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30 December, 2008

Festival international du film sur les droits de l’homme en Gironde (à Pessac)

Alrowwad founder and director Abdelfattah Abusrour
will participate in the International Festival on Human
Rights in the Gironde-France between January 12-18th, 2009

Jeudi 15/01/2009
Festival international du film sur les droits de
l’homme en Gironde (à Pessac)

à l’initiative du Secours Catholique

et en partenariat avec la Pastorale des Migrants et de

nombreuses associations : Amnesty international,

ATD Quart-Monde, Médecins du Monde, CCFD...


Place de la Ve République – 33600 PESSAC 05 56 46 00 96
Accès par le Tram ligne B arrêt Pessac Centre

Au Cinéma Jean Eustache pour la durée du festival, proposée par les Amis d’Al-Rowwad, elle présente les créations des jeunes du camp réfugiés d’Aïda à Bethléem, dans le cadre du programme « Images For Life » du Centre Culturel Al-Rowwad

  • 19 h Séance inaugurale du Festival au Cinéma Jean Eustache :
Présentation du Festival par Christian JARRY Délégué du Secours Catholique

Intervention de M Abdelfattah ABUSROUR Directeur du Centre AL-ROWWAD pour la Culture situé dans un camp de réfugiés palestiniens à Bethléem.

Conférence du Président de ce festival Maître Pierre LANDETE, Avocat à la Cour, ancien membre du Conseil de l’Ordre et ancien Président d’IDE (Institut Défense Etrangers) – Président de l’Association « Cotton Tree » France-Sierra Leone sur le thème :

Et interventions de : Jean-Jacques Benoit Maire de Pessac, Alain Rousset, Député, Président du Conseil Régional d’Aquitaine
  • vers 20 h : Pot à l’Espace Jacques Ellul au dessus du Cinéma
  • 21 h Film « LA MAISON AL HADAD » (Israël/Palestine) durée 55 mn
Débat animé par Christophe LUCET, Journaliste à Sud-Ouest Dimanche avec Abdelfattah ABUSROUR Directeur du Centre AL-ROWWAD pour la Culture situé dans un camp de réfugiés palestiniens à Bethléem

28 December, 2008

wishes 2009

May every new year brings you Peace
The letters seem confused in front of me, while I am trying to wish all of you a happy new year, where unity is filling the hearts and homelands, where return is very close to refugees wherever they are, where the countries are full of cries of joy and happiness, where the laughs of children and the melodies of Oud present their adieu to all the past injustice and pain, and our brooms sweep away the remains of an unjust occupation and colonies that burned everything dry and green, and those artists paintings that embodied the sufferings of our people are put in the museums of memories…
What shall I wish you? While our worries grow bigger every day, and our differences come closer and our unity part away, and our Palestinian conscientious fades away to a bag of flour and a charity action, and a pity on an orphan or a widow in the umbrage of their demolished house, and the fire is still warming the remains of naked bodies in the miscreant cold.
What shall I wish to this people who is still singing for a past glory, and glorifying persons who have lost every ability to be creative and who still lead us from defeat into defeat?
What shall I wish you, professors of politics and changemakers in this country, and chiefs of political parties?
What Shall I wish to those who forget that Palestine is bigger than us all, and that Palestine is more important than a political party or political agenda? What shall I wish to those who mixed up our priorities that we are lost in negotiations and agreements that have no beginning or end… and we keep ruminating the past for dreams that are forgotten by even those who created them, and we are still kneeling for this and that, for those who have been hit with a shoe or those who walked on the red carpet.
What shall you wish you, you who reads or doesn’t read, you who listens and sees, you who cares and doesn’t care?
I still whish what I always wish… that we and our country are good and safe… that our dreams are bigger than our realities, that we are not used to the conditioning policy on the ground to accept these realities on the ground, and that we don’t volunteer to be the advocates of this illegal occupation because neither the realities on the ground will force us to forget our rights, nor the colonies or so called settlements, or checkpoints or so called barriers, nor the apartheid illegal wall so called fence, nor new constructions can force us to forget our homes, and villages and our rights of return, nor imaginary agreements or speeches that can force us to forget our dreams of freedom and the blood of our martyrs, nor announcements or conferences or funding can force on us an agenda of whoever…
I still wish for those who still have whatever power, from those who still have a true heritage and a national spirit that our dresses, food and drinks are fully Palestinian, made by the hands of our own workers who do not find a place to work in, and that we stop buying or dealing with those who are killing our people and destroy every seed of humanity that we have in us. I still wish that we preserve this humanity in us, and this beauty in us, in this “Palestinianity” that we have in us, and say to the child and the adult, to the responsible and those who are under the responsibility that we all share the responsibility of change making, and nobody has the right to remain silent and nobody has the luxury to despair.
I still wish that I live in a free country, as a free human being, son of free people, on a free land, in a free world, where all people are equal partners in changing the ugly present in a more beautiful future .
Maybe this is a dream, in a time where dreams became hallucinations… I don’t care, because dream makes of us human beings who love life, and want to keep this life and humanity alive, and makes of us “a people who forgot to die” in the West Bank and the slaughtered Gaza, and in the scattered parts of this country between an ocean and a gulf.May I wish you a dream, and that a dream and a right and a wish that come through, and a country that is free, and a human that makes his own unity, dignity, and realizes his wishes and dreams.

كل عام وانتم بسلام
تتداخل الأحرف أمامي وأنا أحاول أن أتمنى للجميع عاما جديدا سعيدا والوحدة تملؤ القلوب والأوطان، والعودة اقرب للاجئين من مرمى العصا، والوطن تملؤه زغاريد الفرح، وضحكات الأطفال وترانيم عود يودع ما مضى من ظلم واضطهاد، ومكانسنا تنظف بقايا آثار احتلال بغيض ومستوطنات سرقت الأخضر واليابس، ولوحات الرسامين التي جسدت معاناة هذا الشعب وضعت في متاحف الذاكرة....
ماذا أتمنى لكم، وهمنا ما زال يكبر يوما بعد يوم، وفرقتنا تقترب ذراعا ووحدتنا تبتعد اذرع، وهمنا الفلسطيني يضمحل الى كيس طحين وصدقة جارية وشفقة على يتيم وأرملة في ظل بيتهما المهدم، والنار ما زالت تدفئ بقايا هذه الأجساد العارية في برد لئيم

