from Josie Shields-Stromsness, Middle East Children’s Alliance
maia bro for online
Contribute online at MECAforPeace.org/Madison
First Unitarian Society
900 University Bay Drive
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Ahmed Abu Artema wrote a Facebook post on January 7, 2018 from his home in Rafah, Gaza that echoed an idea that has reverberated throughout Palestinian history: What would happen if Palestinians marched nonviolently and in large numbers towards the boundary fence with Israel to demand respect for their rights and call attention to the Israeli-imposed blockade that has created hardship for millions of people for more than a decade?
On March 30, 2018, the #GreatMarchofReturn became a reality, grabbing headlines around the world. Ahmed Abu Artema will share his experience with the Great March of Return, his views on the future of nonviolent actions in Palestine, and his vision for a just and lasting peace. He will be joined by fellow Gaza native Jehad Abusalim, Chicago-based scholar and program associate for the American Friends Service Committee’s Gaza Unlocked campaign.
Free and open to the public. Refreshments and desserts including baklawa will be served. Palestinian olive oil, olive oil soap, crafts, and food items will be for sale. Please join us as we honor Rachel Corrie and welcome Ahmed Abu Artema to Madison.
Co-sponsors: American Friends Service Committee-Madison; Amnesty International Group 139; Bright Stars of Bethlehem-Madison; Colombia Support Network; East Timor Action Network-Madison; Interfaith Peace Working Group; James Reeb Peace, Justice and Sustainability Group; Jewish Voice for Peace-Madison; Madison Friends Meeting (Quakers); Pax Christi-Madison; Playgrounds for Palestine-Madison; UNA-USA Dane County; Wisconsin Network for Peace, Justice and Sustainability: and Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom-Madison.
Thursday, Nov 15
12 noon – 1 pm
A Public Affair with host Allen Ruff will feature guests Zeiad Abbas Shamrouch, Executive Director of the Middle East Children’s Alliance, and Jeff Spitzer-Resnick, President of Congregation Shaarei Shamayim, discussing the water crisis in Gaza in advance of Madison’s November 20 fundraiser for Clean Water for the Children of Gaza.
Tune in at 89.9 FM or Listen Live online, and call in at 256-2001. There will also be a discussion of this week’s escalation of violence in Gaza. If you can’t listen live, you can find the show later in the WORT Archives.
First Unitarian Society
900 University Bay Drive
Help provide a Maia Project water filter from the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) to serve clean drinking water to 3,250 students of two schools and their families in Rafah. This is a joint project of Congregation Shaarei Shamayim, First Unitarian Society of Madison, Jewish Voice for Peace – Madison, and Madison-Rafah Sister City Project.
Free and open to the public. Donations will be gratefully accepted.
Can’t make the benefit but would still like to donate? You can donate online or send a check payable to MRSCP marked “water” to:
Co-sponsored by: Bright Stars of Bethlehem – local chapter, Call for Peace Drum and Dance Company, Christ The Solid Rock Baptist Church, Columbia Support Network, Eastside Planning Council, Ecumenical Peace Working Group, Family Farm Defenders, James Reeb Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Madison-Arcatao Sister City Project, Madison-area Urban Ministry, Madison Friends American Friends Service Committee Group, Mary House, Memorial United Church of Christ, Prairie Unitarian Universalist Social Action, Wisconsin Grassroots Network, UNA-USA Dane County Chapter, Amnesty International Group 139. Welcomed by WORT Radio.
Hosted by Jewish Voice for Peace-Madison and Congregation Shaarei Shamayim
Sunday, October 14
First Unitarian Society,
900 University Bay Drive, Madison
4 – 6 pm
Come hear about this important effort to provide clean drinking water to children in Gaza. Light snacks and beverages will be provided. Free and open to the public, but donations will be accepted to help provide a Maia Project water filter to two schools in Rafah.
Can’t make it? You can donate online or send a check payable to MRSCP marked “water” to:
10 am – 6 pm
2644 Branch Street, Middleton
Stop by to check out the Waterfest events and stop by our table, we’ll be selling olive oil & olive oil soap, earrings, kuffiyehs, and small embroidery items, and raising money to install a Maia Project water filter serving 3,250 students and their families in Gaza at two adjacent schools in Rafah.
