories carried more weight But the film suggests some beautiful. I didn’t want the film to
and emotion than fiction ever catharsis is achieved by at least finish. I would have loved to stay
could. acknowledging the demons are another two months because it
there. It suggests some strength became an amazing place where
Andoni explained how during may be drawn in collectively we were sharing stories about
filming he would outline a scenario expressing the things they have fiancées, wives, their love stories,
and then ask for volunteers to play been through. Andoni shared their kids,” described Andoni.
it. When stepping into the role of how after the film’s screening
interrogator, the men unleashed in Ramallah, a large audience Azza el-Hassan, who chaired the
the pain and trauma that had once made up mostly of former conversation, expressed perfectly,
been inflicted on them back onto prisoners stayed behind for over “You get the feeling that they’re
the prisoners, often using verbatim two hours sharing their prison damaged characters, but they’re
lines they recalled being said stories with one another. There is not broken.”
to them. The result is incredibly often a glorification of prisoners
raw and powerful, with the men in Palestine and Andoni spoke NATASHA REGAN
at once both captor and captive. of clichéd language we have Natasha works in Media and
Two psychologists were employed become used to using around the Communications for Palestine
as part of the crew to ensure subject. One audience member Community Foundation. She
no further harm was caused to expressed hope the film would holds a Social Anthropology
participants’ mental health and serve as a springboard for talking degree from The University of
the men knew they could leave about Palestinian prisoners’ Manchester and joins us after
the process at any time. But even mental health, and the mental living in Ramallah working as a
within the realms of this relatively health of Palestinians in general. reporter for Palestine Monitor.
safe and controlled environment,

PALESTINE VOICE Issue 1 Winter 2018/19 17

The Tales of Elia:

SupportING Palestine’s FIrst comic novel!

These tales happened somewhere under the Sun
of Elia, the ancient soul and protector of the city of her
namesake. They were written in the first language,
the mother of all sounds and silence, at a time when
people whispered to the wind, smiled to the sun,
caressed the rain in gentle touch, and embraced the
earth essence. This language has roots in all tongues
that succeeded, so the meaning it conveys shall always
reach the pure souls. Elia or Ilia was one of her many
names, along with Salem, Jerusalem and Quds...

Tales of Elia is Palestine’s first comic novel, created by team Comic Palestine and supported and sponsored by PCF.
They are a group of four writers, designers and artists, aged 25 to 30, living in Ramallah and Jerusalem. The team
grew up reading stories about heroes and now seek to use this cherished format to communicate Palestinian identity
and ideals to a young generation across the world. They have been working passionately on Elia for four years. The
world they’ve created is based on different myths from around the world, but draws deeply upon Palestinian culture.


We have been inspired by Being an unprecedented initiative
multiple stories and tales, from in Palestine, the challenges have
our childhood and the popular been several. Finding the right type
animation, manga, comic books, of comic design to represent the
fantasy books, global and story that readers can relate to was
Palestinian myths and culture, essential, thus we decided that mixing
history, literature. the Japanese manga style with
western style was the best option. In
HOW DO YOU WANT YOUR READERS addition, the complexity of the story
TO FEEL WHEN READING THE fabric and balancing visuals with
TALES OF ELIA? script was also a challenge we had to
We want our readers to feel that overcome. And finally, finding trusting
imagination has no limits and publishing and distributing partners
neither do humans. that will join us in this venture.

BISAN SAMAMREH Co-Writer FORMAT? We would like for readers to immerse
MUJAHED DAMIRI Comic Artist The history and tales in this territory themselves in the story, being
are incredibly extensive, full of transported to Palestine and awake
adventures, beauty and sorrow, their curiosity about this land's history
representing them in a comic book and people. Furthermore, we want to
format is an engaging, pioneering keep developing the project to have
initiative to portray with pictures, educational comics, and maybe in the
colours and a touch of fantasy. future animated series or movies.