ماذا أتمنى لهذا الشعب الذي يغني لماضي ويمجد شخوصا فقدوا القدرة على الإبداع وما زالوا يقودنا من هزيمة الى هزيمة...
ماذا أتمنى يا أساتذة السياسة وصناع التغيير في هذا الوطن، ومسئولي الفصائل والأحزاب،
ماذا أتمنى لمن نسي أن فلسطين اكبر منا جميعا، وأحق بالتضحية من مصلحة حزب أو فصيل،
ماذا أتمنى لمن خربطوا أولوياتنا وأصبحنا نتوه في هذه المفاوضات والاتفاقيات التي ليس لها بداية أو نهاية... ونجتر الماضي لأحلام عفا عليها الزمن ونكرها من صاغها وما زلنا نحني قاماتنا لهذا وذاك، ومن ضرب بالحذاء ومن بسط له البساط الأحمر
ماذا اتمنى لكم، ولكل من يقرأ أو لا يقرأ، يبصر او يسمع، يهتم او لا يهتم
ما زلت اتمنى ما اتمنى، ان نكون والوطن بخير، وان تكون أحلامنا اكبر من واقعنا، وان لا نتعود على سياسة الترويض والقبول بالواقع عل الأرض، وان لا ننصب أنفسنا محامين لهذا الاحتلال، فلا حقائق على الأرض تنسينا حقوقنا، ولا مستوطنات أو حواجز او جدار فصل عنصري، أو أبنية تنسينا بيوتنا وقرانا وحقنا في العودة، ولا اتفاقيات وهمية أو خطابية تنسينا أحلامنا ودماء شهدائنا، والقابعين في سجون الاحتلال الاسرائيلي، ولا إعلانات او مؤتمرات او تمويلات تفرض علينا اجندة فلان ا وعلان....

ما زلت أتمنى ممن ما زالوا يصولون و يجولون، وممن ما زالوا يملكون ارثا حقيقيا وروحا وطنية ان يكون ملبسنا ومشربنا ومأكلنا فلسطينيا خالصا من صنع ابناء هذا الشعب الذي لا يجد مكانا للعمل، وان نكف عن الشراء والتعامل مع من يقتلنا ويذلنا ويدمر كل بذرة إنسانية فينا
ما زلت اتمنى ان نحافظ على هذه الإنسانية التي فينا، وهذا الجمال الذي فينا، وهذه الفلسطينية التي فينا، ونقول للكبير والصغير، للمسئول والرعية، بأننا جميعا نتحمل مسؤولية صنع التغيير لأن التغيير لا يأتي لوحده، وأننا ليس لنا حق السكوت عن الحق، ولا حق اليأس من واقعنا....
ما زلت اتمنى ان اعيش في وطن حر، كأنسان حر ابن شعب حر، على ارض حرة، في عالم حر، يتساوى فيه الناس شركاء في تغيير هذا الواقع لمستقبل اجمل
حلم ربما، في وقت أصبحت الأحلام فيه هلوسات، ولكن هذا ما يجعلنا منا بشرا يحب الحياة، ويحافظ على هذه الحياة والانسانية، ويجعلنا شعب "نسي ان يموت" في الضفة وفي غزة الذبيحة وفي أشلاء هذا الوطن المترامي بين محيط وخليج
كل عام ولكم حلم، ولكم حلم وحق يتحقق وامنية تتحقق ووطن يتحرر وانسان يصنع وحدته وكرامته ويحقق امنياته واحلامه

27 November, 2008

Les 21e Instants Vidéo Nomades

le jeudi 27 novembre 2008
18 h 30 au CRDP, 31 bd d’Athènes, 13001 (en bas des escalier de la gare)

Entrée libre

TILT / RDV N°31 avec... Les 21e Instants Vidéo Nomades

L’art vidéo, les prisonniers et Lieux Fictifs
Programmation de l’Atelier du Spectateur du Centre Pénitentiaire des Baumettes

De mars à juillet, sur invitation de Lieux Fictifs, Marc Mercier (avec la complicité de Soline Delabar) a animé un atelier du spectateur au sein de la prison des Baumettes. Des œuvres issues de la vidéothèque des Instants Vidéo furent proposées à huit stagiaires. Ils ont fait des choix. Ce sont ces œuvres que nous présentons ce soir, ainsi qu’un film qu’ils ont eux-mêmes réalisé : Ce qui nous sépare, ce qui nous réunit. Le débat qui suivra ces projections sera enregistré et restitué aux détenus des Baumettes le 3 décembre prochain.

 Ce qui nous sépare (guerre, mur, emprisonnement, répression…)
  • “L’axe du mal”, de Pascal Lièvre, France, 2003, 5’50
  • “Chic Point (Fashion for israeli checkpoints)” de Sharif Waked, Palestine, 2003, 7’
  • “Le temps confisqué (Kalandar)” Palestine, 3’
  • “Avant-Après” Liban, 2006, 3’
  • “La Nakba” (la catastrophe) d’Alrowwad Cultural and Theater Training, Palestine, 2005, 5’40
  • “Jean Genet in Chicago” de Frédéric Moffet, Canada, 2006, 26’

20h30 Interlude La parole des prisonniers

  • “Ce qui nous réunit, ce qui nous sépare” France, 2008, une vidéo réalisée par l’Atelier des spectateurs de la prison des Baumettes.

Ce qui nous réunit (art, résistance, espoir…)

  • “Theatre meets ritual” de l’Odin teatret, Danemark, 1976, 25’
  • “Jeune fille Sud Liban” Liban, 2006, 3’
  • “Abba-Mao” de Pascal Lièvre, France, 2001, 4’
  • “L’examen” de Abdelfattah Abusrour, Palestine, 2005, 15’

29 September, 2008

Eid Wishes September 2008

Eid 2008-09-29

Once again, the holy month of Ramadan comes to end. Once more people are preparing for Al-Eid, the Feast of Breaking the fast. Once more, people think how they can celebrate this Eid.Once more, we ask the same questions: How many checkpoints and roads will be open so that Palestinians can be able to circulate freely from place to place to visit their family members, relatives and friends? How many will be able to enjoy a vacation time in a green space or on a sea shore, or outside the country? How many people will be able to fly over the illegal separation wall to visit the holy places in Alquds-Jerusalem, or their friends or relatives? How many will be able to imagine how their families are living on the other shattered side of Palestine, whether they are in the West Bank or imprisoned in Gaza? How many people will be able to celebrate this feast in their family? How many Palestinian prisoners will be in the Israeli prisons during these days? How many people will be able to go to visit their relatives with a gift in their hands?
How many people will be able to hold their daughters and sons in their arms, and to print a kiss on their front? How many mothers will be able to smile or laugh to their child? How many dreams and hopes will be fulfilled, and how many others will be shattered? How many people will be able to return to their homes and villages, stolen and violated from them by the Zionist bandits in 1947, 1948 or 1949 or later on? How many people will die while dreaming of this return?But despite all of these questions, despite all this agony and frustration, despite all this suffering, we keep up the hope that tomorrow will be better than today, and that the future generations will have something to struggle for and a humanity to defend against all the ugliness of this occupation and violations of human rights and international law. We keep up the hope that we still know our priorities and ignore those which are dictated to us by the occupation state or complicit international community. Our priority is still and remains that Israeli occupation ends. That our land, what is above and what is below, our air, and sea are free, and are ours, without any control from any occupier, or a dictation from whoever.
We keep up the hope that this eid will bring happiness in sad houses, and hope in broken wills, and strength in tortured spirits, and restore the values in the human world.
We keep up hope that our children and the generations to come will feel and live and practice their humanity on all levels and be equal partners for making a beautiful change in this world.
Enjoy as long as you have time to enjoy… and be the change… so that one day, close or far, when you are about to enter the second world, you may close your eyes and peace and feel happy that you were able to plant a seed and make it grow and flourish and that you were able to make a positive change in this world
May your days and moments be more beautiful and filled with happiness and joy. May you in these moments remember us, in this holy, tortured, punished, cursed, occupied land of Palestine…. May Gaza and West Bank and every city, village and refugee camp fuse in one, and become a land were dreams come through. May all this world be one, were every human is equal and partner to make this world a joy to live in.
AbdelFattah Abusrour, PhD
Ashoka Fellow
Director of Al-Rowwad Cultural and Theatre Training Center