Featuring Rachel’s parents, Craig and Cindy Corrie
Sunday, April 8
St. James Catholic Church
1128 St. James Court, Madison, WI
2:00 – 5:00 pm
Joe Catron and Islam Maraqa from the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) will also be presenting. Rachel was volunteering with this group on March 16, 2003 when she was killed by an Israeli soldier driving a Caterpillar bulldozer as she protested the demolition of a Palestinian family home in Rafah.
A clip from from the new film, Radiance of Resistance, about Palestinian youth activists Ahed Tamimi and Janna Ayyad will also be shown.
PLUS hummus and tabbouleh; desserts including baklawa; and the ever-popular DOOR PRIZES. Palestinian olive oil, olive oil soap, zaatar & maftool, embroidery and other crafts will be available for purchase.
The event is free and open to the public, with a $5 suggested donation to cover cost of food. Donations will be gratefully accepted to help support the Samira Remedial Education Project for disadvantaged and traumatized children in Rafah, the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice, and the ISM tour.
Co-sponsored by Madison-Rafah Sister City Project; Playgrounds for Palestine-Madison; Jewish Voice for Peace-Madison; Good Shepherd Parish Social Justice Committee; Amnesty International Group 139; Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom-Madison Branch; Colombia Support Network; Students for Justice in Palestine-UW Madison; and Bright Stars of Bethlehem. Welcomed by WORT Radio.
If possible, please RSVP to rafahsistercity at yahoo.com so that we are sure to have enough food.
Thursday, April 5, 12-1 pm, WORT 89.9 FM: A Public Affair host Allen Ruff will interview Craig and Cindy Corrie, parents of Rachel Corrie, about their daughter’s legacy and their work on behalf of peace and justice in Palestine during the 15 years since Rachel’s death in 2003. Call in at 256-2001 with your questions and comments, or listen live online.
GAZA KIDS NEED YOUR HELP!
Barb Olson, Madison-Rafah Sister City Project, March 9, 2018
For the third time, the Madison-Rafah Sister City Project (MRSCP) is partnering with the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) and the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice to fund the Samira Remedial Education Project in Rafah. Organized by the Rafah branch of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC), this project employs special education teachers and a social worker to provide psycho-social support to 180 economically disadvantaged and learning-disabled children age six to twelve and their families.
The Gaza Strip, turned by Israel’s siege into the world’s largest open-air prison, is already one of the poorest and most crowded places on earth. The educational system is overcrowded, unstable and inconsistent. Sanitation, water and electrical services barely function. Public services are weak and underfunded, especially those serving mainly women and children. The recent US cuts to The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) threaten to turn crisis into catastrophe. Three-quarters of Gaza’s 1.8 million people are refugees dependent on the schools, hospitals and food distributions of UNRWA just to survive. In addition, Gaza is subjected to frequent Israeli military land and sea attacks and has not recovered from the last decade’s three full-scale bombardments and invasions. Every one of the close to 1 million children in Gaza knows someone who was killed, injured or made homeless.
Children have been affected more than others because every aspect of their lives, especially the education system, has been repeatedly disrupted if not destroyed. Psychologically, the negative impact on children is enormous: nightmares, racing thoughts, nail-biting, panic attacks, uncontrolled urination, violent behavior and hyperactivity are common symptoms. It is estimated that at least 30 percent of all children in Gaza are so severely affected that they require some form of structured psycho-social intervention.
For the past couple of years, the Samira Remedial Education Project has been successfully intervening to develop the children’s skills and increase their ability to learn (especially reading, writing and mathematics); to support them psychologically and socially and rebuild their confidence; to implement scientific solutions to learning disabilities and reduce violent and disruptive behavior; to train families to better support their children; and to create job opportunities for qualified professionals in this field. Field trips, a children’s library and activities such as theater, music, art and reading help the staff to understand the children and create a space for the children to express their feelings.
The total cost of this project for the current phase is $14,049. The Rachel Corrie Foundation has pledged $2,000, MRSCP will contribute $2,500 and aims to raise at least $5,500 more by June, 2018 so that the project can be fully funded by MECA. We need your help to meet this goal! Please make checks payable to MRSCP with the note “Samira”, and mail to:
If you prefer to donate on line, you can do so through the Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA).