Thayer Hastings

Thayer Hastings (Alternative Information Center - AIC): Thayer received his BA degree in International Studies with a focus on Human Rights and the Middle East at the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington, and graduated in June of 2011. After graduation, Thayer worked as a research assistant on human rights at an international development consulting firm, Williamsworks. He also contributed regularly to Real Change, a street newspaper based in Seattle, and interned in South Africa. After his fellowship Thayer wrote: “My fellowship with the AIC has exposed me to the application of grassroots organizing and information dissemination. AIC's advocacy work is natural, extremely well connected and morally honed. I have had the opportunity to utilize the AIC's network and reputation in order to deepen my understanding of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and develop my writing skills. The broad issues and experiences I have encountered through my fellowship will have lasting impressions on my continuing work on Palestinian human rights issues.”



LAST WORDS

04 Nov

I encountered difficult stories over the course of my writing internship for theAlternative Information Center: a home that will be trapped within a prison of walls, a home besieged by settlers, a home broken by the imprisonment of family members, etc. Home is not only a recurring theme in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, but it is also personal as is my move to Palestine. I have made something of a ‘return home.’ With my family, I moved to the US from Palestine as a 10 year-old and I moved back with the intention of staying indefinitely via the Advocacy ProjectFellowship.

The stories I encountered were usually troubling as should be expected in a conflict zone and, more specifically, in an apartheid state. However, I also experienced and followed stories of resistance: both cultural and popular, both against Israel and the Palestinian leadership. Thanks to the Advocacy Project’s support I was able to explore some of the stories I had read so much about during my political and intellectual development while growing up in the US, from where I experienced Palestine mostly at a distance. I was able to support the AIC’s joint Palestinian-Israeli work of information dissemination while pursuing my own passions. Empathizing, critically engaging with and writing about these stories was often a huge (and fulfilling) challenge.

I have been fortunate enough to find work beginning immediately after I concluded my AIC internship. I will be working as a legal researcher for a Bethlehem-based NGO called BADIL: Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights. BADIL offers an exciting opportunity to widen my understanding of Palestinian refugees’ conditions, ongoing policies of forced expulsion, and further my interest in legal analysis. BADIL is the only organization (including the Palestinian National Authority) working for a holistic resolution to the refugee status of Palestinians, the most disenfranchised category of the Palestinian population. I expect that my work with BADIL will inform my writing about Palestine.

With the intention of continuing to submit written work to various media organizations and news sites, I have built a new blog. Under construction, my new blog is called the writing’s on the Wall and will focus on spatial justice in Palestine.Please subscribe to my new blog if you would like to continue receiving email updates of my publications.

Thank you for reading and commenting on this blog! I am very grateful to the Advocacy Project for enabling the opportunity I have had over the past 3 months and to the Alternative Information Center for hosting me.

 

Coffee break in the AIC office
Coffee break in the AIC office

 

Below are links to some of my favorite pieces I wrote for the AIC during the AP Fellowship:

Palestinian facilities battling gender violence face similar challenges across divide”, 8 August 2012

IN PHOTOS: Palestinians endure checkpoints to enter Jerusalem during Ramadan,” 13 August 2012

Palestine’s big sister South Africa: precedents and pitfalls,” 23 August 2012

Rachel Corrie lawsuit: an example of international solidarity,” 27 August 2012

INTERVIEW: Family of hugner striking Samer Issawi”, 13 October 2012

Lacking legitimacy, West Bank elections proceed,” 21 October 2012

Olives and the cost of Israel’s occupation,” 23 October 2012

Posted By Thayer Hastings

Posted Nov 4th, 2012