20 September, 2008

April-August 2008 Activity Report

Four months (April-August 2008) Activities report for Alrowwad activities.

Images for Life Unit (IFLU) Activities:

Video Training Course:

1. Mimi Nietula, a volunteer from Finland, started new video workshop at Alrowwad Center on July 1, 2008 that will continue until November 2008. Sixteen young participants are part of this training. The trainees are working through four groups who are supposed to produce their own documentary by the end of the training course that is covering both drama and fiction. The first part of the training dealt with theoretical aspects like basic concepts of documentary making and journalism, script writing, and interview techniques. Beside, they learnt basic video techniques, such as different shot sizes and angles. While the last part focused on editing techniques, especially the use of Adobe Premiere editing software. The participants are currently shooting, collecting information, editing and finalizing their documentaries. The titles of thymes of these movies are:
· How Palestinian youths spend their time.
· How worldwide inflation is hitting an already strained Palestinian economy.
· How a young Palestinian boy flies his hand-made kite over the separation wall when he himself cannot travel beyond its confines.
· How an elderly Palestinian joyously finds himself in his childhood home deep inside Israel, only to be shattered when he realizes it is only a dream.

2. Mobile Video Training: from seventh to 18th of July 2008, the World Film Collective delivered a ten-day workshop of how to use mobile phones in producing movies at Alrowwad Center to sixteen young Palestinians. By the end of the training, Participants produced two films about their hopes, ambitions and the obstacles they face in their daily lives. They used their own mobile phones to shoot different scenes. Participants received a DVD copy of their film, along with an Arabic handbook about Mobile Phone Filming.

3. Qattan Foundation Project “Midsummer Nights Film Festival”: This summer film festival is part of the classics of European cinema in Translation Project. Ten films were screened between August 18 - 26. The screenings took place at AlRowwad Center main hall. Some films were produced by Palestinians like “Little hands and the Cane” of Abdel Salam Shehadeh. While most of them were classical European films like “Modern Times” of Charlie Chaplin and “Letter from an Unknown Woman” of Max Ophuls. More then 30 people attended the opening night. While 15 – 20 people attended the remaining nights. An open discussion followed every screening.

4. Alrowwad Center has just finished Moving Movies project that was supported by Hoping Foundation. We screened different films in ten refugee camps around the West Bank. Films from the history of world cinema screened at either outdoor or indoor free of charge and open to everyone in the community. The project was a great opportunity to bring cinema to isolated population that has no access to movie shows. The project helped to raise awareness of the importance of filmmaking as a tool of communication and resistance. Varieties of movies screened to different audience, for children we screened cartoons, such as “The Lion King”, “Ice Age” and “Toy Story”, for the adults, movies like “I am Sam” and “Million Dollar Baby” were screened. An open discussion followed each screening in which the audience, both children and adults had the opportunity to talk about the movie. On July 21, about 450 people attended the screening of two movies at Alam'ari and Jalazon camps in Ramallah area. On the 22nd about 100 children attended the screening in Balata and Al Ein camps in Nablus area. At Aqabat Jabr camp in Jericho, an audience of 120 girls aged 13 to 17 watched the movie. Another team of Alrowwad was busy screening a movie at AlFara'a camp for 300 children in a place were once stood an Israeli prison. On July 26, two camps from Hebron area AlFawwar and AlArroub screened two movies to a group of 100 kids. The last show was in Aida camp where tens of kids watched and discussed the last screened movies.

5. “Breaking the Surface” documentary: Fran Tarr, a screenwriter and documentary filmmaker collaborated with IFLU to produce a documentary called “Breaking the Surface” during the first half of August. “Breaking the Surface” passionately, conveys the resilience of both Palestinian and American teenagers struggling with the adverse circumstances in their daily lives through their writing. It becomes clear these teenagers share a fear of failure, and an uncertain future overwhelmed by the call to revolutionize the environment in which they live. Through their writing, these teenagers demonstrate that they and their peers are not victims or predators but an integral, vulnerable part of the solution- dispelling misunderstandings and rectifying misconceptions. On an 18-day shoot, Fran guided ten AlRowwad students in the creation of an original collage play composed of their own writing, while exploring the identity of these teenagers separate to the tensions of their outside world. The high level of technical expertise and artistic vision of the Images for Life crew made “Breaking the Surface” a richer story. Once back in New York City Fran will begin filming the New York segment with students from Independence High School. “Breaking the Surface” will appear in film festivals around the world, HBO has expressed interest in viewing the final cut.

Art and Theatre Unit (ATU) Activities:

Theatre Trour in France and Belgium - June 19-August 1, 2008

Alrowwad Center has just finished its annual tour. This year the tour included France and Belgium. Twenty-one kids and three adults toured the two countries for 40 days where they performed in different towns and cities. The group consisted of actors and traditional Palestinian dancers. The theater group performed the play “Blame it on the Wolf” that was adopted and modified by Dr. Abdelfattah Abusour. The play tries to tackle stereotypes and the way they influence our behavior. While the dancing group amazed the audience every time, they took the stage by their beautiful performance. Trainings around the o'clock took place during weeks prior the tour to prepare the kids. Part of the work involved music composition and theatre décor. A new costume for the dancing group has been designed and prepared. The kids had more than 20 performances in several cities where thousands of people attended. It was a productive and meaningful tour in a sense of raising European about the daily life of Palestinians and showing them the true and beautiful image of them.

As part of our continuous support to other local organizations the clown group has performed to a group of 100 children in Bateer village that is located to the West of Bethlehem and surrounded by Israeli Settlements. The show took place during the month of august to support the work of a local organization there that help children with disabilities on the disabled international day.

