Partners & Projects 2012-2014

 

AFKAR For Educational & Cultural Development (AFKAR)

AFKAR for Educational & Cultural Development is a Palestinian non-governmental organization founded to provide capacity building and empowerment for students to meet the ever-increasing challenges and needs of education and culture in the Palestinian society.

For more information, please visit the organization’s website and/or Facebook page:

www.afkar.ps

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Afkarps/205978262755061

 

2014:

Project: Integrating Palestinian Debate Forum Competition as an Alternative Learning Methodology

AFKAR works at promoting alternative methods of learning and performing in Palestinian schools, specifically at those considered to be more conservative mainstream, which constitutes the majority of schools in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Institute teaches both students and teachers to argue based on scientific methodology. In cooperation with the selected schools, equally split male and female, classes and teachers are chosen and trained separately in debating, communication skills, and critical thinking. Each term closes with a debate competition. In 2014, AFKAR is extending its work to all 14 governorates of the Ministry of Education, which attests to the success of the program. In addition, AFKAR also started to create debate clubs in a number of Palestinian public schools as to maintain sustainability and to foster debate in the country as a whole.

2013:             

Project: Integrating Palestinian debate forum competition as an alternative learning methodology

Afkar works at promoting alternative methods of learning and performing in Palestinian schools in West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Institute teaches both students and teachers to argue based on scientific background. In cooperation with the selected schools, equally male and female, classes and teachers are chosen and trained separately in debating, communication skills and critical thinking. Each term is closing with a debating competition.

2012:

Project: Integrating the Palestinian Debate Forum Competition as a democratic and participatory tool in the Palestinian Educational System.

In 2012 Afkar has worked with 108 female and male students from the 10th and 11th grads at Salfeet, Qalqilya and Ramallah schools, aiming to integrate the methodology and principles of democratic debate as an extra curricula method. 18 schools’ coordinators have been also trained and coached to supervision the students and to adapt to this method at their work.

 

ASHTAR for Theatre Productions and Training (ASHTAR)

ASHTAR Theatre was established in Jerusalem in 1991 as a non-profit organization. It was founded as a small organization carrying out a limited scope of activities, focused on drama training for students. Since then, ASHTAR has steadily expanded the scope of its activities.

For more information, please visit the organization’s website and/or Facebook page:

www.ashtar-theatre.org.

www.facebook.com/ashtar theatre

 

2014

Project: Promoting Agriculture and Protecting Palestinian Land

Using the didactic approach of the forum theatre, invented in Latin-America as part of the theatre of the oppressed movement, ASHTAR tries to activate its guests to overcome the classic distinction of actors and audience, transforming the latter from passive visitors to involved participants. Conceiving theatre and acting as a tool for social change, the Ramallah based ASHTAR Theatre has produced and performed plays that bring further insight and discussions on the issue of “development” versus “genuine self-determination” in Palestine. In 2014, ASHTAR with the support of RLS and to further widen space for critical thinking, debate, and public participation in the forum theatre, is putting together another critical play on the issue of economics and self-determination. Additionally, the play will feature youth theatre groups in Gaza Strip, as to foster further debate on important issues as well.

2013

Project: Fostering social-political change through forum theatre

Using the didactic approach of the forum theatre invented in Latin-America as part of the theatre of the oppressed movement, Ashtar tries to activate its guests to overcome the classic distinction of actors and audience, transforming the latter from passive visitors to involved participants. Conceiving theatre and acting as a tool for social change the Ramallah based Ashtar Theatre produced and performed plays that bring further insights and discussions on the issue of development versus genuine self determination in the country. To further widening space for critical thinking, debate and participation through the tool of forum theatre, Ashtar with the support of RLS is building up several theatre youth groups.

2012

Project:  “Forum Theatre production about the impact of donor funding on the Palestinian society”.

In 2012, Ashtar theatre has developed a forum theatre play “The House of Yasmine” that sheds the light on the donor phenomena and its’ impact on the Palestinian society and the Palestinian political action. Ashtar has toured and performed the play; however it has also triggered debate and future perspectives along with the audiences and relevant actors.

 

Association of Women´s Action for Training and Rehabilitation (AOWA)

The Association of Women’s Action for Training and Rehabilitation (AOWA) is a developmental organization established in 1994 by a group of active women from the Women Action Federation to activate the role of Palestinian women and mobilize their capabilities so as to change the stereotypical perception of women’s role in society.

