UNRWA USA’S Virtual Gaza 5K & Art Auction


Announcing the First-Ever
Nationwide Virtual Gaza 5K

+
Digital Festival Art Auction!

Everyone’s mental health is being tested as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but we won’t all suffer the same.

From the United States to Palestine, no person should have to suffer constant distress.

And while the global pandemic has caused events, travel, and even people to be canceled, you can join UNRWA USA for an interactive Gaza 5K + Digital Festival on Saturday, September 12, 2020, bringing together community, running, music, and entertainment for a good cause — providing mental health for refugee kids in the Gaza Strip. And now, due to the crisis in Lebanon, a portion of the proceeds from the Gaza 5K will be dedicated to our urgent relief fund for Palestine refugees in Lebanon.

Continue reading

May 14-15, 2020
Key to Justice: Ending the ongoing Palestinian Nakba

Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), 5/11/20

#KeyToJustice Webinar – May 14, 4 PM Palestine time: Rafeef Ziadah, Marta Ill and Rey Perez Asis will discuss the connections between the Palestinian struggle to end the ongoing Nakba and the struggles of millions of refugees, migrants and those struggling for adequate housing worldwide, particularly during the pandemic.

#KeyToJustice Global Action – May 15: Share a photo of yourself on social media holding a key, and tag your post with #KeyToJustice. Learn how to make a key at home with this do-it-yourself video. The key symbolizes not just Palestinian refugees’ return, but the connectedness of our struggles for equality, dignity and freedom, for all those without homes, facing brutality and resisting erasure.

Online Nakba Day Rally – May 15, 9 PM Palestine time: With speakers and performers including DAM, Janna Jihad, Diana Buttu, Roger Waters and Ken Loach. Organized by Palestine Solidarity Campaign (UK), Jewish Voice for Peace (US), South African BDS Coalition, and the BDS Movement.

Our collective mobilisations will help turn the #KeyToJustice.

Oppose the Israeli Annexation of Palestinian Land

This is a new group in the LaCrosse area that is becoming more active on Palestinian issues. Please consider signing and circulating this petition.

COULEE REGION COALITION FOR PALESTINIAN RIGHTS, 3/6/20

To: Our elected officials
From: [Your Name]

We urgently oppose the threatened annexation by Israel of Palestinian land in the West Bank.

Israel has militarily occupied the West Bank since 1967, and has since built an extensive network of illegal Jewish settlements and connecting roads. There are now over 600,000 Jewish settlers in the West Bank.

Netanyahu and Gantz, leaders of the two largest Israeli political parties, have been emboldened to ​break international law through annexation ​of this territory by the release of the Trump administration’s ‘Deal of the Century’ on January 20, 2020.

The annexation envisioned in that plan includes the fertile Jordan Valley in addition to those settlements and roads. Palestinian land is already fragmented into enclaves of villages, farms and a handful of densely populated cities – comparable to the Bantustans of Apartheid South Africa.

Annexation would extend, legalize and attempt to make permanent this theft of Palestinian land by making it part of Israel.

The US provides $3.8 billion of military aid to Israel each year. These are our tax dollars being used to prop up an Israeli state that violently suppresses Palestinian human rights and now plans to steal their land.

We call on you, as our elected official, to announce publicly that you will support legislation withdrawing all military funding to Israel if it proceeds with this illegal annexation of Palestinian land.

Continue reading

March 6-7, 2020
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE: REFUGEES IN/FROM THE MIDDLE EAST

Policy Implications, Education, and Artistic Representations

 

Pyle Center
720 Langdon St
UW-Madison

 

This interdisciplinary conference brings together scholars from the social sciences and humanities who examine forced migration within the context of the Middle East.

Conference Program

Friday, March 6, 4 to 6 pm
Mohamad Hafez Keynote Lecture “HOMELAND inSECURITY”
Nancy Nicholas Hall (co-sponsored with the School of Human Ecology, 1300 Linden Drive)

Syrian artist and architect Mohamad Hafez will offer a very personal view of what it’s like for an upper-middle class Damascene family to become forced migrants – their lives before and after, decision points, forced hands, and adjustment to new realities.  This will be an opportunity to better understand what the biggest humanitarian crisis since World War II looks like to an individual and family who have been through it. Mr. Hafez creates mixed and multi-media sculptures representing Middle Eastern streetscapes and buildings besieged by civil war, deliberately contrasted with hopeful verses from the Quran, audio recordings from his homeland, and other elements of his Islamic heritage.

