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Israel Palestine

Israel Palestine

Was 2015 Gaza's worst year ever?

By: Refaat Alareer
Published: January 20, 2016
Topics:

Editor and contributor to Gaza Writes Back, Refaat Alareer, describes a year of attrocities and crimes in Gaza. This harrowing essay makes the case that 2015 was even worse for Gaza than 2014 with no end in sight.

About the Author

Refaat Alareer is the co-editor of Gaza Unsilenced (2015) and was the editor of (and a contributor to) Gaza Writes Back (2014). A native of Gaza City's Shijaieh neighborhood, he received his M.A. in Comparative Literature from the University College of London (U.K.) and is currently completing his Ph.D. in English Literature at the Universiti Putra Malaysia. He has been teaching world literature, comparative literature, and both fiction and non-fiction creative writing at the Islamic University of Gaza since 2007.

Alareer is interested in emerging Palestinian writers and works very closely with many of them to help them develop their creative writing skills. His book Gaza Writes Back is a compilation of short stories written in English by young Palestinian writers living in the Gaza Strip. It shows a different side of the struggle to create a free Palestine, since it includes fictional work and was written by young people as part of Gaza’s creative reaction to Israel’s repeated acts of aggression against Gaza.

In Spring 2014, Alareer and two other contributors to Gaza Writes Back toured the United States, speaking to thousands of young (and older) Americans in a tour co-organized by Just World Books and the American Friends Service Committee.

Refaat blogs at thisisgaza.wordpress.com and can be followed at his twitter handle @thisisgaza. 

Reflections on Palestine: Symbols of Homeland

By: Pedro Rios
Published: November 24, 2015
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Pedro Rios reflects on a recent trip to Palestine and Israel. As he traveled throughout the region, he learned about symbols of homeland and resistance in the region. In this piece he reflects on these symbols and the current state of occupation.

About the Author

Pedro Rios serves as director of the AFSC’s U.S./Mexico Border Program and has been on staff with AFSC for 13 years. He is also chairperson for the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium, a coalition of over 25 different organizations in San Diego working to support the rights of immigrants.

A native San Diegan, Pedro has worked on immigrant rights and border issues for over 20 years. He became active on immigration issues in the early 1990s, when California was debating the passage of Proposition 187, the anti-immigrant initiative that was later ruled unconstitutional.

Currently, Pedro is overseeing a program that documents abuses by law enforcement agencies, working with many community groups, advocating for policy change, and interacting with migrant communities. Pedro has been widely interviewed and published by the Associated Press, Univision, ABC10, NBC7, and  Think Progress, among others. 

In Jerusalem: Surviving the haze of fear

By: Ilona Kassissieh
Published: November 11, 2015
Topics:

A reflection on the current situation in Jerusalem and how those living there are impacted by a constant haze of fear.

About the Author

Ilona Kassissieh is AFSC’s advocacy and communications coordinator working in the Jerusalem office. She was raised in the town of Bethlehem and left the country to pursue her graduate studies from the University of Grenoble III in France. She has extensive experience working with the civil society sector in Palestine, an experience she gained through her work with the Palestinian NGO Project, funded by the World Bank, to empower civil society. She also served as the spokeswoman and head of the Public Information Office at UNRWA. She is currently living in the Old City of Jerusalem with her husband and three young children.

Refusing to water the seeds of war: AFSC and BDS

By: Mike Merryman-Lotze
Published: November 6, 2015
Topics:

AFSC believes that boycott, divestment, and sanctions tactics, when used strategically, are effective nonviolent tools for realizing political and social change.   

About the Author

Mike Merryman-Lotze is the American Friends Service Committee’s Palestine-Israel Program Director.  He coordinates AFSC’s Israel and Palestine focused advocacy and policy programming, working closely with AFSC’s offices in Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, and throughout the US.  From 2000 through 2003 Mike worked as a researcher with a human rights organization in the West Bank, and from 2007 through 2010 he worked in Save the Children UK’s Jerusalem office managing child rights and child protection programming.  Between these two experiences he worked for an international development NGO managing community and local government development programs in Lebanon, Jordan, and Yemen.  

In the morning in Jerusalem I ask, “until when?”

By: Mati Gomis-Perez
Published: October 30, 2015
Topics:

The escalation of violence and tension in Jerusalem, the long term inequities, oppression and dispossession of Palestinians under occupation inspires Mati Gomis-Perez, AFSC's Israel-Palestine Director, to ask, "Until when?" - Lucy

About the Author

Mati Gomis-Perez is AFSC Country Representative for Israel and Palestine based in East Jerusalem.  Before she joined the AFSC last November, 2013, she had worked for a number of non-governmental organizations in Spain and the occupied Palestinian territory, for UN Women in New York and Jordan and the Spanish Agency for Development Cooperation in Jerusalem during the Second Intifada.  She has done consultancies in Cambodia, Sahrawi Refugee Camps in Algeria and Colombia evaluating humanitarian and development projects.  

Reflections on Palestine: The madness of occupation in Hebron

By: Pedro Rios
Published: October 21, 2015
Topics:

About the Author

Pedro Rios serves as director of the AFSC’s U.S./Mexico Border Program and has been on staff with AFSC for 13 years. He is also chairperson for the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium, a coalition of over 25 different organizations in San Diego working to support the rights of immigrants.

A native San Diegan, Pedro has worked on immigrant rights and border issues for over 20 years. He became active on immigration issues in the early 1990s, when California was debating the passage of Proposition 187, the anti-immigrant initiative that was later ruled unconstitutional.

Currently, Pedro is overseeing a program that documents abuses by law enforcement agencies, working with many community groups, advocating for policy change, and interacting with migrant communities. Pedro has been widely interviewed and published by the Associated Press, Univision, ABC10, NBC7, and  Think Progress, among others. 

Tragedy and transformation: Visuals of violence in Palestine

By: Mike Merryman-Lotze
Published: October 14, 2015
Topics:

About the Author

Mike Merryman-Lotze is the American Friends Service Committee’s Palestine-Israel Program Director.  He coordinates AFSC’s Israel and Palestine focused advocacy and policy programming, working closely with AFSC’s offices in Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, and throughout the US.  From 2000 through 2003 Mike worked as a researcher with a human rights organization in the West Bank, and from 2007 through 2010 he worked in Save the Children UK’s Jerusalem office managing child rights and child protection programming.  Between these two experiences he worked for an international development NGO managing community and local government development programs in Lebanon, Jordan, and Yemen.  

Palestine Activism in an Anti-Racist Framework

By: Mike Merryman-Lotze
Published: August 10, 2015
Topics:

About the Author

Mike Merryman-Lotze is the American Friends Service Committee’s Palestine-Israel Program Director.  He coordinates AFSC’s Israel and Palestine focused advocacy and policy programming, working closely with AFSC’s offices in Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza, and throughout the US.  From 2000 through 2003 Mike worked as a researcher with a human rights organization in the West Bank, and from 2007 through 2010 he worked in Save the Children UK’s Jerusalem office managing child rights and child protection programming.  Between these two experiences he worked for an international development NGO managing community and local government development programs in Lebanon, Jordan, and Yemen.  

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