For more information, please visit the organization’s website:

http://www.aowa.ps/en

 

2014:

Project: A Model of Women Led Progressive Cooperative

Throughout the sixties, seventies, and early eighties, women from rural Palestinian areas got organized in women cooperatives, supporting each other in the daily work and obstacles. As part of the contradictory outcome of liberal women empowerment, these cooperatives almost ceased to exist. AOWA intends to initiate progressive collective women cooperative in the Old City of Hebron that not only promotes income generating opportunities, but also lobbies for progressive social culture and gender equality and equity.

2013:

Project: Importance of women cooperative work in Palestine

Throughout the sixties, seventies and early eighties women from rural Palestinian areas got organised in women cooperatives, supporting each other in the daily work and obstacles. As part of the contradictory outcome of the liberal women empowerment these cooperatives almost ceased to exist. AOWA intends to focus on this issue by conducting a coherent survey to learn further about women cooperatives and to bring out the positive and negative aspects of it. The Association also wants to make some practical suggestions to start new workable models of cooperatives.

 

Bisan Center for Research and Development (BISAN)

The Bisan Center for Research and Development is a progressive non-profit, non-governmental, and democratic organization aiming to support the steadfastness of the Palestinian people and building up a strong Palestinian civil society.

For more information, please visit the organization’s website and/or Facebook page:

www.en.bisan.org.

www.facebook.com/BisanCenterForResearchDevelopment

 

2014:

Project: Thinking Structure in Palestine

Bisan has done much research about plans involving the creation of industrial zones in Al Jalameh (in the northern West Bank) as well as in the Jordan Valley. In 2014, BISAN began working at setting an alternative discourse to the hegemonic neoliberal approach to development implemented in Palestine. It aims at further spreading and advocating the accumulated results from previous years. Simultaneously, Bisan is investigating, on a parallel level, the thinking structures in the country and the impact of the conservative methodologies of education on the overall process of socio-economical genuine development.

 

2013:

Project: Towards an alternative development: The Jericho agro-industrial park and its effects.

BISAN is aiming at setting an alternative discourse to the neoliberal approach to development implemented by the Palestinian Authority and the international donors. By informing the general public about the negative effects of the current development policies as applied by the foreign aid agencies, BISAN seeks to foster a pluralistic Palestinian civil society based on social and economic justice. For this purpose BISAN is focusing on the topic of the Industrial Zones (IZ). While in theory IZ are supposed to be joint Israeli and Palestinian ventures to boost the industrial sector in the West Bank, up to now they have only dispelled farmers from their fertile soils and are far from reaching the goal of an independent Palestinian industrial economy. Successful in bringing the topic of the IZ to the political agenda, linking it with sustainable development and food security, RLS is backing up BISAN in its attempt to reach higher attention and media coverage.

2012:

Project: Alternative Development in Palestine: Jericho Agro-Industrial Zone and the Political Economy of the Jordan Valley.

In 2012, Bisan has continued working on the issue of the planned industrial zones in the West Bank, and it has focused, in particular, on Jericho and the Jordan Valley. Bisan has conducted a thoroughly research on the issue, and has carried out an organized discussion with the local communities and decision makers. It has also promoted the issue in media.

 

Center for Development Studies – Birzeit University (CDS)

The Center for Development Studies (CDS) at Birzeit University is a leading source of knowledge about Palestinian development. Established in 1997, the CDS aims to deepen and engage with the concept of development by offering theoretical and conceptual frameworks.

For more information, please visit the organization’s website:

home.birzeit.edu/cds

 

2014:

Project: Public Debate on the Palestinian Economy

The CDS has been excessively researching the flow of foreign aid into Palestine on a very critical basis. The Center has conducted research about various fields of international development assistance to Palestine and its contradictory impact on the Palestinian path of development. In 2014, CDS began proceeding with further research on the existing local economies at the peripheries of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The CDS aims at initiating public debate on critical issues pertaining to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, which is governed by a process of colonization. In addition to the economics of the periphery, the CDS also focuses on the expansion of credit and lending in the West Bank and Gaza, particularly following the international financial crises in 2008.

2013:

Project: Alternatives to aid and neoliberal development

CDS of Birzeit University in the West Bank was established in 1997 and is since then researching the flow of foreign aid into Palestine on a very critical basis. The Center conducted research about various fields of international development assistance to Palestine and its contradictory impact on the Palestinian state, national economy and society. Reports were published about e.g. development under occupation, the political economy of foreign aid and the pacification of the Palestinian struggle through development assistance. To strengthen the impact of this approach RLS is assisting CDS in disseminating its findings, mostly amongst youth generations and university students through workshops, seminars and publications.

