[Jennifer Bing co-directs AFSC’s Middle East Program. Along with co-workers Shirien Damra, Daniel Kaplan, and Darlene Gramigna (who has pulled together previous spring breaks), Jennifer recently organized an alternative spring break for Earlham College students in Chicago. The students organized a vigil on the campus of Illinois-Chicago to protest Israel’s continued demolition of Palestinian homes and to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Rachel Corrie’s death.]
Q: Please talk about AFSC’s alternative spring break.
Chicago Movement for Palestinian Rights and Communities United Against Foreclosure and Eviction collaborate on an evening of story-telling.
Both here and abroad, racist and militarized institutions threaten to uproot oppressed peoples from their communities. The housing justice movement in Chicago is connected to the Palestinian struggle against displacement and home demolitions. People who have been forced from their homes, denied entry into their homeland, and resisted by occupying vacant homes and rebuilding after demolition share their stories.
People who have been forced from their homes, denied entry into their homeland, and resisted by occupying vacant homes and rebuilding after demolition share their stories. Photos by Sarah Jane Rhee
In Chicago as in Palestine, people are forced from their homes. Foreclosures, borders, and bureaucracies enforce their displacement, leaving their families homeless or kicked out of their homeland.
The effects of displacement go beyond the physical realities, affecting people’s sense of security and belonging. It’s a deep feeling of isolation.
On a warm November day at the Mosque Foundation in Chicago, Muhammad Salah, surrounded by his friends and supporters, presented his wife with a single flower. What might seem the simple act of a loving husband symbolized new freedom for Muhammad and his family.
Up until that day, Muhammad could not buy flowers for his wife or food for his children. All of his assets had been frozen and his basic freedoms severely limited for the 17 years that the United States listed him as a “specially designated terrorist.”
AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more
Where we work
AFSC has office around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.