18 PALESTINE VOICE Issue 1 Winter 2018/19

Letters from Palestine

Nadia from the Ghirass Cultural Center

DEAR READER, Hoping you are all fine? I am fine,

but I need someone to listen to me and I need

someone to share me my feelings. Will you?

Sometimes I ask myself why am I a Palestinian girl… Why am I not English or American or Australian. The youth
in that country do whatever they want, go wherever they want without thinking or being afraid from anyone to ask
them about their identity card or permission to pass. They think about their future dreaming to study at the
university and to become whatever they want without anything which forces them to do what they don’t want to do.
Then I said, ‘Foolish Nadia!’ You are not like them. They live in independent countries. Their future and dreams
are not limited. They can go to anywhere they want from city to city. If they want to travel anywhere they have
airports and passport in which all the countries all around the world. They have water every day - they have
chances. Moreover, they have governments and soldiers with weapons to protect them. They live in peace. That is
peace, isn’t it?!! If you know, tell me... Please tell me if that is peace. I think your answer is ‘yes’. Am I
right?! Yes, I am. Please tell me is anybody in England, whose age is the same as mine, afraid when they travel
from Bath to London, or must they need permission to visit their country’s capital?

Let me ask you another question. Does any English youth person suffer from water being cut off? Or do they suffer
from being under bombardment by tanks and airplanes? Or do they suffer from losing their dad or friend when they
are on their way to school, or their uncle because he is a patriot? Your answer is no!

Again, to my thoughts... I hope that you are not bored with this letter. Okay, now let me tell you about a new
type of peace. I think you know much about it. Moreover, the everyday suffering Palestinian fathers endure from
having no jobs and no work means they can not bring food for their children and they must pay taxes and taxes for
the Israelis. Furthermore, every day new pieces of land are taken by the settlers and new settlements are being
built, from 1992 till now, nothing new, the same situation. Also many people, Palestinians, were killed like the
man in Bethlehem near Rachel’s Tomb. The Israeli soldiers who were making a little camp to protect this tomb from
us, they are afraid because of our stones when they have tanks and missiles. They killed that
man when he was passing from that road, which is a Palestinian main road, while he put his hand in his pocket.
They said that he was going to take out his gun to kill them. They are sitting in a tower and he is walking in
the road. But really he was looking for his cigarettes.

This is peace! Yes, don’t say it. This is real peace in which we must live for good. What nice peace! Sorry for
saying this, but even a dog will not like to live under this situation. After all, what can I do! Must I love the
Israelis? The whole world said after all this, Palestinian people are terrorists. Why?! They want from us to just
watch! To see ourselves killed by our enemy and to say for them, thank you for killing my father, my brother, my
friend. Thank you because you are putting my neighbour in prison. Thank you because you steal my land, for making
me a refugee living in a camp, for not letting me go to Jerusalem and Jaffa, Haifa.... and more...

The thing which makes me mad is that everything which the Israelis did and do and is doing to us, they are not
blamed or judged by the whole world... But how come this happens? I am sorry to say that, please forgive me,
world. How will Israelis be blamed or judged... all the rights are with them. They are the stronger and in this
unfair life the strong has all the rights. They are America and America is them. Can anyone say no for America
they are the strongest ... America means the U.N. if the other countries try to help us, just VETO from USA will
stop everything.

Believe me, we don’t want any help from the world. I want from them just to know the truth, only the truth. We
do not need any help. Food - we can eat anything, we never mind - weapons we have our naked bodies to stand
against our enemy. I want from them the whole world just to know who is the real terrorist, the Palestinians or
the Israelis? But how they are strong and the whole world listens to them…and even the press in the whole world,
Israel control it by giving the journalist whatever he wants.

As you know, at our TV we get CNN, BBC and other channels and know what kind of news they put. Believe me, not all
of it is true. They try to tell the whole world that the Palestinians are some people living in desert and travel
on horse or donkey or camelback... they live in tents... Believe me, I met many people in France who ask me ‘From
where are you?’ I said, ‘Palestine.’ They said, ‘What?’ I said, ‘Holy Land’. They said, ‘Oh, yeah, Holland.’ I
said ‘No, not Holland. My land is under the Israeli occupation.’ They said, ‘Yes, we know Israel!’