2012:

Project: Alternatives to Aid and Neoliberal Development”.

In 2012, The CDS has researched and discussed 4 in-depth papers on the new cleavages, exclusion and atomization being created in power structures and the neoliberal economy with a view towards suggesting viable alternatives. The papers were published and discussed.

 

The Civil Associations Union for Development (CAUD)

CAUD is an umbrella organization unifying several Palestinian unions, grassroots organizations, women rights groups, and NGOs dealing with development in many different aspects in order to bundle their efforts towards initiating and advocating progressive leftist programs.

2014:                                     

Project: Toward Adjusting Curricula to become Gender Oriented

The CAUD is running a large advocacy campaign about gender sensitivity and principles of equity within elementary Palestinian schools’ curriculums. It is activating all the grassroots organizations under its umbrella in order to foster the issue. A wide range of important activities are taking place during 2014, including theatre plays, media spots, demonstrations, and schools competitions (articles, drawings, short stories). The CAUD aims at extending bridges with the Ministry of Education to further debate on this issue.

2013:

Project: Elementary school curriculum development for gender equality

CAUD is unifying several Palestinian unions, grassroots organisations, women rights groups and NGOs dealing with the term development in many different aspects in order to bundle up their efforts. Realizing the gap between the slogans regarding e.g. social and women rights introduced by progressive parties and movements and the day to day realities related to women rights on the ground (and also in the leftist scenery), CAUD with the support of RLS is focusing on the issues of gender equity and equality. Drawing on their experiences from withheld rights and still persisting attitudes within the Palestinian society, CAUD is working together with the Palestinian Ministry of Education to alter the gender roles represented in the educational system by revising textbooks and teaching material.

 

Fuad Nassar Institute for Research and Publishing (FNI)

FNI is a progressive think tank that has been engaged during the past couple of years in research about the application of the donor-driven aid industry in Palestine.

For more information, please visit the organization’s website:

www.yasariyyat.ps

 

2014:

Project: To Promote Progressive Gender Alternatives to Reactionary Thought

The FNI has proposed an alternative approach, from a leftist perspective that has been and is still discussed within larger sectors of Palestinian society. In 2014, the FNI began taking the discourse to a new level of debate, particularly with progressive women activists, and also by composing a wide advocacy campaign towards the issues of minimum wage and equal wages for equal work. It is an attempt to put slogans on testing and practical action.

2013:

Project: Towards fostering the leftist women perspective

FNI is engaging in research and discussions about the application of the donor-driven aid industry in the Palestinian Territories and specialising lately in the effects of a liberal understanding of “empowering” women. While these measures were supposed to strengthen the role of women in society, they not only failed in this perspective but also caused a fall-back in the self-organisation of women. To further address the phenomenon of “disempowering” women, RLS is cooperating with FNI in organizing discussions with regional and global participants and proposing alternatives.

2012:

Project: Alternative funding prospects to empower the Palestinian women, from a feminist leftist perspective.

In 2012 FNI started debating and researching the alternatives to current ways of women’s empowerment in Palestine, from a leftist perspective. FNI has conducted a thoroughly research along with regional and central workshops to discuss the outcomes. FNI has also launched an advocacy campaign to address the proposed alternatives.

 

The Palestinian Forum for Israeli Studies (MADAR)

MADAR was founded in 2000 as a non-profit civil society organization by an initiative of a select number of Palestinian intellectuals and academics. MADAR seeks to enhance knowledge among Palestinian society, but also the general Arab public and intellectuals, about Israeli political, cultural, military, and socioeconomic issues. Considering the importance of these topics, MADAR tries to educate Palestinians by publishing books, research papers, and translations of texts, written in Hebrew and other languages, into Arabic to raise knowledge about Israel. Throughout the Arab world, MADAR is outstanding in its scope and outreach to the public and scientific community.

For more information, please visit the organization’s website:

www.madarcenter.org

 

2014:

Project: Knowing the Israeli Scene andUnderstanding its Complexity

In 2014, RLS began supporting MADAR to further expand its outreach by publishing the magazine Israeli Issues and to conduct a number of seminars on related specific issues of interest.

2013:

Project: RLS is supporting MADAR to further expand its outreach by publishing the magazine Israeli Issues and launching a TV talk show about Israeli affairs hosted on the Palestine Space Channel.