Alrowwad Center hosted an Italian clown Mr. Biadro who came through Qattan Foundation and performed for a group of thirty kids from the camp. The idea of the show is to encourage kids to pursue their education and not to drop out of school. The show was highly interactive as the kids were included in the show.

Alrowwad Center hosted in August a will known actress from Jerusalem Mrs. Doreen who performed two solo performance for different groups in Aida camp to raise their awareness about children rights. In addition, two French artists who came through the French consulate entertained a group of 150 children in a wonderful puppets show.

The Italian Community Theatre visited Alrowwad Center and conducted a workshop in modern dance. The two trainers Mrs. Laura and Mr. Gigi trained six participants for three consecutive days of how to integrate the modern dance on our theatre and dabka shows.
A new project of drawing has just started to teach children of basic skills of drawing and the use of different colors. Two volunteers from Aida and Hebron Mr. Mahmoud Abusrour and Hanin Abukhsoum are going to start the lessons this coming week. The idea came after we hosted two French volunteers who conducted a workshop for fifteen young people from the camp. The drawings that children made are going to be shown in France as part of exhibition they are planning to do.
Because of the successful tour in France and the dedication and commitment of Mr. Osama Aljabri, the unit program manager tens of children are asking to join its activities. Currently the unit has 13 active groups; five theatre groups, two musical groups, three dancing groups, a newly formed hip-hop group, one drawing group, and one psychodrama group. Altogether, we have more than 70 kids involved on different activities. The center is very busy as we have trainings in daily bases to ensure the quality of our work.
Palestine TV has asked our Dabka and dancing group to be the only group that will perform every Thursday during the month of Ramadan for their Saharat Ramadania “Ramadan evenings” program.

Women Unit (WU) activities:

Mrs. Marwa Hamad had given birth to her second child two moths ago. Mother and baby are doing well now. Alrowwad Center congratulates Marwa and wishes her all the best. Because of Marwa’s delivery and the coming of Ramadan most of the activities of WU have been stopped. Usually this is a very busy month with little room for women to be involved in activities outside their houses.
Before the beginning of Ramadan, young girls and women continued their participation in fitness for beautiful change project. We have group of women and young girls who come on daily basis to join the project's activities. The young girls are part of ping-pong training, volleyball training, while women are part of the fitness training. The project will resume after the end of Ramadan.
The embroidery training has been concluding were six women finished a month long training of how to embroider Tahrira that is considered the most difficult style to master but at the same time one of the most beautiful. This training is part of continues effort to help our women to find job opportunities to generate income for their families.
The launching of sewing project that was partially funded by the Australian Representative in Palestine. The idea is to create a Palestinian clothing line and than to sell it through our international friends in their countries. So far, we finished the design and produced the first sample.

Free Medical Days: the WU organized in cooperation with other organizations and doctors several medical days during the past few months. On May 20, a two days event was organized with the Medical Relief Association a general medical day where about 33 people received checking and medicine. At the same day, another clinic for bones examination received 19 patients. On the last week of August, an eye-screening day offered checking for 30 persons where they received the needed medical care and advice about ways to take care of their eyes. This day was possible because of the presence of a French doctor Maya Brantzec who is currently volunteering in Palestine.
Three workshops organized by the unit, the first one was in cooperation with the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association about “abortion and emergency contraception: is it permissible or forbidden in Islam?” We hosted the Mufti of Bethlehem Sheikh Abdul Majid Ammarna to speak about this important issue to group of 25 women from Aida camp. The second one was arranged with the UNRWA for 15 women form the camp to talk about Mother and Child health care.

Aida Educational Enhancement Center (AEEC):
The AEEC conducted 12 days workshop over a period of three months in cooperation with the Red Crescent Society. The workshop discussed many important issues like sexual harassment, domestic violence, and adolescence stage.
Ms. Linda Jariysa conducted first aid workshop over two weeks period. Twenty women attended it. This was followed by 5 days workshop about menopause that was attended by 15 women.
Ms. Amal Abusrour conducted a workshop about the Palestinian election law for a group of 20 persons in the camp.

Environmental Unit (EU)

1. The Health and Environmental Unit continued its great work through the commitment of our volunteers Sandra and Janelle. Three days a week kids from the camp and the surrounding area attend workshops and join learning visits to organizations that work on environmental issues. So far more than 200 children has joined our activities that deals with issues such as dental care and personal hygiene, planting, littering and the importance of keeping the environment clean. Beside we arranged with the UNDP and other organization a one-day trip to one of the surrounding villages. We take 35 kids every month to different location in Bethlehem were they receiving lectures and tours about the environmental situation in the designated villages and how it affects the life of people.

General Activities:

1. The Second Outdoor Film Festival: Alrowwad Cultural and Theater Training Centre in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture in Palestine organized the Second Outdoor Film Festival on August 21-28, 2008 in Aida Refugee Camp in memory of the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish under the title “Across the Wall- Returnee”. The outdoor screening of selected Palestinian movies was on the apartheid wall. For eight consecutive nights, about 15 Palestinian produced movies screened at the wall that is surrounding Aida Refugee camp. At the beginning of each screening, Dr. Abdelfattah Abusrour recited one of Mahmoud Darwish poems at the beginning of every night of the festival. Alrowwad’s dabka and hip-hop groups performed before every screening. Well-known Palestinian filmmakers like Mohammed Bakri, the producer of “The Day you left”, Raed Andoni of “Improvisation” and Enas Muthaffar of “East to West” were invited. An open discussion with the producer followed each screening. At the closing ceremony, we screened “The Salt of this See” by Annemarie Jacir who was denied access to Palestine by the Israeli authority. Mr. Riad Di’as represented her in the discussion that followed the screening. It is worth to mention that this was a first screening in Bethlehem area for her movie. Hundreds of people from Bethlehem area and outside attended the festival.

2. Video Mapping Workshop: Till Roesken a French volunteer came to Alrowwad during the months of August and worked on producing his film “Palestine”. He asked people from Aida Camp, to draw maps of how they see what is around them. The drawing process as well as the stories related to the maps has been recorded on video alongside with representations of the camp's history and its surroundings. The focus is on stories about difficult ways; about the obstacles that make it almost impossible to reach certain places and how people try and sometimes manage to get there anyway. This could be the first step of a study about the resistance by going around.

3. International Exchange: From august 3 to 12 a group six participants came back from France after participating in 12 days activities in Bordeaux. In total 26 participants has been part of this great program. 22 of them are Palestinian refugees who came from different geographical areas. A group of six represented Alrowwad, another group came through Ajyal organization in Lebanon, another 5 came through Itijah organization in Palestine 48, and four through the General Union of Palestinian students (GUPS) senate in France. The main objective of this gathering is to enable Palestinian youths from different areas to talk about important issues as the Nakba and the Palestinian history so they will be better equipped to defend Palestinian refugees’ rights and work productively to get them. Several activities took place like Palestinian culture, ways of resistance, and the Zionist movement. During the gathering groups presented different shows that included traditional Palestinian dance – Dabka- and some theatre sketches.