Another person from Sweden came to our school and while I was talking to him he told me, ‘I am going to tell you
the truth. Before coming to Bethlehem, I called the Israeli Tourist Office to ask about a hotel in Bethlehem.
They gave me many names in Tel Aviv and I ask about Bethlehem. They give me names in Jerusalem... So I called
your school. They arrange for me to come here. But when I was at Ben Gurion airport and while speaking to a man
he told me that people in Bethlehem and Palestinians are very bad and robbers and killers. I became afraid, but I
came here. At first I was so afraid, but after two days I feel like I am at my house when I visit your school and
was introduced to you. I love the way you live together here.’

He asked me, ‘I want to ask you a question. I heard that Muslims are bad people, and you, as a Christian girl,
please tell me.’ I answered, ‘I’m not going to answer you. You can ask Samira, my friend. She is a Christian and
can tell you better than a Muslim girl!!!He said, ‘You are a Muslim?’ I said, ‘Yes, I am.’ He said, ‘I thought
that Muslims were different’. But when I told him that Palestinians are Christians and Muslims living together
peacefully and we are friends and no problems between them, he was very surprised.Israeli propaganda is very
strong and that’s why I want to study journalism to work to tell the whole world the truth, just the truth.

I think I must stop now, but I will not stop writing. Are you bored from me? I am talking, I mean writing much
that is right. I know, don’t remind me. Believe me, I am very mad every day. Many people are killed. Many
children are suffering. That makes me anxious.
All my family here are fine. Please greet everybody for me. I love you all...

With love


PALESTINE VOICE Issue 1 Winter 2018/19 19

Christmas in Palestine


With the story of Jesus’ birth in the Bible and Qu’ran taking place in Palestine, we created and sent Christmas cards in 2018 using
drawings designed by children from the little town of Bethlehem itself. Some of the children’s pictures reflected the traditional
Nativity story, with shepherds and mangers, others were a painful reminder of the reality of being a child under occupation.

As has been pointed out many times, in Banksy’s Christmas card or by Right to Movement’s #MaryCantMove campaign, a heavily
pregnant Mary and Joseph would face many obstacles should they make their journey to Bethlehem today, with checkpoints and
the Separation Wall. Perhaps Mary would have delivered baby Jesus at a checkpoint,
like the 67 Palestinian mothers who did so between 2000 and 2005.

Banksy 2004 Christmas Card Four Christmas card designs drawn by
children at the Ghirass Centre in Bethlehem

Abood Dayyah, a tour guide in Bethlehem,
shines a light on what Christmas is like in his city.

Bethlehem is a wonderful city. During HOW WE CELEBRATE
Christmas time, thousands of tourists CHRISTMAS IN BETHLEHEM
visit the Holy city of Bethlehem where
Jesus was born over 2000 years ago. The celebrations are amazing in
Every year we have about 3 million Bethlehem. We have a great wonderful
visitors and pilgrims. The come from Christmas tree and tons of Christmas
Asia, Africa, Europe and America, lights and the Nativity scene also
from all over the world, to celebrate decorated with colourful lights.
the great event and to remember the
birth of Jesus. People visit each other and many
Palestinian Muslims and Christians
Jesus is love and peace. Both Muslims from Bethlehem, Ramallah, Nablus and
and Christians celebrate and share Hebron come to celebrate with their
happiness in Christmas. brothers and Christian friends.

For me, December is a happy month Here in Palestine we are suffering
because I was born December 22, just because we are living under the military
two days before Christmas celebrations! Israeli occupation. Life is not too easy but
we always work to find our happiness and
A special thing in Bethlehem is we we have hope for a better future. We wish
celebrate three times on three different all people every Christmas and every New
dates. Why? We Palestinians celebrate Year to bring more peace and to stop all
the Catholic Christmas (Calendar) then wars in the world.
in January the Orthodox Christians
celebrate Armenian and Coptic, Best regards from Bethlehem, Palestine.
celebrated by Egyptian Christians as well.