Saturday, March 7 (313 Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St, Madison, 53706)
9:00 to 10:45: Panel 1. National, Regional, and Global Policy toward Refugees:

  • Marcia Inhorn (Yale University) “America’s Wars and Iraqis’ Lives: Refugee Vulnerabilities and Reproductive Exile in “Arab Detroit”
  • Yasemin Ipek (George Mason University) “Humanitarian Refugees in Turkey: Syrian Support for Syrians”
  • Sarah Alghamdi (York University) “Examining the Prospects for Refugee Rights in Tunisia”.

Continue reading

What Valentine’s Day Means in Gaza, Palestine

Hani and his uncle and daughter in front of an UNRWA school in the Gaza Strip
Hani and his uncle and daughter in front of an UNRWA school in the Gaza Strip

UNRWA USA, February 7, 2020

Hani Almadhoun is UNRWA USA’s new Director of Philanthropy.

Though he now lives in Virginia with his wife and daughters, he grew up in the Gaza Strip. Hani’s father was an UNRWA teacher in Gaza and his family benefited from UNRWA services there, so he can speak firsthand from personal experience about the work UNRWA does and how the Gaza Strip has changed over the past few decades.

Below, Hani reflects on these changes through the lens of Valentine’s Day.

Hani Almadhoun’s reflection on Valentine’s Day and
what it means for Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip

Now – March 15, 2020
Exhibit: Unpacked: Refugee Baggage

Including Palestinian textiles provided by MRSCP

Lynn Mecklenburg Textile Gallery, Room 1235
School of Human Ecology
1300 Linden Drive, UW-Madison

“UNPACKED: Refugee Baggage” seeks to humanize the word “refugee.” This multimedia exhibit features the sculptures of Mohamad Hafez, a Syrian-born, Connecticut-based artist and architect who re-creates war-torn domestic interiors within suitcases. Each piece is based on interviews with refugees who were forced to leave their homes in countries ranging from Syria and Afghanistan, to the Democratic Republic of Congo, and who now reside in the United States. The exhibit will be accompanied by pieces from the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection.

Directions, hours, and more information.

Rep. Mark Pocan on Trump’s Peace Plan

Progressives must take a stand against the Trump administration’s endorsement of Israeli apartheid and, instead, support the Palestinian demands for freedom, self-determination, and the right of refugees to return to their homeland.

Endorse “Freedom Is the Future,” a joint project of US Campaign for Palestinian Rights and Adalah Justice Project.


January 12, 2020
Building Bridges and Border Presentation

Portraits of Immigrants and Refugees

502 Mark Drive
Verona, WI
6:30 – 9 pm

Family Diversity Projects‘ photo-text exhibit shares the stories of immigrants and refugees who have arrived in the U.S. from all over the world. The Jan. 12 reception features a presentation by members of Plymouth UCC who participated in a mission immersion experience at the U.S./Mexico Border. Other Madison area organizations who assist immigrants and refugees will be available to share their missions as well.

Schedule:
6:30 – 7 pm: Exhibit opens for self-guided tours. Reception.
7-8 pm: Members of Plymouth UCC, Madison will share their experiences at the U.S./Mexico border.
8-9 pm Local groups who assist immigrants and refugees will be available with information, and the exhibit is open for touring.

Free and open to the public.

January 13-February 2, 2020
The exhibit is open weekdays 10 am – Noon and 7-9 pm, or by appointment.

Contact Sarah Pundt, Director of Christian Education
(608) 845-7315
spundt at salemchurchverona.org

The U.N. once predicted Gaza would be ‘uninhabitable’ by 2020. Two million people still live there.

The shoreline in Gaza City during strong winds on Christmas Day.   (Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images )
The shoreline in Gaza City during strong winds on Christmas Day (Mohammed Abed-AFP-Getty Images)

Hazem Balousha and Miriam Berger, The Washington Post, January 1, 2020

GAZA CITY — Jana Tawil was born in 2012, the same year that the United Nations released an alarm-raising report on the state of the Gaza Strip: If the prevailing economic, environmental and political trends continued, the organization warned, the besieged coastal enclave sandwiched between Israel and Egypt would become unlivable by 2020.

The United Nations revised its initial rating in 2017 to warn that “de-development” was happening even faster than it first predicted.

Jana’s father, 35-year-old Mahmoud Tawil, never thought much of that assessment.

“When the U.N. report [said] that Gaza would be unlivable, I felt that Gaza was not fit for life in the same year, not in the year 2020,” he said.

That is the bleak reality facing Gaza’s 2 million Palestinian residents as they approach a new year and new decade: still stuck living in a place the world has already deemed uninhabitable in perhaps the most surreal of 2020 predictions.

The Tawil family lives in Gaza’s al-Shati refugee camp, or the Beach camp, where cramped and crumbling rows of homes sit adjacent to the Mediterranean Sea. It is in theory a scenic view — but life here persists on a parallel plane.

Continue reading