February 25, 2017
International Festival

Overture Center
State Street, Madison
10 am – 5 pm

Take a trip around the world in a day! Experience all the cultures that Madison has to offer through food, crafts and free performances. And join MRSCP as we once again present Palestinian fair trade products at the International Festival. We’ll be selling a brand new shipment of Palestinian extra-virgin olive oil, olive oil soap, embroidery, wood crafts, earrings, ceramics and kuffiyehs. It’s fun, and it’s free!

Your Passport to the Arts

Enjoy more than 30 FREE performances throughout Overture by artists who call Dane County home celebrating the rich cultural heritage within our community. Indulge in cuisines from around the world, browse stunning arts and crafts available for purchase and learn about the many local businesses with global connections.

International Festival

International Festival is on Saturday, February 25, 2017, 10:30 AM – 4:30 PM



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Palestinian Author Reflects on Life in Gaza

Lupe Salmeron, Madison365, December 5, 2016

An audience of around 30 people gathered to hear from talented blogger and political analyst Laila El-Haddad on Nov. 29 at The Crossing.

Laila El-Haddad is a talented blogger, political analyst, engaging public speaker, and parent-of-three from Gaza City. She is the author of Gaza Mom: Palestine, Politics, Parenting, and Everything In Between (2010); the co-editor of the anthology Gaza Unsilenced (2015); and co-author of The Gaza Kitchen: A Palestinian Culinary Journey (2nd Ed. 2016).

The evening started off with a Q & A between UW-Madison professor Nevine El Nossery and El-Haddad about her blog and books inspired by her experiences while living on the border in Gaza. That was followed by a short cooking demonstration and potluck social featuring samples of Palestinian food, including dishes from El-Haddad’s cookbook.

El-Haddad explained that initially, she created her blog to relieve and process some of the emotions and experiences she underwent while living in Gaza, but it then grew to be something much bigger.

“At the time, I had a close friend who I thought was really well informed but just had this kind of naivety about the whole experience. ‘Oh, you must be used to this by now, always being stranded,’ she said. And trying to explain, “Like no, you never get used to this kind of thing.’” El-Haddad said. “Or just being ill-informed in general about the modes and methods of transportation and lack of freedom of movement (in Gaza) that made me realize that there needs to be a better ways to communicate this experience than the traditional, ‘Here are the numbers, here are the facts, here are the maps’ kind of thing. That’s when I began to use the blog as a vehicle and kind of just blogging about everyday mundane experiences, as a vehicle for people to understand the bigger political issues that exist in the background.”

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To her, it was just a way to vent, but also inform her few readers about the events happening in Gaza. She did not realize how important her “everyday mundane experiences” were to others interested in Gazarian affairs.

“I didn’t think much about it at the time, but suddenly there was a lot of interest, including from like Israelis and others who had no other access,” she said. “It was all mediated cover from mainstream channels that were telling the same dismal, dark, anonymous story of Gaza. So that’s how it (her blog) became an effective tool to bypass all that.”

Rabha Elfarra was there to hear from El-Haddad, a neighbor who saw her grow up in Gaza.

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Update November 29, 2016
The Gaza Kitchen with Laila El-Haddad in Madison

The Gaza Kitchen: A Palestinian Culinary Journey is a cookbook and a documentary portrait of the Gaza Strip by Laila El-Haddad and Maggie Schmitt, published by Just World Books.

The Crossing
1127 University Avenue
Madison [Map]

4:30 pm: Gaza, From Blogging to Cooking and Everything In Between
A Conversation with Laila El-Haddad based on topics raised in her book, Gaza Mom, led by Prof. Nevine El Nossery
6:00 pm: Laila’s Table, A Celebration of Palestinian Food and Culture
Reflections by Laila El-Haddad on her book The Gaza Kitchen, followed by a short cooking demonstration and a potluck social featuring samples of Palestinian food, including dishes inspired by recipes from the book. RSVP’s to dwallbaum at gmail.com by Nov. 22 are encouraged for this part of the evening. Please bring a dish to pass if you can.  If you are interested in trying a recipe from the book, include that in your RSVP; we can either get you a recipe, or we do have books available for advance purchase ($30).

