Sunday, August 26, 2007

5 -Prevented from travel, prevented from life - Jenin August

Pictures made by the children at the Cultural Centre.
All pictures are available on a cd from the Centre , ready to be printed for art exhibitions.

Western life style, the hamburger consists of human bodies,
blood instead of coke.

Today Yousef was supposed to go to Poverty Requiem in Holland, a international conference he had been invited to where he and a Palestinian woman would have been the only ones to represent the arab countries. But the occupation prevented him. He was supposed to receive his visa on Friday but they called from Holland and said that he couldn't collect it before 9am Monday -today, in Tel Aviv! The person on the phone sounded really suprised then Yousef explained that he can't go to Tel Aviv. The majority of the people can't even go to Jerusalem, and not without special permissions.

We decided that I would go to Tel Aviv and meet up with Yousef in Ramallah, a city just outside

Jerusalem, and from where he could go to Amman, in Jordan. But the gates at the Jordanian border close at 2 pm, and in Palestine you can nver know how long time a trip will take, under normal circumstances it takes 1 and a half hour. As you can't book your ticket in advance as you're not sure you'll get the visa you can't plan your travel. Yousef would have taken a flight leaving at 3am, taking 10 hours since there were no direct connections left. Oxfam Nova in Amsterdam who organize the conference would have paid the expenses, but if he would have been stopped somewhere and prevented from going he would have had to pay all himself. So in the end he decided not to go.

It's sad beacuse the conference theme was music and it would have been a great oppurtunity to make connections for the Cultural Centre.

Recently Yousef received a letter from hte Israeli authorities that his children have to move to Israel, otherwise they'll lose their Israeli citizenships. Yousef's wife is from the village in Israel and that's why their children have Israeli citizenships. The authorities had come to her relatives house and asked for her to see where she lives. They'll do this beacuse they don't want arabs to have Israeli citizenships. If she and the children goes to live in the village it will be very hard for them to go and see Yousef, beacuse of the wall, and Yousef of course can't go and see them. The children will grow up without their father. All people in the village are Arab/Palestinian Israelis but The Israeli society in general is extremely racist and discriminating against non-Jewish citizens. But they would have things like access to modern hospitals, insurances, better schools and Universities, and not to forget, it would be easier for them to travel. All things that I (almost) take for granted in my life, so I really understand that it's a tough decision they'll have to make. How cruel of the authorities. You'll have to split the family in order to keep the citizenship you were born with!

I taught my last lessons today and I'm heading for Jerusalem tomorrow, and then for the ism training on Tuesday. I want to go to hebron there I spent quite alot of time my first time in Palestine. Some of the youth will have photography workshops this week and next Monday school starts. Today I had luck at my friend Zain's house, in Jenin. It feels sad to leave but it has been a bit lonely to stay at the centre on my own. I'll be back in a few weeks time though. Matt from Nottingham is still here, working at the Freedom Theatre, but I haven't been able to see him more than once.
Inshallah we'll visit Jenin hospital tomorrow to set up the connection with them.

The cultural Centre received some bad news today. They have to flats next to each other, and one they've rented for free until today as the flat was empty anyway. Now the landlord want to let the flat to someone if the centre doesn't pay rent for that as well. He didn't mention how much but it;s likelt to be about $200 per month which is a lot fro the centre, they're already paying $350 for the other flat. The flat is used for the woen's project to make jam, honey and other things so it would be very bad if they'll loose it.

I'll finish with Yousef's words before he left today: "Maybe we can go and live on March or somewhere else in the space."

C u another day, don't now if I'll have computer access in the next coming days.

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