for the International Festival (2/27-3/5) and International Women’s Day (3/6)
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.
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.
Space is Limited
This event is a benefit for food parcels for Palestine & Lebanon, in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Last year at this time my friend Laila was visiting the US, bringing the fabulously beautiful hand embroidered work of Women in Hebron to Fair Trade holiday craft shows and church basements and the homes of friends.
Laila can’t travel here from Palestine now, and the cooperative can no longer sell their work to tourists in the Old City of Hebron, because there are no tourists in the Holy Land. Their shop in the souk, the first to be operated by women, is shuttered and dark along with all the rest.
This video tells the history of Women in Hebron Fair Trade Co-op since their founding in 2005.
But now you can support Women in Hebron from home by shopping at their new online store at Palestine Partners, and I really hope that you’ll join me in doing just that this holiday season. You’ll find find beautiful one-of-a kind hand made tree ornaments, bags, purses, pillow covers, placemats, backpacks, and more there, all decorated with stunning Palestinian embroidery. And best of all, buying these products will make a huge positive difference in the lives of the women who make them.
Laila worked so hard on last year’s trip here. She kept a schedule that would put most people on the couch for weeks – traveling back and forth across the US on trains and busses, with two huge duffle bags and a backpack filed with gloriously colored hand embroidered ornaments and scarves and placemats and pillow covers and coin purses and bags – and even small cats wearing tiny traditional Palestinian Kuffiyas. She has a huge heart, and an unbelievably strong spirit, and I have never known her to complain, but she recently told me that the impact of COVID has turned the clock back 20 years for the women she works with.
For many of these women the co-operative presented the very first chance to independently earn a living and care for themselves and their families through their own labor in a just and supportive cooperative setting. Now with COVID, the loss of sales has been devastating. Beautiful products are waiting on shelves, and the cooperative is unable to purchase additional materials, or pay women for the creation of new products, until they are able to sell the inventory.
So I’m asking you now, please, shop at their online store. These women need to work.
Our online store, Madison-Rafah Marketplace, has added crafts to our olive oil sales. We offer ceramics, embroidery, jewelry, kufiyas, woodcrafts, and calendars.
For the month of November make this your one-stop shopping for holiday gift giving. Spend your money on products that support your values. Give gifts that give twice, once to the producer and once to your recipient.
Since 2004 the Madison-Rafah Crafts Committee has worked with fair trade organizations in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank to purchase mostly traditional crafts. We buy them at fair trade prices, helping the artists support their families and the economy of Palestine.
We hope you will be able to participate in this annual event. As always, thank you for your support.
Dear Members and Friends of MRSCP,
Mark your calendars for the upcoming Madison Fair Trade Holiday Festival, which has gone virtual this year due to the pandemic.
The sale will be during the month of November. Make this your one stop shop for all your holiday gift giving. Spend your money on products that support your values; give gifts that give twice, once to the producer and once to the recipient.
You will be able to browse all the participating vendors and order directly from their websites by visiting Madison Fair Trade Holiday Festival.
You can also follow the Festival on Facebook.
MRSCP will be participating in the virtual sale via our online store, Madison-Rafah Marketplace. We will carry most of our usual items.
(The store is currently up and running for olive oil sales; our complete product listings will be available when the Festival opens.)
Note: MRSCP CANNOT ship or deliver any purchases; they need to be picked up. You will receive instructions and a pickup window following your purchase. In hardship cases, we may be able to provide delivery.
We hope you will be able to participate in this annual event, and as always, thanks for your support.
Edward Said National Conservatory of Music (Ahdaf Soueif for PalFest)
Massive Attack, Steve Coogan, Peter Gabriel, Maxine Peake, Philip Pullman and Benjamin Zephaniah are among 60+ cultural figures to put their names to an open letter condemning attacks on key Palestinian cultural centres.
The letter says the attacks are ‘part of a well-documented campaign of harassment and intimidation, arrests, home demolitions and forced evictions’ by the Israeli government.
Brian Eno says: ‘These raids … seem designed to break the morale of the Palestinian people, to deny them the last thing that they actually own: their culture’
The artists call for ‘targeted and lawful sanctions’ against Israel.
Signatories to the letter include:
In an open letter published today (copied below) more than sixty musicians, artists, writers and filmmakers say that the ransacking of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music (ESNCM), the Yabous Cultural Centre and the Shafaq Cultural Network in occupied East Jerusalem, and the arrest of their respective directors, ‘threaten to extinguish cultural life for thousands of artists, students and people in wider society’. (1)
The British Consulate in Jerusalem expressed its concern over the raids, via Twitter. (2) However, the artists say that expressions of concern are not enough.
Date: 23 July 2020
Time: 09 30 GMT
On Wednesday, 22 July 2020, Israeli occupation forces (IOF) raided Yabous Cultural Centre and Edward Said National Conservatory of Music (ESNCM) in the center of occupied East Jerusalem and confiscated thousands of documents, files, PCs, tablets, and surveillance cameras. At the same time, IOF raided a house owned by the couple: Rania Elias and Suhail Khouri, Directors of the abovementioned centers, in Beit Hanina village, north of occupied East Jerusalem. IOF searched the house and confiscated several devices and private files and arrested both Khouri and Elias.