20 PALESTINE VOICE Issue 1 Winter 2018/19

Cultural Production in
Larissa Sansour’s Sci-Fi Trilogy

Palestinian visual artist
Larissa Sansour’s
otherworldly film
‘Nation Estate’ (2013)
screened 24 November
as part of the London
Palestine Film Festival.
Al John reviews for PCF.

L arissa Sansour’s Nation Estate might museum exhibit. All that’s missing is a short always an ongoing process of invention, made
descriptive paragraph pinned below the up of a patchwork of political and economic
just as easily be an e-State. In the film, the Dome of the Rock. In the following scene narratives. It marks an engagement with
state of Palestine has been displaced and we see, in her apartment, a cupboard full what’s known as de-fetishisation; the process
located within a single high rise building; the of homogenous, tinned food, ready-made of making reality seem contingent and thus
skyscraper is organised by touch-screens and falafels and tabbouleh, literally preserved, changeable provided you have the right tools.
facial recognition systems, swift and seamless destined to remain in a time-warp, forever
elevator shafts, keycards and marble floors. A the same everywhere but for in the collective In another film, A Space Exodus, we see
place where the only voices are tannoyed and imagination of the Estate’s residents. What a new kind of political narrative in play. A
the governing is algorithmic. Where interaction is ready-made is unchangeable. Like the reworking of The Moon Landing—one of the
is cold, clean and faceless, and citizens stare most symbolically charged ‘events’ pertaining
straight ahead in atomised proximity. to the mastery of capitalism—becomes ‘one
small step for a Palestinian, one huge leap for
Each Palestinian region is contained and mankind.’ Sansour riffs off Stanley Kubrick’s
segmented onto a different floor, connected 2001: Space Odyssey but with arabesque
only by elevator shaft. It’s a place where the musical influences—a film which is not so
appurtenances of the nation state are equally much trying to construct new symbolism as it is
broken off, packaged and made to stand still— about that process of symbol-making. Which is
What happens to immaterial notions of identity, always a process, and is always associated with
tradition, community when they are trapped and power. The film is playful and there’s a pleasure
on display like subjects in a police line-up? The in being given the opportunity to think about
answer seems to be simple. Nothing. this kind of reality. As in In The Future They Ate
From The Finest Porcelain, where characters
Frantz Fanon notes the tendency of culture, bury porcelain is deep into the ground to imply
in the context of oppression, to fall into a different kind of past to future archaeologists,
representationalism. Cultural products can Sansour commits to the notion that narrative
often become ‘the inert already forsaken result construction is itself a type of struggle.
of frequent, and not always very coherent,
adaptations of a much more fundamental During a Q&A at the London Palestine Film
substance which is itself continually being Festival, Sansour, in response to a question
renewed…mummified fragments which about the role of the Palestinian artist, is quick
because they are static are in fact symbols of to disavow her films from politics—or from
negation and outworn contrivances’. pre-existing political narratives—because, she
says, those have all been expressed already.
Nation Estate is saturated with mummified high-rise, the food is unable to grow but for The purpose of science fiction is to seek out
fragments, and it’s not surprising that the ‘upwards’. It can only ever expand via a kind the unsaid, the new and the strange. The result
clinical, modernist efficiency of the high rise of constant self-replication, ever-more mythic is that we might remember that everything
immediately draws comparisons with another and ever-harder to see from the ground. was at some point new, and everything
locus of mummification—the museum. continues to be strange.
Nowhere else but for the museum do we The genre Sansour chooses to work in is
see medieval architecture sequestered always generous. Science fiction frees the Al John is a postgraduate student
within cold marble. The protagonist, played artist from their contemporary restrictions by living in London. He has written for
by Sansour, exits the elevator shaft onto her challenging them to invent new realities. Of OpenDemocracy, 3:AM Magazine,
floor—Jerusalem—which sits against a brutal course, new realities confront old ones, which Adbusters and elsewhere.
white backdrop, as if it were a permanent lays bare the notion that the contemporary is

