I had a very productive week interviewing project coordinators and writing articles about their projects and activities. The reason the newsletter is taking longer than intended is because many staff members do not speak English. I interview them in Arabic, write articles in English, and then translate them to make sure it truly represents their work.
I first interviewed Fadi Rabiah, Project Manager of the Palestinian Non-Violence Radio Soap Opera “Al-Dar Dar Abona” (“Home is Our Home”). It is the first soap to address the effectiveness of non-violence and airs on nine radio stations all over the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Fadi stated that the reason for establishing the soap opera is to spread awareness among the different layers of the Palestinian society about the effectiveness of active non-violence as a strategy for social change by developing analytical skills and group awareness.
Due to the tensions and the pressures Palestinians face, because of the daily violence, the violence within families and even between children has increased. MEND, through established community centers, provides a secure environment and tries to improve the mental health and psychosocial conditions in the West Bank, and helps Palestinian children to overcome their fear.
I interviewed the coordinator of community centers, Fatemah Botmeh, who said she was heartbroken seeing how affected children are of the violence that surrounds them, and how glad she is that MEND is making such a difference in people’s lives by providing them with a secure place.
Last but not least, I met with Judy Zarour, coordinator of the MENDERS project. MENDERS are young volunteers who work to promote nonviolence among their peers, and to reach out far more widely within the Palestinian community. By establishing this group, MEND aims to promote nonviolence and encourage volunteerism among Palestinian youth in Ramallah and Jerusalem.
The hard work of MEND’s staff members have impressed not just people here but people everywhere who know how hard it is to work in such difficult circumstances. The ongoing political violence and tensions affects all the people of the Palestinian society in their day-to-day lives. It is very inspiring to see that despite all the violence people face, they still do their best to accomplish what they believe in.
Posted By Bushra Mukbil (Palestine)
Posted Apr 5th, 2007