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns IOF’s illegal and systematic violations targeting the presence of Palestinian associations in occupied East Jerusalem and aiming at altering the city’s features. PCHR calls on the international community to pressure IOF to stop their attacks and attempts to change the city’s features and create Jewish majority in addition to threatening Palestinian presence, last of which was the arrest of Jerusalem’s Mayor a week ago pending investigation, and activating relevant security Council resolutions, including the resolutions that cancel changing the status of the holy city.
According to PCHR’s follow-up, at approximately 09:00 on Wednesday, 22 July 2020, an Israeli force of the police and Intelligence Service raided Yabous Cultural Centre and ESNCM on al-Zahra’a street in occupied East Jerusalem, and confiscated documents, files, PCs, tablets, and surveillance cameras. Mohammed Maraghah, Director of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music, said that an Israeli force of police and Intelligence Service stationed adjacent to ESNCM waiting for the staff to arrive before raiding it, alleging that they have a search warrant from the Israeli police and approved by the court, that allow them to search ESNCM and confiscate the devices and files alleging connection to funding terrorism. An Israeli force also arrested Dawoud al-Ghoul, Director of Jerusalem Arts Network – Shafaq after raiding his house in Silwan village, and confiscated documents and files.
Maraghah added that IOF confiscated large numbers of files and PCs, financial files of the years from 2014 – 2020, and 7 PCs and all papers from the center. Mraghah also said that about 15 Israeli police and intelligence officers were inside ESNCM, in addition to other forces deployed in its vicinity. They also confiscated about 21 medium-sized boxes of files and devices from both centers and the surveillance cameras. It should be noted that IOF confiscated devices Khuori and Elias’ house, Directors of both centers. Maraghah emphasized that IOF raided both centers under the pretext of counter-terrorism and alleged having a search warrant by the Israeli court that allowed them to confiscate any content in the center without explanation. Maraghah pointed out that IOF raided ESNCM auditor’s office in Jerusalem.
For his part, Nasser Oudah, the couple’s lawyer, said that Khouri and Elias were detained at Abu Ghnaim police station, south of occupied East Jerusalem on charges of financing terrorist organizations. They were interrogated for 12 consecutive hours and then released with conditions. As for Dawoud al-Ghoul, Director of Jerusalem Arts Network, his detention was extended until appearing before court the next day.
Israeli authorities claimed during a joint statement by the Israeli spokesperson for the Israeli police in Jerusalem, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice, and a spokesperson for the Tax Authority, that the detention was based on confidential investigation of suspicious violations and serious economic crimes related to income tax evasion, money laundering, and other crimes.
It should be noted that Suhail Khouri (57), contributed in establishing multiple artistic and cultural institutions in Palestine in addition to developing ESNCM with its branches spread across Palestinian cities. As for his wife, Rania Elias, who runs Yabous Cultural Centre, a Palestinian civil society organization founded in 1995 and based in East Jerusalem that aims at reviving the cultural life in the occupied city, and shedding a light on the city’s importance, its Arab identity, history, and its religious, political and cultural influences.
PCHR believes that IOF’s practices are illegal and falls under a systematic policy adopted by the Israeli occupation authorities against occupied East Jerusalem and its associations since its occupation in June 1967, which aims at uprooting Palestinians from the city, deleting their heritage and fighting any proof of their existence and history in the city; changing its features in favor of settlement expansion and to create a Jewish majority and identity to the City to impose facts on the ground that nullify the Palestinian right to it.
THE ANCIENT BAPTISMAL FONT ALLEGEDLY STOLEN FROM TUQU BY ISRAELI FORCES. (PHOTO: MA’AN NEWS AGENCY)
Palestinians from a Bethlehem-area town are accusing Israeli forces of illegally seizing an ancient artifact from their town in the predawn hours of Monday morning.
The incident took place in the southern occupied West Bank town of Tuqu, which is said to be the birthplace of the biblical prophet Amos, and is home to a number of Byzantine-era archaeological sites.
Video footage, purportedly taken by residents of Tuqu, shows Israeli military forces escorting a large flatbed truck out of the village in the middle of the night.
On the bed of the truck is a massive stone, alleged to be a baptismal font that dates back to the sixth century A.D., that was once part of an ancient church in the village.
The unique octagonal shape of the stone, which has been widely studied by Palestinian cultural organizations, is easily identifiable in the video.
The baptismal font is reported to be one of three rare basins of its kind. The other two were found in the Church of Nativity, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, and the Church of Beit Jibrin, an ancient Palestinian village near Hebron that was forcibly depopulated in 1948.
Original artwork and signed prints that were hand-carried out of Gaza. This auction offers over 100 pieces by seven artists who are struggling to share their vision and their stories with the outside world.
Despite the ongoing eleven year-long blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt on the Gaza Strip and the violence and human rights tragedies that surround them, artists in Gaza are using creativity to translate their hope and a stark reality into art.
The Gaza artists directly benefit from the sale of their work, which include originals and signed, limited edition prints. Funds will also support the work of Rebuilding Alliance. We hand-carried many of these pieces out of Gaza, and we’re so proud to be working with the artists to bring this to you!
Since registering as a 501(c)3 nonprofit in 2003, Rebuilding Alliance has been working with coalitions around the world who are dedicated to helping war-torn neighborhoods rebuild and promoting citizen and diplomatic engagement, worldwide, to make them safe.