PALESTINE VOICE Issue 1 Winter 2018/19 21

The Weaponisation of Time

Illuminating Invisible Violence Against Palestinians
in the West Bank and East Jerusalem

By Omar Aziz

Omar is Programme Officer at Palestine Community Foundation, he
recently completed an MA in International Relations (Middle East)
and has written for OpenDemocracy, Middle East Monitor, Adbusters,
Palestine Chronicle and elsewhere.

‘Time is our worst enemy’ Palestinians often tell visitors to the
West Bank. They explain how they wait at checkpoints daily and
indefinitely. How they wait in ‘temporary’ refugee camps often
lived in for generations. How they wait imprisoned for decades
on charges of trivial offences or wait for their loved ones to return
home from detention. How they wait in anticipation of soldiers to
raid their homes during the night. How they wait in vain for building
permits which never arrive to provide homes for their families.
How they wait for the ‘temporary’ occupation to be lifted. How their
time is stolen from them. How they know it and they feel it.

For Palestinians in the occupied territories, time is not a However, by listening to Palestinians and projecting peace itself is present when individuals are reaching
transparent medium which can be traversed with ease to their voices widely, we may be able to overcome the the full realisation of their somatic and mental potential
productively go about their daily lives, instead it is a thick noise of empty empirical abstraction which informs the achievable given the level of insight and resource.
and opaque substance, through which they must struggle intransigent class of the global-political elite. And when As such, violence is the cause that which reduces one’s
to forge their lives, experiencing each minute, embodying we do choose to listen, we are met with eloquent stories potential, this violence may be direct, structural or cultural
each second. rich with invaluable information from the people who in origin, or a combination of all three. Direct violence has
matter most, those who endure suffering and try valiantly a clear subject-object relationship, structural violence is
Under occupation Israel controls Palestinians in the to survive it. embedded in process and may lack a clear subject-object
occupied territories through the hyperregulation of the relationship and cultural violence is social legitimisation
everyday life seen in the 5,000 military orders which Using Cate Malek and Matteo Hoke’s Palestine Speaks of direct or structural violence so as to render it socially
govern everything from travel permits, work permits, (2015) we can do just that. The autobiographical acceptable or invisible.
building permits, digging for water, transporting goods narratives they have compiled from Palestinians
and tending crops. But what we learn from listening throughout the occupied territories deserve our Like tuition fees prohibiting mostly black students
to Palestinians is that it is not just their freedom of attention, analysis and projection in a climate where from accessing education in post-apartheid South
movement which is hyperregulated and controlled by Palestinian voices are rarely heard. They give life Africa, or austerity needlessly inflicted on the UK
checkpoints, travel permits and such like, but time itself. to empirical abstraction by projecting the voices of disproportionately affecting the poorest in society, or
the oppressed, who so vividly illuminate for us the newly developed medicine unavailable to those in need,
Time itself is wielded as a weapon, forcing Palestinians to invisible forces of Israel’s colonial control. these examples of structural violence limit the potential
live a temporality defined by waiting, slowness and stasis. realisations of their victims and operate under broader
The term ‘weaponisation of time’ was coined by social cultural violence which justifies their prevalence or