4. Volunteers: During the last few months, Alrowwad Center welcomed more than 10 volunteers from different countries like France, Ireland, USA, and Belgium. They have been involved in several activities in different projects. We are expecting many others to come during the next few months.

5. Partnerships: Alrowwad has different partners for carrying out some projects and programs. We would like to thank:

a. Ashoka/Nike initiative and WomenWin for their support to our program "Sports for Social change for Women" Nov 2007-Nov 2008

b. French Consulate in East Jerusalem fo rtheir support in our proram "Images for Life" -Nov 2006-Nov 2008-

c. Islamic Relief-UK for their support of "Supportive Education Program for children with learning and socio-psychological difficulties"- Nov2006-June 2008-

d. ArtVenture for their support of our porgram "Beautiful Little hand-Beautiful Expressions" May 2007-May 2008

e. Hoping Foundation-UK, for their support of our program "Moving Movies"

f. Friends of Alrowwad in France, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Norway and the United States for their support through their different contribution

g. Alma'amal Foundation for contemporary Arts-East Jerusalem, Film directors especially Directors Raed Andoni, Mohammad Bakri, Annemarie Jacir, Ennas Elmuthaffar and all the others , Saleem Abu Jabal, for their help and contribution in our program "Annual outdoor Film Festival"

Lettre ouverte au Président Mahmoud Abbas

Cher M. le Président de l’Autorité Palestinienne
Je m’appelle Abdelfattah Abdelkarim Hasan Ibrahim Mohamad Ahmad Mostafa Ibrahim Srour Abusrour. Je suis né au camp de réfugié d’Aida, sur un terrain loué pour 99 ans par l’UNRWA des propriétaires Palestiniens de la ville de Bethléem. Mes deux frères ainés, mon père ainsi que son père et tous ceux qui sont nés avant eux, sont nés dans le village de Beit Nateef, un des villages détruits le 21 Octobre 1948 par les bandits sionistes. Ma mère est née dans le village de Zakareyya, aussi détruit en 1948. Ce sont deux villages parmi les 534 villages détruits par les bandits Sionistes.
J’ai grandi dans le camp de réfugié d’Aida. Lorsque j’avais 4 ans, je me souviens que la plupart des habitants de camp se cachaient dans le cave derrière notre maison. Je me souviens des vieux parlant de la guerre. Je me rappelle que le ciel était incrusté d’avions, et que nous les enfants, nous étions couverts par des couvertures noires, dans les soins de nos mères.
Je me souviens le premier couvre-feu après l’occupation Israélienne dans le camp Aida en 1968. Je me souviens de premier soldat israélien, qui était un vieux Juif Irakien d’environ 60 ans, qui était positionné juste devant la porte de notre maison. Je me souviens de jour où mon deuxième frère était invité pour un entrevu chez l’administration de l’occupation militaire en 1972. Il n’est jamais revenu à la maison. Je me souviens de son exile après six mois en prison, sans confession et sans jugement.
Je me rappelle les premiers points collectifs de distribution d’eau dans le camp. Il y avait quatre points avec quatre robinets chacun pour toute la population de camp. Je me souviens aussi de premiers WC collectifs. Il y avait aussi quatre points, chaque point est composé d’un WC male et un femelle. Je me souviens de terrains autour de camp, où nous avions l’habitude de jouer, de présenter nos petits spectacle de théâtre dans la nature. Je me souviens des grands trous dans la terre ; lorsqu’ils se replissaient d’eau, ils devenaient nos piscines.
Je me souviens de la première colonie Israélienne autour de camp, la colonie Gilo… Les grues y travaillent toujours depuis les débuts des années 70.Je me souviens des religieux Juifs venant à la Mosquée de Bilal Ibn Rabah, qui était transformé en Synagogue après l’occupation de 1967, et rebaptisé le Tombeau de Rachel pour faire leurs prières. Nous nous étions plus permit de laver nos morts et faire une dernière prière sur eux avant de les enterrer, dans la cimetière juste à côté.
Je me souviens de premiers points de contrôle militaire israéliens entre Bethléem et Alquds-Jérusalem. Je me souviens des premiers permis exigés par les Israéliens, et toutes les routes alternatives et les chemins pour contourner les points militaires pour ceux qui n’avaient pas de permis.
Je me souviens de l’évolution de mur de séparation de l’état où il n’était qu’un amas de terre et d’énormes trous dans les routes et les rues, et puis en barbelé, et ensuite en block de ciment de 2 mètres, et 4 mètres et 8 à 12 mètres d’hauteur. Je me souviens de tous les temps où j’ai été capturé par les soldats Israéliens sur le chemin vers ma famille à Jérusalem- mon épouse est de Jérusalem Est. Je me souviens de 6 ans sans permis om j’ai pris tous les chemins connus ou inconnus de Bethléem à Alquds, que ce soit par l’Est ou par l’Ouest, par les routes principales, ou par les vallées ou les collines.
Je me souviens de cet espace qui s’est rétrécit dans le camp, et que cette population croissante d’environs 5000 habitants originaires de 41 villages détruits par les bandits sionistes, où 66 pourcent on moins de 18 ans, où la rue est le seul espace de jeu. Des murs ont été construits encerclant le camp de l’Est, du Nord et de l’Ouest.
Je me souviens de cet accord de Jéricho, où le check point à la sortie de Jéricho ne devrait être que symbolique, et où on passe des heures pour sortir de Jéricho parce que c’est la volonté de n’importe quel petit soldat d’une armée d’occupation Et nous négocions maintenant un passage vers la vielle ville de Jérusalem, sous contrôle de cette même armée d’occupation Israélienne.
Je me souviens qui nous étions nourri l’amour de ce pays occupé, parce qu’il est le nôtre. Je me souviens des clés rouillées des nos maisons dans notre village de Beit Nateef, des clés pour des portes qui n’existent plus, des clés qui ont leurs portes dans nos cœurs et dans notre imagination…. Des clés pour des portes qui étaient réelles et qui ont existées, pour des maisons réelles et qui avaient existées, où des vrais gens ont vécus et ont élevés leurs enfants. Ces clés rouillées sont encore avec moi. Je me souviens qui nous étions élevés avec cette croyance éternelle que le droit est le droit, et que rien ne justifie de l’ignorer. Je me souviens que notre droit au retour dans nos maisons et nos villages d’origine est un droit eternel, et rien ne puis le changer, ni ce qu’on appelle « les réalités sur le terrain », ni les accords politiques, parce que ce n’est pas seulement un droit collectif mais un droit individuel…. C’est de mon droit M. le Président, et le droit de mes enfants et mes grands enfants et tous ceux qui suivrons peu importe où ils seront nés.
Cher M. le Président
Je me rappelle le décès de ma mère, le 9 Septembre 2003. Elle avait 75 ans. Je me rappelle la mort de mon père le 26 Décembre 2006. Il avait 96 ans. Ma mère et mon père espéraient être enterrés dans leur village de Beit Nateef, là où ils se sont mariés, là où ils ont élevés quelques uns des leurs enfants, là où ils ont irrigués leur terre de sueur, de sangs et de larmes, là où ils ont rempli la terre de joie, de bonheur, de rires et de chuchotements.
Mes parents sont enterrés dans le cimetière du camp Aida. Le tombeau de ma mère est juste sous le tour de sniper militaire, entourés de barbelés. Le tombeau de ma mère ne m’est pas accessible. Je ne peux même pas la rendre visite un jour de fête ou un autre jours pour lui réciter un surate de Coran.
Cher M. le Président
J’ai été rempli d’espoir qu’après 60 ans d’occupation, qu’après 60 ans de résistance armée et non-armée, que nous pourrions réaliser quelque chose autre que les promesses futiles. J’ai été plein d’espoir que nous ne rendrons jamais nos droits, que nos droits sont reconnus par le monde entier, même si le monde entier reste complice avec l’injustice. J’ai été rempli d’espoir que rien ne justifie que nous renonçons à nos droits, malgré toutes « les réalités sur le terrain » comme ils le disent. Autrement, quel héritage nous laissons à nos enfants et les générations à venir. Faut-ils leur dire : Allez et laissez-vous emporter par le vent… Ne résistez jamais l’oppression, et ne levez vous pas devant l’injustice. L’importance de rester vivant, même si cette vie n’est qu’une vie d’humiliation et non reconnaissance d’appartenance à la race humaine.