 

Social and Economic Policies Monitor (Al-Marsad)

In 2011, a group of activists in the field of economic and social rights conceived the idea of establishing a monitor, “Al-Marsad,” to observe and examine economic and social policies adopted locally and regionally in the Middle East and investigate their direct impact on the poor in particular, and society in general.

For more information, please visit the organization’s website and/or Facebook page:

www.almarsad.ps

http://www.facebook.com/al.marsad.1

2014:

Project: Refugee Camps and New Perspectives on Development

In 2014, Al-Marsad is raising economically and socially delicate topics, such as the retirement and social security issues, which are gaining more attention from the Palestinian public and decision makers. Al-Marsad is also paying special attention to economic concerns in the refugee camps. The youth in particular are at the core of interest and Al-Marsadwill be working with them to further debate, question, and look for answers towards their issues of concern.

2013:

Project: Aid and development in the occupied territories

Sticking to its name – “The Monitor” in Arabic – Al-Marsad is closely observing the socio-economic and political development policies of the Palestinian Authority, the international donor community and the international financial institutions. In a distinct manner Al-Marsad is raising politically delicate topics, for example the role of the emerging banking sector in the Palestinian Territories and its impact on consumption habits and attitudes. High-ranking officials are constantly confronted with the findings of Al-Marsad in public debate, newspapers and broadcasting. To meet a wider public with their criticism of the hegemonic approach of development and incorporation as well as with their proposed alternatives for a social just development RLS is assisting the NGO in campaigning for higher media reception.

 

 

Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC)

UAWC was founded in 1986 as a non-profit organization by a group of volunteers and agronomists. Its mission is to empower small farmers, both men and women, as well as their families, and strengthen farmers’ resilience on their lands in an agricultural and public developmental framework at the public level.

For more information, please visit the organization’s website:

www.uawc-pal.org

2014:

Project: Struggling for Food Sovereignty

In 2014, UAWC started cooperation with RLS in implementing the projectstruggling for food sovereignty” that aims at raising awareness of local agricultural committees towards climate change and on how to build up their resilience to changing conditions. The projects also aims to increase and empower capacities and knowledge of local committees and community stakeholders in the impact of climate change and food sovereignty adaptation tools, strategies, and planning.

 

 

Khalil Al-Sakakini Cultural Center

The Khalil Al-Sakakini Cultural Center was established in 1996 in Ramallah and is dedicated to the promotion of arts and culture in Palestine. The Center operates in three areas: visual arts, Palestinian identity, and holding regular public activities.

For more information, please visit the organization’s website and/or Facebook page:

www.alsakakini.org

www.facebook.com/مركز-خليل-السكاكيني

 

2014:

Project: The Mapping of the First Intifada

In 2014, and in cooperation with the RLS, the Khalil Al-Sakakini Cultural Center is working on a project about a procession in the city of Ramallah marking the First Intifada, which has withdrawn not only from the everyday Palestinian present narrative but also from the geography and cityscape itself. The project is also meant to intervene and re-appropriate public space and the citizens’ relationship with it. Working with a script writer, geographer, and researcher, the team will build a script of stories, maps, and resources for choreographers, composers, and artists to work from. Wall exhibitions, scout groups, musicians, and dance troops will all preset various traditional arts.

 

Juthour Arboretum

Established in 2013, the Juthour Arboretum in Ramallah offers a beautiful nature reserve that protects native trees and plant species, working through educational programs and eco-tourism to imbed and harness green values. Additionally, they encourage greater individual and communal responsibility towards our threatened natural environment and heritage in Palestine. Mashjar Juthour envisions a Palestine in which people embrace the role of an environmental activist and take responsibility towards nature, together creating a sustainable & green future for Palestine.

For more information, please visit the organization’s website:

www.juthour.org

2014: Project: Training and Documentaries on Transfer of Traditional Knowledge

In 2014, RLS started its cooperation with the Juthour Arboretum to develop trainings on traditional terrace building and documenting the training. In addition, the project will develop short documentary films in order to transfer traditional knowledge to future generations. The project aims at reserving traditional terrace building techniques and transferring knowledge to younger generations.

 

Documentary “Bon Voyage!” 2014

The bridge over the Jordan River, connecting the West Bank with Jordan, has a long and eventful history. Called Al-Karameh Bridge by Palestinians, it was built in 1918 by the British colonial administrator Edmund Allenby, hence its name used by Israel. Structure and use of the bridge are an example of the restrictions imposed on the free movement of people and goods by the occupation. Since the Second Intifada, the bridge is the only way for Palestinians of the West Bank to exit and enter the country. The process of passing the bridge, which is under Israeli control, is a long and exhausting task. Palestinians have to acquiesce to inhuman procedures. Supported by RLS, the documentary “Bon Voyage!” was produced, and it will be screened locally and internationally.

