Non Violence Workshops
This year we deepened our activities in non violent strategies building and conflict resolution and by holding three workshops. In March, CANVAS and ICNC supported us in holding a four day seminar entitled, “Introduction of Nonviolent Conflict.” The workshop was facilitated by Ivan Marovic, from Serbia, and Janet Cherry, from South Africa. Both facilitators had successful experiences using strategic non violence and shared their stories with Al Tariq’s 45 participants. In addition, they taught the group how to plan strategic nonviolent actions that could be used in the popular struggle in Palestine.
In April, we held a one day workshop entitled, “The Future of Nonviolence in Palestine” which was administered and facilitated by three of Al Tariq’s Young Leaders and participants of the Summer Academy. Twenty new young people attended the workshop and learned about the state of nonviolence in Palestine and discussed the future potential for using nonviolence to end the conflict.
In December, we held a three day seminar entitled, “Nonviolent Strategic Planning and Media” which was organized by ICNC and facilitated by Vanessa Ortiz and Yoshua Yager. The workshop had 34 participants who are directly involved with planning nonviolent actions and often speak with the media.
Summer Camp 2008
The 2008 Summer Camp for children took place three parts of the Tubas region: one in Tubas, the second in Tomoun and the third in Aqaba. 230 fifth grade students participated; 120 girls and 110 boys. Each camp was budgeted for two weeks, but because of the cooperation we received from local authorities, we were able to extend the camps to three weeks.
Each summer camp was focused on education and was organized in partnership with the Open Alquds University, which provided students to act as tutors for participants. The students participated in special training programs that were administered by Al Tariq’s academic staff and the educational camp programming focused on mathematics, English and Arabic – areas that parents identified as difficult for their children. In addition, children participated in:
- Outdoor, theater, folklore and art activities
- Awareness education; first aid, traffic rules, avoidances of drugs and military leftovers, voluntary services for sick and elderly
- Social events which the families of the campers participated in
Beside our important achievement in making the schools and parents familiar with a more friendly study method, the camp also impacted the campers and their parents:
- Through art, theater and dance workshops we identified the artistic talents of campers and encouraged them and their parents to develop this aspect of their children by attending future workshops / courses.
- The peer-to-peer relationships and behavior of the campers improved and they learned how to solve conflicts in nonviolent ways
- Mothers became further involved in their children’s education and learned how education continues after school; helping with homework, relationships between children, responsibilities in the home etc.
- Developed a police traffic program for children, where campers underwent a course about traffic safety laws and learned how to implement the rules at their schools, gaining further responsibility and taking on leadership roles.
This project was made possible by the generous of the support of the NCA (Nowegian Church Aid) and ELKB (Evangelical Lutheran Church of Bavaria).
Al-Tariq “Young Leaders”
In 2008, Palestinian and Israeli participants continued to build their dialogue skills on national and bi-national levels. One of the outcomes from these meetings was that each group prepared an educational visit in their homeland with the support and advice of our project managers. The Palestinian participants arranged a visit to Ramallah region; enabling their Israeli co-partners to see the daily life in Palestine. One month later, the Israeli group arranged a two day visit to Tel Aviv, to learn more about Israeli life. In order to bring Palestinian youth to Israel, Al Tariq partnered with the Bat-Chen Association, an Israeli peace organization. In the end, five Palestinians out of the group were allowed to enter Israel. This made it clear to us that the Israeli Authorities aren’t interested in supporting dialogue programs.
The project manager chose from each group two participants to lead the Summer Academy. However, due to the long University strikes in Israel, only one Israeli participant from 2007 could join this year. Participants from the 2008 Summer Academy were recruited, chosen and prepared by the participants of the 2007 Summer Academy and with the support of Al Tariq’s project manager.
In August the new participants of the Israeli and Palestinian groups to the Wings of Hope Summer Academy 2008 met for the first time in Al-Ram. Together, they participated in a one day workshop where they learned more about each other and the reason they decided to join the Summer Academy.
After travelling to Germany, the Palestinian and Israeli groups met with a group of Iraqi young leaders. Since many of the Iraqi participants did not speak English, our Palestinian participants took on a leadership role by conducting simultaneous translations. For the Palestinian and Israeli young leaders, it was very important to meet other young people who are living in conflict zones and striving for peace and reconciliation.
After returning from Germany, Palestinian and Israeli participants from 2007 and 2008 Summer Academy met in Al-Ram in the middle of October to share their experiences and discuss how it changed their lives once they returned to Palestine / Israel. In December and January the young leaders held national meetings to determined how they wanted to proceed in the following year. All participants were very committed to continuing their relationships with the “other” and finding ways that they could share their experiences with their societies.
This project was possible because of the support and cooperation of Wings of Hope, the foundation Die Schwelle and the Hans Seidel foundation.
Al-Tariq Resource Center
In June 2008 we started to prepare the Resource Center in al-Ram. We rented an office space in the same building as our organizations’ office and prepared the space buying furniture, computers, equipment, books and other things which will serve the participants of the resource center, other program and youth in the area. In comparison to Ramallah, al-Ram does not have facilities where young people can use computers, read books and participate in educational workshops. This added additional meaning to the Resource Center and enabled us to not only serve the Palestinian community, but the local community as well.
In July and August the Resource Center project manager, Dr. Rashad Toumeh (Doctor in Political sciences and lecturer in Al-Quds University), held 5 recruitment meetings. Two of the meetings were held outside of the office and our project management team met approximately sixty university students in the West Bank.
In August, we started our first phase of programming with 18 participants. The first phase consisted of 12 workshops, all of which were facilitated by Mr. Rashid Arar (MA in social work and participating in the Trauma therapy program of Wings of Hope & ZPTN). The project management and a team of experts build a diverse and intensive program which aims to strengthen the youth in promoting the values of democracy, none violent conflict resolution and human rights in Palestine.
The participants came from the whole West Bank, 7 from North (Jenin-Nablus area), 7 from the center (Ramallah, Jerusalem and Bethlehem) and 4 from Hebron. When choosing the gender issue was taken under consideration and we were able to have 40 % female participants out of the 18, all 7 female participants are still active in the resource center. 15 participants finished the first phase in the end of April 2009.
This project was possible because of the support of the ELKB (Evangelical Lutheran Church of Bavaria) and Representative office of Finland.
Al-Tariq Father’s group
Wings of Hope Germany and Al-Tariq conducted a two days workshop in December in Jericho. 20 men, who are fathers and also multipliers from diverse cities in the West Bank, were chosen to participate in this trauma introduction workshop. Deacon Peter Klentzan facilitated this two days workshop.
We thank all our friends and donors as only because of their help and support we are able to do our activities.