Clean WATER for Rafah’s Children


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Clean WATER for Rafah’s Children

Children at the Tuyar Al-Jena Kindergarten in Rafah were excited to receive a Maia Project water desalination and filtration system provided by Madison-Rafah Sister City Project in memory of MRSCP member Ken Coffeen.

There is a growing water crisis in Palestine that affects the health of virtually every adult and child. In the Gaza Strip, poor sanitation and over-extraction have polluted the limited water supply. Israeli military attacks and the blockade have prevented repairs to water infrastructure. Water to Gaza is restricted and often too expensive for families to purchase from a safe source.

On July 28, 2010 the UN General Assembly declared that “Safe and clean drinking water and sanitation is a human right essential to the full enjoyment of life and all other human rights.”

The MAIA (Arabic for water) project began when children at a UN school in Gaza were given the opportunity to choose the one thing they wanted most for their school. They chose clean drinking water!

The Madison-Rafah Sister City Project has joined with the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) to provide water filter systems for schools in Rafah. We first raised $1,995 to install a filter for the Tuyor Al-Jena (Birds of Paradise) kindergarten, where children are now enjoying clean, safe water.

We next collected $13,700 for a second and much larger filter system at the UN Girl’s Elementary school in the Rafah Refugee Camp. This donation on June 7, 2011 helped supply 1,800 young girls with a very basic human right; something children and parents in Wisconsin take for granted.

Our current goal is to collect $11,500 to provide clean water to the Al-Shuka Preparatory Girl’s School in Rafah, with an attendance of 1,187 students. The total raised as of 4/30/12 is $6,890 or 60%.

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Israeli Intransigence Lets BDS Into the Mainstream

Alex Kane, December 21, 2010

The world is fed up with Israel, with its continued colonization of the West Bank, its continued ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem, its suffocating siege of Gaza and its crackdown on nonviolent Palestinian popular resistance. This major Human Rights Watch report exposes the infrastructure of Israeli apartheid.

Israeli intransigence on the settlements issue has provided an opening for some more mainstream endorsements of the the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

The Human Rights Watch report states:

The United States should consider suspending financing to Israel in an amount equivalent to the costs of the Israeli government’s spending in support of settlements and the discriminatory policies documented in this report, since the US’s $2.75 billion in annual military aid to Israel substantially offsets these costs.

And a week and a half ago, twenty-six former European Union leaders penned a letter that called for sanctions against Israel.

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First Rafah Water Filter Project

 

Hello everyone,

Thought you might like to see these pictures of the first water filter installed in the kindergarten in Rafah….from the funds raised over the past year. As we requested, our gift inscription is in memory of Ken Coffeen.

Barb O.

 

Hi Barb and Kathy,

I just received these photos of the completed water purification and desalination unit at Tuyor Al-Jena Kindergarten! Thanks so much for making this unit possible!

Best,
Josie Shields-Stromsness
Middle East Children’s Alliance
www.mecaforpeace.org

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November 17, 2010
Gilbert Achcar: "The Arabs and the Holocaust"


(Photo: The Arabic Hour)

Gilbert Achcar
“The Arabs and the Holocaust:
The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives”
Wednesday, November 17
UW-Madison
(Room to be announced — see “Today in the Union”)
7:00 pm

Noted Middle East scholar, historian and intellectual Gilbert Achcar will be speaking in Madison on November 17th. Touring the US to promote his latest book, The Arabs and the Holocaust: The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives, he’ll be appearing in what promises to be an informative event for all those wishing to understand the conflicts in the Middle East. As a co-sponsor of this event, Rainbow Bookstore encourages all its friends to turn out and hear this important voice.

A major critic of imperialism in the region, Achcar is currently Professor of Development Studies and International Relations at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. His previous books have been translated into more than fifteen languages. Among them are The Clash of Barbarisms: The Making of the New World Disorder (Saqi, 2010), The 33-Day War: Israel’s War on Hezbollah in Lebanon and its Consequences (Co-authored with Noam Chomsky, Paradigm Publishers, 2007).

About The Arabs and the Holocaust:

The Arab-Israeli conflict goes far beyond the wars waged in the Middle East. There is a war of narratives revolving around the two defining traumas of the conflict: the Holocaust and the Nakba. Middle East expert Gilbert Achcar critically assesses Arab attitudes to the Holocaust, which he argues are closely related to the dynamics of the Arab-Israeli conflict since 1948. From Hitler’s rise to power up to the present day, he identifies a wide range of reactions among the Arab world’s four main idealogical movements: pro-Western liberalism, pan-Arab nationalism, Islamic fundamentalism and Marxism. Based on a thorough examination of sources in several languages, including Arabic, English, French and German, “The Arabs and the Holocaust” is a major contribution to the discourse of the Arab-Israeli conflict. It is also groundbreaking in its effort to bridge the gap between the conflicting narratives and to promote mutual understanding.

‘This is a work of breath-taking empathy, examining one of the most painful and emotion-laden topics in the modern world with dispassion, sensitivity and high erudition. Gilbert Achcar combines a historian’s profound understanding of the workings of Arab political discourse with a fine appreciation of the traumatic valance of every aspect of this topic. This magisterial study constitutes a welcome advance on the often meretricious and mediocre scholarship produced thus far on the important topic of the Arabs and the Holocaust.’ — Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies Department of History, Columbia University

‘Essential reading for anyone who seeks a balanced understanding of the place of Jews and the Holocaust in Arab thinking today. Whether or not one agrees with Gilbert Achcar on every issue, he provides a welcome and well-informed counterpoint to caricaturists and hate-mongers and fear-promoters of every persuasion. His is a voice of moderation in a bitter conflict, and it is all the more valuable for being steeped in the history and idiom of the Arab Middle East.’ — Michael R. Marrus, author of The Holocaust in History

‘In this study Gilbert Achcar exposes a great deal of spurious scholarship on the subject and places Arabattitudes towards the Holocaust and the Jews in their proper historical and intellectual context. It is an erudite, perceptive, and highly original study that shines much-needed light on a field which has tended to be dominated by partisanship and propaganda.’– Avi Shlaim, author of The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World

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