 

Mapping of the Arab Left Book 2014

Knowledge about the contemporary Arab left is rather scattered. In times of rapid changes in the Arab world, with new political constellations in the picture and open prospects for future changes in the region, the understanding of political actors, programs, and options is of major importance. Against such a background, RLS in cooperation with several researchers produced a book:”Mapping of the Arab Left: Contemporary Leftist Politics in the Arab East.” Based on a variety of “country-studies”, including Jordan, Syria, Iraq, West Bank and Gaza Strip, the Palestinian community in Israel, and Lebanon, the aim of the mapping is to provide a profile of the Left in the Arab East. Based on this book, a reading forum was established to discuss the different chapters of the book with small group of interested scholars on monthly basis.

 

Political Islam Project 2014

After the historical break in Arab political developments, brought about by the mass-upheavals in Tunisia and Egypt in January 2011, Political Islam, and in particular the Muslim Brotherhood, went through momentous ups and downs. The purpose of this project is to have an in-depth discussion of the issue of Political Islam today, after two major changes in the historical-political development of the Arab World, exemplified through the experiences in Palestine.

 

ARIJ Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem

2013:

Project: “Trading your neighbor´s water, preliminary study about Israeli appropriation of Palestinian water resources”.

The study will be a compilation of the disaggregated data available in various publications and languages provided by different NGOs, UN agencies, academics, think tanks and other organizations. and will focus on settlements in the Jordan Valley and northern Dead Sea and on exports that require water to be produced.

the preliminary study aim is to provide an overview over the current existing data and research on this topic, and of the organizations involved. This study will be part of a long term effort to influence EU policy on settlement trade.

For more information, please visit the organization’s website:

www.arij.org

 

Birzeit University Museum (BUM)

2013: 

Project: “Palestinian Political Poster Exhibition”.

 The exhibition would provoke discussion on perception of Palestinian national identity-ies between sixties & nineties by showing ; more than a hundred posters that were published in Palestine & Diaspora by different political bodies. It is an era where Palestinian identity-as it has been agreed upon among political parties- mostly identified by “National Struggle” which has its different semiotics & representations.

The exhibition with its lectures, guided tours, workshop, conference & publication. will explore the context that lead this kind of artistic political production, their interactions in public spaces & psychology of society. Semiotics, aesthetics & visual representations in the posters, the institutional structures behind them & the making techniques.

The exhibition aims to offer opportunity in the heart of the university through the first academic semester, to open up for new possible narratives about the historically constructed identities.

https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Birzeit-University-Ethnographic-and-Art-Museum/104614139590132

 

Hayat Theatre

2013:

Project: Social Media – an effective tool towards social justice

Well known throughout the Arab countries, with millions of views on YouTube, the actors and plays of the Palestinian based Hayat Theatre are widely received. While reflecting in their acting on the political events in Palestine and the Middle East in quite a satiric way, they also bring in comedian elements, making the show very accessible to the public. Cooperating with RLS, the Hayat Theatre is producing political comedy video-clips dealing with women rights, education and the political left.

For more information, please visit the organization’s Face Book page:

www.facebook.com/hayattheater

 

Palestinian Voluntary Work Committee (PVWC)

2013:

Project: “Documenting the Voluntary Work experience in Palestine”

During the sixties, seventies and eighties the culture of voluntary work was very dominant in the OPTs, while it has almost vanished from the public life after Oslo agreement. That experience was remarkable and has contributed immensely to the Palestinian national struggle towards freedom and self determination. The PVWC aims at not only highlighting and documenting that experience, but also at inspiring and reviving the values of voluntary work back into the society. The PVWC is up to conduct thoroughly interviews with the relative activists and to archive the experience in a printed book.

 

 

Rosa Luxemburg Stage Readings

2013:

People are still interested in and fascinated by Rosa Luxemburg. Her demands for a society in which individual rights are complemented by social rights are prevailing; questions about colonialism and revolution, political and social rights are still relevant. Nevertheless the political and private person behind the familiar statements is rather unknown. Stage readings in different Palestinian theatres are to present the eponym of the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung to a broader audience in Palestine.

 

 

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