Où est-ce que vous nous amener M. le Président ? A quel désert vous nous guidez ? A quelle catastrophe ? Comment osez-vous décider combien de réfugiés puissent ou ne puissent pas retourner chez eux ? Qui vous a donné la permission de parler en mon nom, et au nom de mes enfants ? Qui vous a demandé de déclarer les soldes sur nos droits ? Quel est le prix de telles soldes sur les droits de gens et leurs sacrifices pendant 60 ans ?
Là où les résolutions des Nations Unies parlent de DROIT AU RETOUR ET DROIT à la Compensation pour toutes les souffrances dans l’exile et dans les camps de refuge, pour toutes ces exploitations de nos terres et nos propriétés, pour toutes ces années d’humiliation et de torture qui s’empirent chaque jour, vous osez dire que pas tout le monde veut retourner dans leur village d’origine ? Même si c’était le cas, cela ne leur enlève aucunement leurs droits dans leurs maisons et leurs terres d’origines, qu’ils veulent retourner ou pas. S’ils veulent vendre aux autres, c’est leur choix, mais il n’est aucunement le droit de quiconque d’autre de décider qui veut et qui ne veut pas retourner. Ce n’est pas votre droit, et le droit de quiconque d’autre de dire « ceux qui ne veulent pas retourner, il faudrait les compenser ». Chaque refugié et fils de refugiés et grand fils ou fille de refugié a droit à la compensation pour ces 60 ans de Nakba, ceux qui ont quitté ou qui ont été forcé de quitter… ceux qui étaient propriétaires des terres, qui avaient leur champs d’orangeries et des arbres fruitiers. Oui, les oranges de Jaffa existaient avant Israël, et conduirons à exister après Israël, si Israël ne fini pas par les détruire aussi comme les oliviers millénaires qu’il a détruit.
Vous n’avez pas été élu M. le Président pour renoncer à nos droits … ou pour abandonner nos espoirs et nos rêves et les droits de notre people qui est encore dans les camps de refuge, vivant sur des terrains loués, des réfugiés dans notre propre pays ou ailleurs, et qui attendent toujours ce retour dans les maisons d’origine pour 60 déjà.
Jour après jour, semaine après semaine, mois après mois et année après année nous vivons dans le mensonge, et des promesses brisées d’un changement…. Mais le changement arrive mais pour le pire et non pas pour le mieux. Rien ne s’améliore avec toutes ces négociations M. le Président ? Faut-il que nous nous déshabillons et montrer notre nudité pour qu’Israël et ses leaders et ses forces d’occupation soient satisfaits que n’avons plus rien à cacher ?
Hier, des Israéliens ont distribué des papiers à Jérusalem Est utilisant le Coran Sacré et leur Torah disant qu’ils ne font qu’accomplir la promesse de Dieu pour peupler Israël et chasser tous ceux qui ne sont pas Juifs. Et il faudrait que nous comprenions ce qu’ils demandent et leurs aider, en quittant notre pays parce qu’il y a tellement d’autres pays arabes pour nous accueillir ? Après cela nous pouvons vivre en paix, et nos enfants peuvent être heureux avec leurs enfants, et tout sera merveilleux. Est-ce la prochaine étape M. le Président ? Est-ce parce que les colonies sur le terrain s’étendent tellement, et que nous ne pouvons pas forcer notre présence en Israël, alors il faut que nous soyons gentils pour que le monde entier nous soit sympathique, et faire ce qu’Israël veut que nous fassions ? Et ensuite, nous allons parlé des compromis terribles et des solutions difficiles, et donc c’est à nous d’être les plus gentils et offrir le plus de compromis, et pardonner, et oublier, et abandonner nos droits, et quitter le pays ou mourir, et comme cela tout sera résolu ?
M. le Président,
Je ne suis pas prêt pour quitter mon pays. Je ne le quitterai jamais de plein gré, même si c’était le seul moyen pour gagner ma vie. Je ne renoncerais jamais à mon droit de retour dans mon village d’origine, même si j’ai un forteresse au Royaume Unit, et un château en France, et un chalet à la mer rouge, et une propriété au Bahamas. Mon droit est le mien, et donc ni vous ni aucune autre personne n’a le droit d’effacer mon droit, de l’échanger ou de jouer avec.
Nous avions l’habitude d’entendre parler des lignes rouges qu’aucun négociateur ne franchira. Que reste-t-il de ces lignes rouges M. le Président ? Nous entendions parler de la ligne verte… qui est devenue la ligne grise du mur de séparation. Les lignes rouges sont devenues des lignes roses et sont tellement diluées dans le blanc qu’elles sont devenues invisibles. Est-ce ce qui nous reste de notre résistance historique, et de tout le sang des martyrs et des années d’emprisonnement ?
J’espère sincèrement que vous quittez de votre tour d’ignorance des besoins de votre peuple et que vous descendez un peu sur le terrain et regardez les yeux de ceux qui ont encore la passion pour ce pays malgré ces désastres dans lesquelles nous sommes plongées au milieu de ces négociations futiles et non productives, pendant que le sang Palestinien est versé tous les jours par ceux avec qui vous négociez. N’avons-nous plus de honte pour arrêter ce cirque de continuer ?
J’aurais beaucoup aimé M. le Président qu’une telle énergie de négocier avec les israéliens soit investie pour unir les Palestiniens qui sont encore en dispute, et à cause d’un tel entêtement de nos leaders politiques, ce n’est point vous les leaders qui souffrez, mais votre peuple. Sommes-nous tellement sans valeur que nous ne méritions point votre temps et votre énergie pour arrêter cette mascarade et unir votre peuple au lieu de chercher toujours ce qui divise ces âmes torturés ? Ne suffit-il pas que nous sommes considérés comme un cas humanitaire tout simplement, qui ne vaut pas plus qu’un sac de farine ou une bouteille d’huile ou un médicament périmé ? Ne suffit-il pas que toute une population soit transformé en mendiants et soit mise dans la pauvreté, dépendant de la charité au lie de l’aider à produire en gardant leur dignité intacte ? Ne suffit-il pas l’humiliation de l’occupation que nous soyons forcés à subir toutes ces humiliations à venir ?
Je suis entièrement croyant dans la paix et le non-violence. Je suis entièrement croyant dans l’espoir, le droit et la justice. Je suis entièrement croyant dans les valeurs qui font de l’humanité ce qu’elle est. Je n’ai jamais appris à haïr. Je n’ai jamais haï personne. Mes parents étaient une source d’amour et de paix. Ils ne m’ont jamais appris à moi et à mes frères quelque chose d’autre que le respect des autres et un amour infini à donner et à aider les autres. Ils nous ont appris que lorsqu’on pratique la violence, on perd un parti de son humanité. Mais en même temps, ils nous ont appris à défendre le droit et ce qui est juste et de s’élever contre tout ce qui injuste, faux et mal. Alors M. le Président, j’ose vous dire que vous n’avez aucun droit, même en étant le Président d’une autorité qui n’a aucune autorité sur quoi que ce soit- à l’exception probablement de nous- mais qui ne peut nous protéger ou même se protéger contre n’importe quel petit soldat ou soldate israélien, pour renoncer à nos droits, les droits de deux tiers de votre peuple pour retourner avec dignité dans leurs villages et terres et propriétés détruits, et qu’ils soient compensés pour toutes leurs souffrances et leur exile, et l’exploitation par les sionistes de leurs champs et terres, et le vol de leurs propriétés et comptes dans les banques anglaises ou autres.
M. le Président
Je ne sais pas si vous allez lire ces mots ou pas. Je ne sais pas si je vais rester en vie lorsque vous les lisez ou pas… Mais en tous les cas, j’espère que ces mots qui viennent de cœur vont dans votre cœur M. le Président, et que vous puissiez trouver l’espoir et la force que notre peuple garde encore en lui. Nous ne renonçons pas à nos droits. La paix peut être construite seulement avec la Justice. La paix réelle peut être bâtie avec une justice réelle…. Toute autre chose n’est qu’une plaisanterie dans la face de l’histoire.Je m’appelle Abdelfattah Abdelkarim Hasan Ibrahim Mohamad Ahmad Mostafa Ibrahim Srour Abusrour. Je suis encore refugié dans mon propre pays avec deux clés rouillé à la maison.

Open letter to President Mahmoud Abbas (English)

Dear Mr. The President of the Palestinian Authority
My name is Abdelfattah Abdelkarim Hasan Ibrahim Mohamad Ahmad Mostafa Ibrahim Srour Abusrour. I was born in Aida Refugee camp, on a rented land for 99 years by UNRWA from Palestinian owners of Bethlehem. My two eldest brothers as well as my father and his father and all those who were born before them, originate from Beit Nateef, a destroyed village on 21 of October 1948. My mother was born in Zakareya village, destroyed as well in 1948 by the Zionist bandits. These were 2 of 534 villages destroyed by these Zionist bandits.
I grew up in Aida refugee camp. When I was 4 years old, I remember most of the people in the camp hiding in a cave behind our house. I remember the old people talking about the war. I remember the sky full of planes, and all of the young children covered by black blankets, and cherished by their mothers.
I remember the first curfew after the Israeli occupation in Aida camp in 1968. I remember the first Israeli soldier, who was an old Iraqi Jew of about 60 years old who took position in front of the door of our house. I remember the day my second brother was invited for an interview by the military occupation administration in 1972, and never returned back to the house. I remember that he was exiled 6 months later, without any confession, without any judgment or court sentence.
I remember the first collective water distribution point in the camp. There were four points with four taps each for the whole population in the camp. I also remember the first collective WCs in the camp. There were 4 points. Each point was composed of one for males and one for females. I remember the field around the camp, where we used to play, to perform our plays in the open fields. I remember the big holes in the ground, when they were filled with water, they became our swimming pools.
I remember the first colony around us, the Gilo colony… the cranes are still working in it since the early seventies. I remember the Jewish worshippers coming to the Mosque Bilal ibn Rabah, which was transformed into Rachel Tomb Synagogue to pray their prayers. We were no more allowed to wash our deads and to make last prayers for burying them in the cemetery next to it.
I remember the first Israeli checkpoint between Bethlehem and Alquds-Jerusalem. I remember the first permits requested by Israelis, and all the alternative roads and all the passages to go around the military checkpoints that we have to take since we didn’t have permits.
I remember the evolution of the wall from the state of masses of dirt, to big holes in the roads and streets, to blocks of barbwires, or blocks of cement of 2 meters high, then 4 meters then 8 to 12 meters high. I remember all the times I was caught by Israeli soldiers on my way to my family in Alquds – my wife is from East Jerusalem-. I remember all those 6 years where I took every known and unknown road from Bethlehem to Alquds, by the East or by the West, on main roads or through valleys and hills.
I remember the space shrinking in the camp, and the population increasing to 5000 people now who originated from 41 different villages destroyed by the Zionists bandits, where 66% are under 18 years old, and the street their only space for play. Walls have been built, encircling the camp from the East, the North and part of the West.
I remember of this Jericho agreement, where the checkpoint at the entrance of Jericho should have been only symbolic because you accepted that it remains, and where we Palestinians are stopped for hours by any simple Israeli occupation soldier. And now, we discuss a passage to the old city of Jerusalem, under the control of this same Israeli occupation army.
I remember that we were fed the love of this occupied country, because it is ours. I remember the rusty keys of our houses in Beit Nateef, keys for doors that exist no more, but keys that have their doors in our hearts and our imagination… keys for doors that were real and have exited, for real houses that were built and have exited, in which real people lived in and brought up children. These rusty keys are still with me. I remember that we were brought up with this eternal belief that the right is the right, and nothing can justify ignoring it. I remember that our right of return to our original villages and homes is eternal, and nothing can change it, neither realities on the ground nor political agreement, because it is not only a collective right, but is as well an individual right… it is my right Mr. the president, and the right of my children and grand children and all those who come after wherever they are born.
Dear Mr. the President
I remember the death of my mother, on September 9th, 2003. She was 75 years old. I remember the death of my father on December 26th, 2006. He was 96 years old. My mother and my father were hoping to be buried in their village, where they got married, where they brought up their children, where they irrigated their land with their sweat, blood, and tears; where they filled their land with joy, happiness, laughs and whispers.
My parents are buried in the cemetery of Aida camp. My mother’s tomb is next to a military tower, and surrounded by Israeli barbwire. My mother’s tomb is not accessible… I can’t visit it in a day of feast to recite on her tomb Alfateha or a surat of the Holy Coran.
Dear Mr. the President
I was full of hope that after 60 years of occupation, after 60 years of armed and non-armed resistance we could achieve something other than shallow promises. I was full of hope that we will never give up our rights, these rights which are recognized by the whole world, even if the whole world remains complicit with injustice. I was full of hope that nothing can justify giving up such rights, with all the realities on the ground as they say…otherwise what heritage we are leaving to our children and the generations to come. Should we say to them: Go to where the wind takes you… never stand up and resist the oppression… the importance is to stay alive even if it is a life of humiliation and non recognition of belonging to a human race?

