Welcome to the 12th Annual Open Shuhada Street Campaign

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On this page, you will find information about the Open Shuhada Street campaign in 2021. Please go to our calendar page for events.

Join the international campaign led by local Palestinian volunteers to call for an end to the restrictions in the city of Hebron — call for the reopening of Hebron’s main street, an end to the segregation in Hebron, an end to the human rights violations, and an end to the Israeli occupation.

Please follow the campaign on Youth Against Settlements’ Facebook and Twitter.

Book a speaker: [email protected]

MATERIALS HERE

Every year since 2010, local Palestinian volunteers with the Hebron-based Youth Against Settlements (YAS) group have been launching a campaign calling for an end to the closures in the city and an end to the Israeli military occupation of Palestine. Please follow the campaign on YAS’s Facebook and Twitter.

This year, due to COVID-19, we will be conducting the campaign virtually. We need your participation and solidarity. Please join the events and post on social media. Please go to our calendar page to RVSP and read more about our events.

To book a speaker for an online webinar, please contact [email protected]

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Webinar: Open Shuhada Street
Feb 24th
Time: TBA

Virtual tour of Hebron
Feb 25th
Time: 2-5pm Palestine (8am-11am EST)

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March 10, 2021
Introduction to Palestinian Tatreez Embroidery Online

Folklore Village, Dodgeville, WI

$20.00

  • An online embroidery workshop with textile artist Wafa Ghnaim
  • Wednesday, March 10
  • 5-7 PM Central Time
  • Hosted over Zoom videoconferencing
  • Register for Online Class

Supplies are listed here: https://www.tatreezandtea.com/supplies under “Aida Cloth”.

After you pay, you will receive an automated email with all the information you need to get connected to the Zoom call. If you prefer to pay by mail or over the phone, please call (608) 924-4000 or email programs@folklorevillage.org to make arrangements.

For Zoom troubleshooting questions, click here.

Join textile artist Wafa Ghnaim for a two-hour introduction into the beautiful and ancient art of Palestinian tatreez embroidery! Tatreez is often used to decorate the traditional Palestinian dress, called a thobe, but also adorns many other kinds of household and decorative objects. Different villages and regions within Palestine have their own traditional patterns, and Wafa has a wealth of knowledge to share about this history! In this 2-hour virtual class, students will learn how to embroider the Beyout (Houses) motif from el-Khalil (Hebron) to create a bookmark. Learning objectives include:

  1. How to thread a needle.
  2. The meaning and history of the pattern in focus.
  3. How to start a tatreez sampler. Instructions are listed here
  4. Color selection and strategy.
  5. The basics of traditional Palestinian embroidery cross-stitch, including two different methods of stitching and the principals of successful Palestinian embroidery execution.
  6. Stitching strategy to execute the cleanest motif on fabric.
  7. Tips & tricks unique to the motif.

Patterns are sent 24-48 hours in advance of the class. No experience is required. This class will be recorded and made available after the live session. Please contact Wafa at wafa@tatreezandtea.com with any questions.

Supplies are listed here: https://www.tatreezandtea.com/supplies under “Aida Cloth”.

About the Instructor
Wafa Ghnaim is an American-born Palestinian artist, writer, and businesswoman. Wafa began learning Palestinian embroidery from her mother when she was two years old.

Throughout her life, she traveled alongside her mother for exhibits, lectures, and demonstrations around the U.S. from folklore festivals in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to elementary schools in Portland, Oregon. Today, she travels the world teaching Palestinian embroidery skills across the diaspora to students who have long yearned to connect with their artistic and cultural heritage.

In 2016, Wafa self-published her book Tatreez & Tea: Embroidery and Storytelling in the Palestinian Diaspora that chronicles diaspora embroidery traditions in her family, rooted from her mother’s home village in Safad, Palestine. In 2018, in honor of her work on Tatreez & Tea, Wafa was awarded a once in a lifetime New York Foundation for the Arts Artist Fellowship in the folk arts discipline. Wafa and her family currently reside in Washington, D.C.

To learn more about the Tatreez & Tea project, go to www.tatreezandtea.com.

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February 27 – March 5, 2021
International Festival Online

Opens 10 am Saturday, February 27

The International Festival usually takes place throughout Overture Center. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 International Festival is a virtual event. Shake the February doldrums with a free celebration of our international community in Dane County—all from the comfort of your home. Enjoy cultural arts performances, cooking demonstrations, visual arts galleries, discussions and more at Overture’s 2021 International Festival.

As in the past, the Festival will feature an international marketplace. You will be able to browse and purchase items, including those from MRSCP, online.

More information and free registration

February 21, 2021
Palestine on a Plate!

Middle East Children’s Alliance Webinar, 10 am CT

Only $10 donation, REGISTER NOW!

Join the Middle East Children’s Alliance in this unique opportunity to hear nationally-acclaimed chef/activist REEM ASSIL interview bestselling cookbook author/chef JOUDIE KALLA – a benefit for sending food parcels to Palestine & Lebanon, in response to the COVID-19 crisis. You’ll also get to see a short video of each of them cooking!

Joudie Kalla is the author of bestselling books Palestine on a Plate: Memories from My Mother’s Kitchen and Baladi: A Celebration of Food from Land and Sea. Working as a chef for over 23 years, she also runs cooking classes, catering events, regular sold-out supper clubs, hosts Palestine-themed dinners for charity, and consults on food projects.

Reem Assil is owner of Reem’s California, a nationally acclaimed restaurant, inspired by Arab street corner bakeries and the vibrant communities that surround them. Previously a community and labor organizer, Reem sits at the intersection of her three passions: food, community, and social justice. She uses food to invoke the central virtue of her Arab culture, hospitality, to build strong, resilient, and connected community.

REGISTER TODAY!
Space is Limited

This event is a benefit for food parcels for Palestine & Lebanon, in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The Eighth Circuit’s Narrow Decision About Arkansas BDS

One provision has been invalidated, but the general ban on boycotts of Israel by most state government contractors still stands.

An Arkansas statute generally bans the government from contracting with companies that are boycotting Israel. It defines such boycotts as

  • “engaging in refusals to deal,
  • terminating business activities,
  • or other actions that are intended to limit commercial relations with Israel, or persons or entities doing business in Israel or in Israeli-controlled territories, in a discriminatory manner” (bullets added).

District Court Judge Brian S. Miller refused to issue a preliminary injunction against the statute, and granted the state’s motion to dismiss the challenge. The court concluded that “other actions …” should be read as dealing with other commercial behavior, and not, say, speech urging boycotts:

While the statute also defines a boycott to include “other actions that are intended to limit commercial relations with Israel,” this restriction does not include criticism of Act 710 or Israel, calls to boycott Israel, or other types of speech. Familiar canons of statutory interpretation, such as constitutional avoidance and [ejusdem] generis [“[w]here general words follow specific words in a statutory enumeration, the general words are construed to embrace only objects similar in nature to those objects enumerated by the preceding specific words”], counsel in favor of interpreting “other actions” to mean commercial conduct similar to the listed items.

And as thus limited to commercial behavior, the court held, the statute likely didn’t violate the First Amendment. (Michael Dorf, Andrew Koppelman, and I filed an amicus brief on appeal agreeing that the law is constitutional if read as limited to commercial refusals to deal.)

Friday, the Eighth Circuit (in an opinion by Judge Jane Kelly, joined by Judge Michael Melloy, with Judge Jonathan Kobes dissenting) interpreted the “or other actions” clause more broadly, to include speech promoting boycotts, and therefore held that the law was unconstitutional. The majority expressly didn’t opine on the constitutionality of the “refusals to deal [or] terminating business activities” portion of the law; the majority said,

Assuming without deciding that the Act would not run afoul of the First Amendment if it were limited to purely economic activity, our focus is on whether the term “other actions” includes activity that is constitutionally protected.

The court therefore “reverse[d] and remand[ed] for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.”

But what’s going to happen now? Here’s my sense:

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Egypt ‘indefinitely’ opens Rafah border crossing with Gaza Strip

Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas agree to ‘respect and accept’ upcoming polls at Cairo talks


A girl looks on through the window of a vehicle while waiting at the Rafah border crossing’s departure area to travel from the Gaza Strip into Egypt [Said Khatib/AFP]

Al Jazeera, 10 Feb 2021

For the first time in years, Egypt has “indefinitely” opened its Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip, the only passage to the outside world for the residents of the coastal enclave that is not controlled by Israel.

The move on Tuesday came as Palestinian factions concluded a two-day meeting in Egypt’s capital in which they agreed to “respect and accept” the results of long-delayed legislative and presidential elections – set for May 22 and July 31, respectively.

The Palestinian embassy in Cairo said Egypt had decided to open the crossing as a result of “intensive and bilateral talks between the Palestinian and Egyptian leaderships to facilitate the passage of Palestinians to and from the Gaza Strip”.

Palestinian sources attending the talks said they had been told by Egyptian intelligence officials that the move was designed to create a better atmosphere at the negotiations.

Reporting from Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, Al Jazeera’s Nida Ibrahim said some were linking it to the Cairo summit and suspected it was “a gesture from the Egyptians”.

“Thousands have already been registering their names with the interior ministry in Gaza, hoping they can make their way into Egypt – it’s their only lifeline to the outside world,” Ibrahim said.

“Many are still concerned that … they’re not going to be treated greatly, specifically due to security concerns by the Egyptians.”

The Rafah border is the main exit point for the majority of Gaza’s two million population.

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