But for Palestinians waiting is not a neutral period of theorist Nina Power in an openDemocracy article in makes alternatives seem ‘unrealistic’. In Palestine,
stasis, or a welcomed rest from everyday life. Instead 2012. Her later (2014) article ‘Time does not always we witness direct violence between IDF soldiers and
the waiting is often coloured by emotional states of heal: state violence and psychic damage’ describes Palestinian civilians, structural violence embedded into
fear, anxiety and suffocation produced by personal and her partner’s experience after nearly being killed by a the system of occupation itself and cultural violence
collective histories of emotional and physical pain at the UK police officer and yet was charged himself with a in Zionism attempting to justify the segregation of
hands of the occupation. public order offence: Palestinians from Israeli Jews and the colonisation
of Palestinian land. Violence breeds violence and
Whilst the bullet fired from a gun may subdue, ‘This stretching out of time is a central feature of what proliferates in the absence of peace, and only once
immobilise and shorten the life of its victims, the punishment is, from the slowness of bringing someone exposed may we begin to overcome it.
weaponisation of time possesses, incapacitates to trial, to the trial process itself, to prison, the purest
and steals the life from them. It operates under a manifestation of time used as a weapon.’ Through the concept of violence, the idea of
cruel silence, violence made invisible by Israel’s ‘weaponisation’ begins to take shape as a deliberate
theatrical-duplicitous legal system and by a neoliberal Here the deliberate and extrajudicial enforcement of a attempt to produce and target violence through a medium
media ignoring its victims; rendering them ultimately person to wait in precarious and painful circumstances, wielded against its intended victims.
powerless yet fully conscious of their life being stolen filling each moment with dread, anxiety and fear displays
from them, minute by minute, day after day. the effects of the weaponisation of time. Listening to the stories of Ibtisam Ilzghayyer, 58 year
old director of the Ghirass Cultural Center in Bethlehem,
In the context of over 40 years of illegal ‘occupation’ of the But what is this sinister method of control and submission checkpoints are immediately illuminated as a violent tool
occupied territories, with the US withdrawal of funding if there is no physical injury? How do we define it and how through which time is weaponised. She recalls during
from the UNRWA and recognition of Jerusalem as the do we expose it? the Second Intifada when checkpoints regularly closed
capital of Israel, the need for Palestinian voices to be altogether:
heard in the silence between industrial-military assaults The concept of violence is central to Palestinian suffering
on Gaza, not just in response to them, has never been in the occupied territories; only by understanding what ‘the checkpoint was closed…[there were] children,
more urgent. violence is, its various forms and their relationship to old men, workers…hundreds of people! I waited [over
each other can we begin to expose the prevalence of three hours]. Surrounded by soldiers…nobody had any
But Palestinian voices are not transmitted through a violence against Palestinians and how power operates place to hide if they started shooting. I was so angry and
neoliberal media which prioritises sensationalised news through it as a means of colonial control. depressed I started talking to myself. I said ‘God, are you
of bloodshed over the everyday suffering of Palestinians there? And if you are there, are you seeing us? Finally,
under occupation, so as not to risk challenging the Johan Galtung (1969), widely considered the founding a little after seven p.m., I gave up and came back to
narratives of their loyal audience. father of Peace Studies, has shown how peace ought Bethlehem and stayed at the Center.’
to be considered the absence of violence. And how