Laila El-Haddad is a talented blogger, political analyst, engaging public speaker, and parent-of-three from Gaza City. She is the author of Gaza Mom: Palestine, Politics, Parenting, and Everything In Between (2010); the co-editor of the anthology Gaza Unsilenced (2015); and co-author of The Gaza Kitchen: A Palestinian Culinary Journey (2nd Ed. 2016). All three books will be available for sale and signing at both events. If you want to purchase a book in advance, please contact rafahsistercity at yahoo.com.

Co-sponsored by: Madison-Rafah Sister City Project; Middle East Studies Program; Playgrounds for Palestine-Madison; Students for Justice in Palestine-UW Madison; WUD Cuisine; and WUD Distinguished Lecture Series. Additional support provided by Friends of Sabeel-North America.

  • Laila El-Haddad
  • The Gaza Kitchen, A culinary journey through the Gaza Strip:
  • The Gaza Kitchen is a cookbook which collects recipes from the culinary tradition of the Gaza Strip.  This is a rich cuisine which mixes Levantine and Egyptian influences, and is notably distinct from that of other parts of Palestine, reflecting the tortured political history of the Gaza Strip as well as the migratory patterns it has seen. 

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    November 20, 2016
    Orchard Ridge UCC Fair Trade Fair

    Sunday, November 20
    Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ
    1501 Gilbert Rd, Madison [Map]

    Annual Fair Trade Fair! Come find unusual and beautiful gifts and holiday items from around the world. All proceeds go to the organizations and their artisans to help them become self-sustaining.

    MRSCP will have a table offering kuffiyehs and other crafts, and olive oil.

    Update: April 3, 2016
    Annual Rachel Corrie Commemoration

    Sunday, April 3, 7 pm,
    Christ Presbyterian Church
    944 East Gorham Street, Madison WI

    You are invited to the annual Rachel Corrie commemoration: Dessert and an Eye-Witness Report

     
    Featuring a local activist just returned from volunteering with Operation Dove in the South Hebron Hills, Palestine

    Free and open to the public; beverages and desserts including baklawa will be served. Donations will help build a playground at the Qurtuba School in Tel Rumeida, Hebron.

    March 16, 2016 marks 13 years since an Israeli soldier bulldozed 23-year-old American peace activist Rachel Corrie to death as she protested the demolition of a family home in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Palestine. Each year at this time, the Madison-Rafah Sister City Project (MRSCP) honors Rachel’s memory with an event that benefits Palestinian children.

    This year, we feature an eye-witness report with slides & video about the non-violent people’s resistance in the South Hebron Hills, including the role of the international protective presence for shepherds, who graze Palestinian land near violent settler outposts, and children, who must travel a harrowing gauntlet of settler intimidation to reach their schools. Join us to hear these stories, and to learn about the Tel Rumeida playground and help us make it a reality.

    The event is also scheduled to feature a BRAND NEW shipment of gorgeous many-colored kufiyahs from Hirbawi Textiles and beautiful earrings from the Hebron Women’s Co-op. AND we’ll have olive oil and zaatar tasting; Holy Land Olive Oil will be on sale.

    Note: If possible, please RSVP to Donna Wallbaum at dwallbaum at gmail.com by Friday, April 1 so that we will be sure to have enough food. Co-sponsored by: MRSCP; Playgrounds for Palestine-Madison; Mary House of Hospitality; and American Friends Service Committee of the Madison Friends Meeting

    Update:
    Co-sponsored by: Madison-Rafah Sister City Project, Playgrounds for Palestine-Madison Chapter, Mary House of Hospitality, Christ Presbyterian Church Middle East Action Team; and the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) of Madison.

    Like to contribute to the playground but can’t come to the event? You can send a check made out to MRSCP marked “playground” to:

      MRSCP
      P.O. Box 5214
      Madison, WI 53705

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    December 15, 2012
    Bethlehem Christmas Lutheran Church Benefit


    Craft and Cookie Sale to benefit Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem

    Saturday, December 15
    Memorial Memorial United Church of Christ
    5705 Lacy Road, Fitchburg [Map]
    9 am 12 pm

    Annual holiday event benefits Memorial UCC partnership with the Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem in the West Bank of Palestine. Fellowship Hall will be transformed into a holiday bazaar featuring holiday cookies sold by the pound and handmade crafts galore.

    For information contact Nancy Baumgardner: nancybaumgardner (at) gmail.com.