Where are you talking us Mr. the President? To what desert are you leading us? To what catastrophe? How dare you deciding how many refugees can or cannot return? Who gave you permission to speak in my name, and in my children name? Who asked you to make sales on our rights? What is the price for such sales on people’s rights and sacrifices for 60 years?

Where UN resolutions talk about Right of Return AND Right of Compensation for all this suffering in exile and refuge, for all this exploitation of lands and properties, for all this humiliation and torture that worsens every day, you dare to say that not everybody wants to return? Even if this is the case, they have their right to their homes and lands, whether they want to return or not. They can sell it to others if they want, but it is not you or anyone else besides them who decide who want or not to return. It is not your right or anyone else to say “those who don’t want to return should be compensated”. Every single refugee and son of a refugee and grand son or daughter of a refugee have to be compensated for these 60 years of Nakba, those who left or forced to leave; those who are owners of lands, those who had their fields and oranges and fruitful trees. Yes, the oranges of Jaffa were before Israel and they will stay after Israel, if they don’t end by destroying them, as they dead with the olive trees old of thousands of years.

You were not elected Mr. le President to give away our rights… to give away the hopes and dreams and rights of people who are still in refugee camps, living on rented lands, refugees in their own country or outside their own country, and who still wait to return to their original homes and lands for the past 60 years.

Day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year, we are living in lies… and broken promises of change… well, change comes but to the worse and not to the better. Nothing improves with all these negotiation Mr. the President? Should we undress ourselves and show our nudity so that Israeli leaders and occupation forces be satisfied that we have nothing to hide?

Yesterday, Israelis have distributed papers in East Jerusalem using the Holy Koran and their Bible to say that they are fulfilling the promise of God to populate Israel and chase away every other non-Jewish. And we should understand that and help them, by leaving the country because we have so many other Arab countries for us? And after that we can live in peace and our children will be happy with their children, and things will be great. Is this the next step Mr. the President? Is it because colonies on the ground are expanding, and that we can’t force our presence on Israel, and that we should be nice so that the whole world be sympathetic to us, that we do whatever Israel wants us to do? And then we talk about horrible compromises and difficult solutions, so we should be the nice ones who make the compromise, who forgive, who forget, who give up, who leave or die because that would solve it for all?

Mr. the President
I am not ready to leave. I will never leave, even if it is the only way to earn a living. I will never give up my right to return to my village, even if I have a castle in UK, and a chateau in France, and chalet at the red sea, and a property in Bahamas. My right is mine, and neither you nor anybody else have the right to erase it and exchange it or play with it.

We were hearing RED LINES that will never be crossed. What remains from these red lines Mr. the President? We heard about the green line… it became the gray line of the separation wall. Red lines became pink, and they were mixed with white till they became invisible. Is this what remains of our struggle history, and all the blood of martyrs and years of imprisonment?

I do hope that you leave your tower of ignorance to the needs of your people and descend a little bit on the ground and look in the eyes of those who still have a passion for this country despite the disasters that we sank in with such futile and fruitless negotiations, while the Palestinian blood is shed daily by those with whom you negotiate. Have we no more shame to stop such circus from going on?
I would have loved Mr. the President that such energy in negotiation with Israelis be invested among Palestinians who are still in dispute, and because of such stubbornness from our political leaders, it is not you leaders who suffer, but your people. Are we in such a way so worthless that we do not deserve your time and energy to stop this circus and unite your people instead of searching always what divides such tortured spirits? Is it not enough that we are considered only as a humanitarian case, that worth no more than a sack of flour or a bottle of oil or an expired medication? Is it not enough that a whole population is transformed into beggars and put in poverty, depending on charity rather than helping them to be producers and keep up their dignity? Isn’t the humiliation by the occupation enough that we are forced to have more humiliations to come?
I am full believer in peace and non-violence. I am a full believer in hope and right and justice. I am a full believer in the values that make of the humanity what it is. I never learned to hate. I never hated any one. My parents were full of love and peace. They never taught me or my brothers anything other than respect of others and endless love to give and help the others. They taught us that when you practice violence you lose part of your humanity. But in the same time, they taught us to defend what is right and to stand against what is unjust and wrong. Therefore, Mr. the President, I do dare to say that you have no right, even as president of an authority which has no authority on anything- except maybe on us- which cannot protect us or protect itself even in front of any male or female Israeli soldier, to give up our rights, the rights of two thirds of your people to return in dignity to their destroyed lands and properties and to be compensated for all this suffering and exile, and the use of their lands and fields and the stealing of their funds in British banks or other banks by the Zionists.
Mr. the President
I don’t know if you will read these words or not… If I will stay alive when you read them or not… but I do hope that such words which come from the heart, reach your heart Mr. the President, and you can find the hope and strength our people still have in him. We do not give up our rights. We will never give up our rights. Peace can be built with justice. Real peace can be built with real justice… anything else is just a joke in the face of history.
My name is Abdelfattah Abdelkarim Hasan Ibrahim Mohamad Ahmad Mostafa Ibrahim Srour Abusrour. I am still a refugee in my own country with 2 rusty keys in the house.