22 PALESTINE VOICE Issue 1 Winter 2018/19

ANOTHER TIME SHE RECALLS: healthcare, work or go about daily life but the conditions of waiting, but also a flagrant and deliberate abuse
of this waiting can be loaded with fear, anxiety and pain of human rights, where the right to clean water is
‘I remember a little girl was crying. She needed to get from repetitive reliving of past experiences of trauma fundamental.
to school to take exams, and the soldier wouldn’t let her. each time they wait at a checkpoint, serving to intensify its
It’s not guaranteed that a child is able to go to school… violent effects. From 1967 to 2016 over 200 Israeli settlement were
Many parents have told us that their children have established in the West Bank, despite being in violation
nightmares and achievement problems. Children look Laith Al-Hlou, a 34 years old father, recalls the trauma of international law, where the settler population
to us adults as people who can protect them, and of seeing his barn and house be demolished in Area C exceeds 600,000. In addition, it is estimated that
when we can’t—in many situations, we’re scared!’ of the West Bank after the complex process he faced in 14,454 settlement units were approved by the Israeli
trying to obtain a building permit which he exasperatingly government since January 2017. Not only does the rapid
Whilst Ibtisam believes the repetition of everyday norms navigated through yet was denied on all three attempts: approval and construction of settlements expose the
under colonial occupation, such as waiting at checkpoints, artificial delay in approving Palestinian applications, the
produces nightmares in Palestinian children, it has also ‘They said a bulldozer was coming…We could see swimming pools, pristine roads and high speed wi-fi
resulted in them having a warped sense of time and what was happening out the window, and we watched connections expose how time is weaponised against
space: for an hour and a half while they drove the sheep out Palestinians; Israeli Jews may access desired norms
and knocked down the house. We cried. We had just built of comfort, hyper-speed and hyper-mobility under
‘The children I teach don’t have a good sense of the barn the year before, all by hand. It had taken neoliberal capitalism in the settlements, whereas
distance because of the restrictions. They might say months of work and it was a big investment.’ Palestinians are forcibly excluded from their reach.
they live “far away,” and I’ll ask, “How far?” And it’s a
ten-minute car ride away, if not for checkpoints. That’s Laith’s time has been wasted in processing the The extent of the violence through which time is
far for them, because that fifteen minutes might applications, in labour hours sold to purchase the marble weaponised via this process is evident in that from 2010
actually be an hour or two most days.’ and in the time endured unable to live in an adequate to 2014, the Civil Administration (CA - branch of Israeli
sized home. Laith describes how him, his wife and his military responsible for civil matters in area C) approved
As of January 2017, there were 98 mapped checkpoints in five children are living, merely 33 out of 2,020 Palestinian building permits, only
the West Bank, 59 of which are permanent and a total of 1.5% of the total applications. Furthermore, given that
5,587 flying checkpoints were counted in 2016, affecting ‘we have one room where we all sleep, and then we the Palestinian population in the West Bank has nearly
over 2.5 million Palestinians. have the kitchen… We have electricity sometimes doubled since 1995 and areas A and B cannot facilitate
through our generator. But gas is expensive. We usually more construction due to spatial limitations, the violent
Older and younger Palestinians alike are forced to confront only turn it on around once a week to wash clothes in our effects are increasingly felt by Palestinians within all
armed soldiers often facing abuse and coming to physical washing machine. It’s hot now, and we have no electricity areas of the West Bank.
harm. Ibtisam recalls being called ‘a prostitute’ after for fans. In the winter, we have no heat to keep us warm.
explaining her disability made it impossible for her to follow When it gets cold, we stay in bed all day under the Laith describes how through the exertion of violence
a soldier’s orders, other women recall being forced to divide blankets to stay warm…The biggest problem for us is on him and other Palestinians, the colonial regime has
themselves into lines of ‘beautiful’ and ‘ugly’ women. water. The pipes run through the settlement, and we’re been successful in creating unbearable conditions for
the last in line in the village.’ Palestinians life,
However, the past is not dead, but alive in the present in
wounds lived and relived each time a Palestinian is forced to The material effect of unfair planning policy is not isolated ‘Many people in the village have gone elsewhere.
wait at a checkpoint, not just of their personal experiences, to simply less new builds on the horizon, the ramifications Some of my uncle’s family members who used to live
but of stories from the collective trauma inflicted on the prove to be insidious and extensive on Palestinian lives; on the property have gone to live abroad. The Israelis,
community. From 2000-2005 60 women gave birth at Palestinians are forced to choose between an impossible the settlers, it seems like they want us to go away. If
checkpoints, 36 babies and five women died as a result. choice of waiting for the planning application which may we didn’t have this land, we’d go back to Bethlehem.
never arise or waiting for the bulldozers to demolish their It’s a better place—it’s easier to live there. But if we
IBTISAM STATES: ‘illegal’ construction. It also contributes to less jobs for leave, we won’t be able to protect the land, which has
Palestinians in the construction sector and more generally been in our family for generations… I’d like to move,
‘usually I avoid going to the checkpoints, because it from lack of development. As such, Palestinians are locked but I can’t leave my land here.’
makes me sick — physically, emotionally, all kinds in ‘extended transitions’, struggling to live independently
of sick. It usually takes time to come back to normal.’ as adults due to difficulty finding and accessing work The weaponisation of time against Palestinians forces
because of checkpoints, permits and economic stagnation, them to make an impossible choice: either resist
Clearly the intensity of her emotion is not necessarily contributing to a mode of temporality defined by slowness. colonial violence by remaining on their land in the hope
proportional to the immediate severity of the injury from their suffering is temporary, or permanently abandon
an isolated experience. Instead, emotion is contingent LAITH OBSERVES HOW AT THE ADJACENT SETTLEMENTS: their material wealth and identity. Checkpoints and
on past memories and collective histories, whereby building permits are just two of many methods whereby
one can also feel intense pain when reminded of past ‘People living there don’t have tanks on their roofs Palestinian time is artificially manipulated under a
encounters without any physical impression at all. So or anything, they get enough from the pipes. The regime of hyperregulated-colonial violence. It forces
not only are Palestinians forced to wait at checkpoints, settlements look like heaven to us. They even have Palestinians into apparent ‘voluntary transfer’, where
making it sometimes impossible to access education, swimming pools there.’ life was in fact unliveable.

Similarly, in the summer months, his access to clean Palestinians valiantly resist this artificial imposition
water is cut off by the endeavours of a state widely of slowness and waiting upon their lives by finding
considered to be the global leader in water irrigation alternative routes for travel, circumnavigating the
and sanitation technology. This exposes not only a myriad of barriers on dilapidated roads, through
violent attempt to enforce life threatening conditions celebration and festival, disrupting the temporal
stagnation created by the weaponisation of time and
even by encouraging children to play games queuing
at checkpoints. But these efforts are the not answer.
Only by lifting the illegal occupation may Palestinians
rebuild their lives, free from the restrictions of
checkpoints, permits, unjust incarceration and
everyday suffering. Only by lifting the occupation can
all forms of the direct, structural and cultural violence
inflicted on Palestinians begin to be dismantled.

By listening to the voices of the oppressed, we realise
there is no peace found in the status quo in the occupied
territories, only sustained and uninterrupted violence.
Israel is right to value time as a precious and finite
resource for its own citizens, and must do so for
Palestinians by lifting this illegal and violent occupation.

PALESTINE VOICE Issue 1 Winter 2018/19 23


On the first day A
of Christmas sunbird
My true love in an
sent to me.. olive tree


Two holy domes

Three dabke dancers

Four falafels frying

Five kuf-fiy-yehs, Six mint and lemon

Seven sheep a flocking, Eight fallahi ploughing

Nine camels spitting, Ten thobes a flowing

Eleven poets versing, Twelve stars are shining

24 PALESTINE VOICE Issue 1 Winter 2018/19

2 13




2 The name given to the events of 1948 1 This plant is a symbol of Palestinian resistance, it is used
5 A Palestinian poet who spent much
to designate borders in villages
of his life in exile
3 A term meaning “steadfastness”, expressing the
8 The setting of the Nativity story, where
Palestinian resistance ideology
Jesus is said to have been born
4 The name of the mosque on Manger Square in Bethlehem
12 The name of the busy gate in the centre
6 She gained worldwide attention this year after spending
of the north wall of Jerusalem’s Old City
eight months in an Israeli prison
13 Palestinian national dish, translates
7 The lowest place on Earth
as “upside down”
9 Popular herb mix made from thyme and sesame
Find the answers to the crossword by
heading to Resources on our website, seeds, eaten on bread 10 The Arabic name for Palestine’s most famous handicraft,

especially seen on traditional women’s clothing

11 This town is the birthplace of the dessert knaffeh

PALESTINE VOICE Issue 1 Winter 2018/19 25



Thanks to Friends of Al Aqsa for the colouring page, available in their Palestine Colouring Book

26 PALESTINE VOICE Issue 1 Winter 2018/19


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